Obama Administration to Submit Brief Urging SCOTUS to Strike Down Proposition 8

Obama administration officials tell NBC News that the Justice Department will file a brief in the SCOTUS case opposing Proposition 8:

WhitehouseAfter first suggesting it would not get involved, the Obama administration will file a friend-of-the-court brief late today in support of the two gay couples who launched the fight over the issue four years ago, the officials said. Today is the last day for filing briefs in support of the couples' position.

The administration last year signaled it might stay on the sidelines. In May, when President Obama first said that "same-sex couples should be able to get married," he added that it was not a matter for the federal government.

Dozens of amicus briefs are piling in urging SCOTUS to strike down Prop 8. The American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER, representing the plaintiffs, is keeping track of all of them here as they are filed.

UPDATE, via the AP:

While the administration's friend-of-the-court brief in the Proposition 8 case does not call for marriage equality across the United States, it does point the court in that direction.

A Supreme Court ruling in line with the administration's argument could have broad implications and almost certainly expand the rights of same-sex couples to wed.

The administration's nonbinding brief contends that denying gays and lesbians the right to marry violates the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause. The document urges the justices to give extra rigorous review to any law that discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation.

The person familiar with the brief spoke on anonymity in order to discuss the document before it was filed.



  1. Belthazar says

    Maybe this will help: BREAKING: Justice Department will urge US Supreme Court to allow same-sex marriage to resume in California in Prop 8 case – @PeteWilliamsNBC

  2. will says

    YES! That’s 100+ republicans filing an amicus; 60 corporations; and now the Executive Office of the President of the United States.

    (and the 2 NFL football players!) Definately feeling the love.

    I wonder if they other side is filing any amicus (or amici!) briefs? Not even Chick-fil-A??

    Haha! In a giddy mood today.

  3. Wavin' Dave says

    OK. Last minute, but OK.
    Where the REAL action is, if you ask me, is Edie Windsor v. DOMA – a NATIONAL issue, not merely a California issue.
    (MERELY California, I like that!)
    POTUS + Co. have until tomorrow to join that as amicuses, amicii, Amiches??
    They damn well better.

  4. Frank says

    Wait a minute. Where’s James E. Pietrangelo, II to call Obama homophobe and tell us this is just a way to pander to gays so he can’t get support for 2016 election her can’t run for?

  5. Rob says

    Just to clarify a point, Obama did not file an amicus brief in the DOMA (i.e., Edie Windsor case). The USA is an actual party in that case, so “Obama” filed a brief as petitioner. The USA is not a party to the Prop 8 case, which is why Obama is filing an amicus brief in the Prop 8 case. An amicus curiae brief can only be submitted by someone who is not a party to the case. :-)

  6. Randy says

    I found the briefs submitted by PFLAG, and by Family Equality Council et al, to be moving reading.

    Maybe it’s the intervening years, but I don’t remember having this sort of reaction reading the original Prop 8 amicus briefs.

    The variety, as Will said earlier, is thrilling, seeing business and conservatives join this effort in such a solid way.

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