It has been decided in the Cicrcuit Court of Appeals that the legal battle over California’s Proposition 8 will now go to the U.S. Supreme Court.
A majority of the court’s active judges voted against reconsidering the decision to overturn the voter-approved 2008 state constitutional amendment to allow gay marriage in the state of California. Three dissenting judges who favored a review of the decision called the panel’s ruling a “gross misapplication” of the law that “roundly trumped California’s democratic process,” also citing president Barack Obama’s recent comments that he would like to see the debate over gay marriage continue “in a respectful way.” The dissenters wrote: “Our court has silenced any such respectful conversation.”
Lawyers in the case expect the U.S. Supreme Court to review Proposition 8 later this year and decide whether it is constitutional or not by next summer. Until the Supreme Court acts, the 9th Circuit’s order will be on hold and Proposition 8 will remain in effect.
The outcome is expected to be close, there are five conservative justices and four liberal in the Supreme Court, with the deciding vote likely to go to justice Anthony Kennedy, a conservative judge who has written key gay rights rulings and sometimes votes with the more liberal justices.
“The end is now in sight,” said Chad Griffin, who started an organization that is financing the legal battle against Proposition 8.