Tumblr Icon RSS Icon

BREAKING: Federal Appeals Court Finds Proposition 8 Unconstitutional

By Igor Volsky  

"BREAKING: Federal Appeals Court Finds Proposition 8 Unconstitutional"

Share:

google plus icon

Lead attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies

In a 2 to 1 ruling, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed Judge Walker’s decision declaring that Proposition 8 violates the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Constitution. From Judge Stephen Reinhardt’s majority opinion:

– All Proposition 8 accomplished was to take away from same-sex couples the right to be granted marriage licenses and thus legally to use the designation of ‘marriage,’ which symbolizes state legitimation and social recognition of their committed relationships. Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples. The Constitution simply does not allow for “laws of this sort.”

– The People may not employ the initiative power to single out a disfavored group for unequal treatment and strip them, without a legitimate justification, of a right as important as the right to marry.

– That designation [of marriage] is important because ‘marriage’ is the name that society gives to the relationship that matters most between two adults. A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but to the couple desiring to enter into a committed lifelong relationship, a marriage by the name of ‘registered domestic partnership’ does not.

– A law that has no practical effect except to stip one group of the right to use a state-authorized and socially meaningful designation is all the more “unprecedented” and “unusual” than a law that imposes broader changes, and raises an even stronger “interference that the disadvantage imposed is born of animosity toward the class of persons affected.”

The Court clarified that their ruling is “unique and strictly limited” to California’s Proposition 8. Supporters of the measure can now either ask for a hearing before the full circuit or appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. It’s likely that the courts will maintain a stay on Walker’s ruling, preventing same-sex marriages from taking place.

Read the decision HERE.

Update

Newt Gingrich Tweets out a response: “Court of Appeals overturning CA’s Prop 8 another example of an out of control judiciary.

National Organization for Marriage (NOM): “As sweeping and wrong-headed as this decision is, it nonetheless was as predictable as the outcome of a Harlem Globetrotters exhibition game,” said Brian Brown, NOM’s president. “We have anticipated this outcome since the moment San Francisco Judge Vaughn Walker’s first hearing in the case. Now we have the field cleared to take this issue to the US Supreme Court, where we have every confidence we will prevail.”

The White House doesn’t have a comment on the ruling.

Mitt Romney: “Today, unelected judges cast aside the will of the people of California who voted to protect traditional marriage. This decision does not end this fight, and I expect it to go to the Supreme Court. That prospect underscores the vital importance of this election and the movement to preserve our values. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman and, as president, I will protect traditional marriage and appoint judges who interpret the Constitution as it is written and not according to their own politics and prejudices.”

‹ Baltimore County Residents Decry, Belittle Transgender Nondiscrimination Protections

White House Has No Comment On Proposition 8 Ruling ›

By clicking and submitting a comment I acknowledge the ThinkProgress Privacy Policy and agree to the ThinkProgress Terms of Use. I understand that my comments are also being governed by Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, or Hotmail’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policies as applicable, which can be found here.