12-144 HOLLINGSWORTH, DENNIS, ET AL. V. PERRY, KRISTIN M., ET AL.
The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted. In
addition to the question presented by the petition, the parties are directed to brief and argue the following question: Whether
petitioners have standing under Article III, §2 of the
Constitution in this case. 12-307 UNITED STATES V. WINDSOR, EDITH S., ET AL.
The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted. In addition to the question presented by the petition, the parties are directed to brief and argue the following questions: Whether the Executive Branch’s agreement with the court below that DOMA is unconstitutional deprives this Court of jurisdiction to decide this case; and whether the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the United States House of Representatives has Article III standing in this case.
What in Means:
PROP 8: (12-144)
In the first decision the court has agreed to hear the Prop 8 case. That is bad news for Californians who were hoping they would refuse to hear it. If they did refuse marriage for all would have resumed in California very quickly. HOWEVER there is a hopeful part.
In directing the petitioners to argue whether they have standing, there is a very big out. California refused to argue against Prop 8, which reversed marriage equality in California by popular vote. The State was saying tacitly "we want this to be overturned." California, under Gov. Schwarzenegger, saw gay marriage as in the best interest of the state. The people who opposed marriage equality were then forced to defend their position. They were granted "standing", that is the right to pick up the state's role in defending the proposition, by the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The ninth circuit upheld the State Supreme Court decision that Prop 8 was unconstitutional. But they also issued a stay of overturning the marriage ban pending the Supreme Court decision.
In raising the question of standing once more, it is possible that SCOTUS could rule that the petitioners cannot, in the absence of the State of California, proceed. If they do, it's done. The decision stands and gay marriage resumes in California. If the petitioners do have the right to argue, then a ruling on Prop 8, up or down, will be rendered.
The Defense of Marriage Act, ironically named from the point of view of gay and lesbian Americans, denies federal rights and responsibilities to gay couples.
The conservative leaning court is of concern. However we must remember that they found a way to allow "Obamacare" to stand in the face of vocal opposition from the right.
There are some big "outs" for SCOTUS in the questions included in the writ of centoriari. This one is too complex for me. I need to read some more. But, if the court were to decide that it could not decide, as silly as that sounds, it could allow them to kick this can down the road.
The arguments will happen in March and a decision will be rendered in June.
I only hope that reading one more explanation of this will not confuse my readers. In the meantime, here is the perfect picture to support the right to marry. I suspect it will challenge the stereotypes of many. This couple is applying for a marriage license on the first day of availability in the state of Washington.