When will the U.S. Supreme Court rule on the Prop. 8 case?
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on the Prop. 8 case on March 26th. And it heard arguments on the DOMA case on March 27th. We expect the Supreme Court to rule on Prop. 8 by the end of June. Until then, a continuance of the stay on marriage is in place, and no loving, committed couples are able to marry at least until the decision is given.
What exactly is the Supreme Court reviewing?
The Supreme Court is considering the Prop. 8 decision made by the Ninth Circuit court. We’re confident both in our arguments and that the court will give them a fair hearing.
What are the most likely outcomes?
The Supreme Court could decide to strike down Prop. 8, uphold Prop. 8, or decline to rule on the case’s merits. There are a number of different grounds on which it could decide to strike down Prop. 8 or decline to rule on the case’s merits. Following are six potential outcomes:
DECLINE TO RULE
RULE ON THE MERITS OF THE CASE
How likely is the freedom to marry to prevail?
We’re confident in our arguments, and that the court will give them a fair hearing. No one understands as well as us how this arduous process impacts loving, committed couples, but fundamentally this process is worth respect as a process. Second-guessing or offering predictions now would be irresponsible — we will know more soon.
Does this case affect other states?
It depends on how the court rules. California is in a unique position, having had the freedom to marry recognized, then taken away, and the 9th Circuit Court’s ruling was very narrow. The court can either affirm that decision or rule more broadly, and their ruling can set the standard for review on similar cases, e.g. strict scrutiny or rational basis tests for constitutionality.
How quickly would marriage be restored in California in the above scenarios?
If the Supreme Court rules that Prop. 8 is unconstitutional (scenarios 4-6 above), the proponents of Prop. 8 will have 25 days to petition for rehearing once the decision is issued. If the proponents do not do so, the Supreme Court’s decision becomes final and marriages could resume as soon as state officials process the necessary orders. If they do petition for rehearing and it’s granted, the Court’s decision will be stayed while the Justices consider the petition.
If the Supreme Court determines that it shouldn’t have granted review of the case (scenario 1), marriages will resume as soon as the Ninth Circuit Court issues its mandate and state officials process the necessary orders.
If the Court determines that the Prop. 8 proponents lack standing to defend the case (scenario 2), marriages will resume in California as soon as the District Court’s judgment takes effect and state officials process the necessary orders.
What are the ballot plans should the Supreme Court uphold Prop 8?
Equality California continues to use a public education campaign to win hearts and minds in the Californian public. We do not want to speculate on an outcome, but should the Supreme Court uphold Prop 8 as constitutional, all options will be on the table. Equality California, together with our coalition partners, will continue to monitor the political climate, public opinion and legal developments and do the critical movement building and public education work necessary to win at the ballot should the courts rule negatively.
Why didn’t EQCA and others work to put marriage equality back on the ballot in 2012?
We believe we have a responsibility to the community to make decisions about how to win marriage back very carefully and strategically and did not believe that going to the ballot in 2012 was the most responsible and strategic thing for our movement at the time.
| EQCA Statement on San Diego County Clerk's Proposition 8 Filing
July 19, 2013
| QCA Statement on CA Supreme Court's Refusal to Reinstate Ban on Same-sex Marriage
July 15, 2013
| Freedom to Marry Returns to California for Same-Sex Couples
June 26, 2013
| Equality California Releases New Polling Data Showing Majority of Likely Voters in California Support Marriage for Same-Sex Couples
June 3, 2013
| Equality California Files Briefs Opposing Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act
March 1, 2013
| Equality California Thanks Speaker of the Assembly John A. Pérez for Filing a Friend-of-the-court Brief Opposing Proposition 8
February 28, 2013
| Equality California Responds to the Supreme Court’s Decision to Review Proposition 8
December 7, 2012
| Equality California Lauds Federal Appeals Court Decision Holding Proposition 8 Unconstitutional
February 7, 2012
| Equality California Responds to California Supreme Court Ruling on Standing Question in Perry v. Brown Challenge to Proposition 8
November 17, 2011