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Old June 5th, 2012, 06:02 PM   #1
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Minutes ago the full Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals released their decision (pdf) not to reconsider their three-judge panel's decision from early February that Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage in California, is unconstitutional.

This is unadulterated good news.

It means that the [s]bigots[/s] supporters of Proposition 8 have three months to file a request to the US Supreme Court to consider the case. If SCOTUS accepts the request, the nine Supreme Court Justices will almost certainly hear the controversy sometime late this year or early next year and render a decision before the end of June, 2013.

If SCOTUS rejects the case (or Prop 8 proponents decide not to request consideration -- an almost inconceivable event) then the Ninth Circuit panel's earlier decision will stand, and marriage equality will immediately become (once again) the law of California.

Had the decision gone the other way -- had the Ninth Circuit decided to reconsider the decision en banc (using an eleven-panel set of judges), that would have potentially set back a final judgement by as much as a year.

A similar trajectory is being followed by another marriage equality case, this one from the First Circuit Court of Appeals. Just a week ago a First Circuit panel ruled that Section III of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. Because there are only six judges on the First Circuit and three of them produced a unanimous decision saying just that, any appeal for reconsideration to the full First Circuit is likely to be rejected quickly, sending the case to the Supreme Court as well.
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Old June 5th, 2012, 07:04 PM   #2
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BROKEN: We already have a thread on this topic

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