SCOTUS Dismisses Prop 8 Case Ruling Proponents Have No Standing


The Supreme Court has ruled that Proposition 8 proponents have no standing, allowing the lower court's ruling to stand and paving the way for same-sex marriages to begin in California.

Further litigation may occur over whether marriages can begin.

Ari Ezra Waldman will have complete analysis coming up! Stay tuned.



  1. Matt26 says

    Wonderful. I have tears in my eyes, because this is an excellent and happy day for lgbt people in US. Dear US forumers here, enjoy and celebrate!!

  2. gr8guyca says

    Judicial politics makes strange bedfellows in this decision. Ginsburg, Kagan, Breyer, Roberts and Scalia on one side. And Kennedy, Thomas, Alito, and Sotomayor on the other.

    I hate that I am on the same side as Scalia on anything, but in this case, I will make an exception.

  3. Superman says

    Don’t discount Kennedy’s and Sotomayor’s dissents. They may have been pushing to make any ban on same-sex marriage illegal nationwide. Consequently, Scalia probably pushed for a middling path to ensure that a nationwide ban wouldn’t happen. I’m disappointed that this Court did not make a truly “landmark” ruling on a blatant civil rights issue. It was within their power, but given the strong opposing views among the justices, this was probably the best outcome we could hope for.

  4. Jester says

    Our opponents had no standing in part because they could not demonstrate that they would suffer actual harm if gay and lesbian marriages would be recognized. That might set a strong precedent, especially in states that already have civil unions with the same rights as marriage (since there would be no new financial implications if marriages were recognized).

  5. DragonWoof says

    My partner and I went on our first date the day after Prop 8 was voted in. It’s time to keep that promise!! Now, how long before we can do this! WAHOOOOO!! :)

  6. JONES says

    The opinions are available in pdf Fahd. Do a web search ‘Prop 8 pdf’.

    Reading opinion & dissent in Prop 8 I think Kennedy would have sided with equality and his opinion on standing makes more sense.
    Standing was the face saving way for Roberts to take. Would love to know the discussion and arguments in chambers that went on over this. Have to wait for the biographies I guess.

    This ruling vacated the Ninth ruling which takes it back to the California Supreme Court decision so that limits marriage to California but that’s still a huge win.

  7. anon says

    Oh, lack of standing isn’t much of a victory. Now the petitioning process in CA will be fought over in federal court when the state doesn’t like the result. Over the long term I don’t see anything good out of it, even though it seems to reverse Prop 8. This may or may not work out for CA gay marriage either. A new federal judge might vacate the original ruling, or the ninth may request a new trial. It’s a very tepid victory.

  8. Rick says

    The court has lost its damned mind, and whatever little legitimacy it had left.

    Ginsberg, Breyer and Kagan sold LGBTs down the river with this ruling. The constitutional right to marriage was within sight, and they took a timid, cowardly, do-nothing approach, joining a decision that secures NOTHING for LGBTs nationwide, and only gives rise to infinitely more litigation on Prop 8 and marriage equality in California. This isn’t even a baby step forward. It’s barely even a lean.

    Sad to say it, but I think it’s time for Ginsberg to step off the stage. She’s got her head forever stuck in Roe v. Wade. She’s losing new battles by continuing to fight old ones. She had damned better set her ego aside and let Obama appoint a new justice who can fight for a progressive perspective for years to come.

    Breyer, frankly, should consider doing the same. Kagan? She appears ready to play Thomas to Ginsberg’s Scalia. Utter disappointment in Kagan’s timidity here. And we’re stuck with her for awhile.

    What were these three buffoons thinking?

  9. Bill says

    In describing the history of the case, the Supreme Court ruling stated that ‘The complaint named as defendants California’s Governor, attorney general, and various other state and local officials responsible for enforcing California’s marriage laws. Those officials refused to defend the law, although they have continued to enforce it throughout this litigation. The District Court allowed petitioners—the official proponents of the initiative, see Cal. Elec. Code Ann. §342 (West 2003)—to intervene to defend it. After a 12-day bench trial, the District Court declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional, permanently enjoining the California officials named as defendants from enforcing the law, and “directing the official defendants that all persons under their control or supervision” shall not enforce it.’

    That sounds like good news, but there is a catch: Judge Walker’s district did not cover all of California. Conceivably some low level bureaucrat not in Walker’s jurisdiction who opposes same-sex marriages could file a lawsuit because he was being compelled to not enforce Proposition Eight. The judge in a different district does not have to accept judge Walker’s decision as a precedent, so in theory we could end up with two contradictory rulings. While hopefully an unlikely outcome, the pro Prop 8 people might try to “judge shop” by picking the most conservative district they can find. Then what happens? Of course, if they do that, California’s current state officials would undoubtedly argue in our favor, and the 9th Circuit Court’s agreement with Judge Walker is a reasonable indication of what would happen on an appeal.

    So, let’s hope for the best. But keep in mind that the opposition is a bit like the Russian monk Rasputin, who was assassinated with great difficulty due to him being physically very hard to kill: . Don’t just nail down the coffin – seal it to make sure no air can get in and then sit on it for a few hours to be sure.

  10. MateoM says

    Just remember that Rick, Jason, or whatever other aliases our resident troll goes by can’t hide the fact that he isn’t a member of the LGBT community. In fact…he hates it. What a pathetic human being.

    And if you end up seeing someone posting horrible offensive, homophobic or mean comments under my name, it’s Rick enacting his revenge by trying to slander my name. Like I said, he’s pathetic.

  11. MateoM says

    Although I agree with Rick/Jason/whoever about the 3 “liberal” justices’ cowardice.

    He may be a pathetic human being, but he speaks good sense at times. And he may be a mean troll, but I bet he is pendulously hung and a scandalously good lover.

    Secretly I want him.

  12. JONES says

    Gotta respectfully disagree with you about Ginsberg, Kagan, & Breyer.
    This isn’t about cowardice. It’s about getting the best results with what you have and as much as I wanted a full decree of equality you have to know that that was a tall order with the makeup of this SCOTUS.
    Their vote was NOT against equality.

    By rejecting Prop 8 on standing these three knew that California would be guaranteed marriage. Even though in hindsight it looks as though with Kennedy’s support equality could have won the day that result wasn’t known or guaranteed.

    KGB all ruled against DOMA. They voted in opposition to gutting the VRA. They are allies for equality and I’ll stand by them and defend them until they actually vote against equality.

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