Monday, August 16, 2010

Appeals Court Grants Stay in Prop 8 Case

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ordered a stay of a federal court ruling that invalidated Proposition 8 -- a California constitutional amendment that bans same-sex marriage. The court also established a briefing schedule and set oral arguments for December 6. Accordingly, the stay will likely remain in effect until late this year or even early 2011.

Finally, the court also requested briefing on the "standing" issue. Depending on how the court interprets existing caselaw, it could determine that the private organizations that oppose same-sex marriage lack standing to bring the appeal.

UPDATE: Several nonlawyer commentators have construed the court's request for argumentation on the standing issue as an indication that it is inclined to rule against the private organizations. I would not read that language so broadly. This is typically how courts ask for briefing on procedural matters that could preclude a ruling on the merits. It is not a glimpse into the court's thinking on the standing issue. In fact, I highly doubt that the panel has actually thought much about the issue.

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