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Prop 8 Appeals Court Ruling Expected Tuesday

Christine Detz |
February 6, 2012 | 7:02 p.m. PST

Executive Producer

9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals set to release Prop 8 ruling on Tuesday (Photo courtesy Creative Commons)
9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals set to release Prop 8 ruling on Tuesday (Photo courtesy Creative Commons)
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is set to release its ruling on the legality of California’s ban on same-sex marriage, known as Proposition 8, on Tuesday morning.  The court’s opinion is long awaited, coming more than a year after the three-judge panel heard arguments on whether the law was constitutional or not.

Californians voted in favor of the ban in November 2008 and the first legal challenge came soon thereafter with same-sex marriage advocates filing suit in federal court to have the law struck down.  Opponents of the law claimed Prop 8 violated the civil rights of gay couples.  The federal judge, Vaughn Walker, ruled Prop 8 was unconstitutional.  Proponents of Prop 8 appealed Judge Walker’s ruling to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.  The appeal also questioned Walker’s impartiality, citing the fact he is in a same-sex relationship.

The Associated Press cites some legal observers who believe the impending announcement will benefit Prop 8 opponents.

“The notice appears to indicate that the panel will rule on the constitutionality of Proposition 8. That seems to suggest that the court will deny the effort by Prop 8 proponents to vacate Judge Walker's ruling on recusal grounds, and also that it will find that the Prop. 8 proponents had standing to pursue the appeal,” University of Pennsylvania Law School Professor Tobias Barrington Wolff said.


“We are very hopeful that the 9th Circuit will rule in favor of fairness and equality, once and for all putting an end to Prop. 8’s exclusion of loving, committed couples from marriage,” John Lewis, legal director of Marriage Equality USA, said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times.


But don’t expect an immediate change in state policy if the appeals court upholds Walker’s ruling however.  Regardless of the 9th Circuit’s ruling, an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is expected. 




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