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U.S. Supreme Court to hear Prop 8 review, DOMA challenge cases



(Apologies for being impatient, but I wanted to get this going. If this gets taken down, then...whatever, I guess. tongue.png)


So, with the Soapbox set to close, and Myr's pronouncement that news items should go in blogs:


You can do so in your blog or set up a private club blog.


I'm essentially picking up the discussion where it was left off yesterday, and doing it here. I had originally posted the article, followed by a link to its source (from Yahoo), but at that time the article was brief. It's since been updated to be much longer, so I'm not going to include the entire thing here. tongue.png


Here's the source.


Lifting directly from the soon-to-be-former thread, these were the responses that came in during that brief time:


Bill W:

This could prove to be verrrry interesting.



cool.png ................. I'm not going to haphazard a guess why SCOTUS decided to take on Prop. 8, but if they did because they wanted to send a 'message' to the other states IF they uphold the 9th circuit, I can see no better way to do it. DOMA actually seems cut and dry to me, but I have no idea how this court will rule. Can't wait to hear from the religious fundies on this lmaosmiley.gif



My inner lawyer is tingling:


As we approach it, I'll give my 2 cents of legal analysis. I've been right so far with Roberts Court decision, but I really have to get the feeling of the mood from SCOTUS.



huh.png I'm confused as to what you mean by that.



huh.png I'm confused as to what you mean by that.


They usually have transcripts out during hearings and you can analyze what the judges say to see what they might be thinking. That's how I got the hint that Roberts agreed with the Obama Administration over Health Care Reform and role of Federal Government.


And...there we go. Let's try and keep things civil, OK? smile.png


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This is from one of the articles on SCOTUSBLOG.


In the California Proposition 8 case, the Court told lawyers to argue whether the proponents of the amendment to the state constitution had “standing” under Article III. “Standing” simply means the right to be in court. There are very specific qualifications that must be met in order to have “standing.” In striking down “Proposition 8,” the Ninth Circuit Court had ruled that the proponents of a ballot measure have a specific interest in defending it, and that is enough to justify their being in court. Without that finding, the Circuit Court would have had no authority to rule on the measure’s validity.


Now, I'm not a lawyer. But if I understand that correctly, if SCOTUS decides the proponents didn't have 'standing' in the first place, everything reverts back to the first judge's decision. Right?

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"Now, I'm not a lawyer. But if I understand that correctly, if SCOTUS decides the proponents didn't have 'standing' in the first place, everything reverts back to the first judge's decision. Right?"




The point is, that by taking both cases the court has given itself a lot of room to decide things and can do so in several ways. However, there is now getting to be quite a few judicial rulings on various constitutional issues surrounding these two and other cases. Pete Williams of NBC laid out the various ways they could be dealt with on NBCNEWS.COM on Friday afternoon and I don't have a link to the clip anymore. Sorry. When arguments are heard in the spring, we may have a better indication of how the court will rule, but don't bet on it. The ruling on the Affordable HealthCare Act (Obamacare) showed how unpredictable the court can be. The fact that so many states (more than 30) have specifically defined marriage as between a man and a women, may mean that the decision will be evolutionary and only a partial victory rather than revolutionary like Brown vs. Board of Education, given the conservative bent of the Roberts Court.

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There is a lot of talk about SCOTUS (The Court) not getting too far ahead of public opinion, and the Roe vs. Wade decision is cited as an example of when they did that. Those pundits opine that the Court may very well render very narrow opinions on both of these cases, opinions that do little but kick the ball farther down the court.

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Sharon hits on an important point - they asked in both the DOMA case and the Prop 8 cases for the justification for standing (in DOMA it's the so-called BLAG approved by straight party-line vote). Like WL stated, the oral arguments will give some hint as to what they are thinking and how important THEY think it is. It will be interesting from a purely scholastic point of view to see if they will overturn their ruling in 1996 where they said proponents of an Arizone ballot measure did NOT have standing as compared to the Prop 8 case where the California Supreme Court told the 9th circuit court of appeals that the proponents DO have standing.


In the DOMA case it will be interesting to see how they view whether three Republican representatives in the House of Representatives can vote to defend a law when the Justice department has declared that it agrees with a circuit court ruling that the law is unconstitutional. This is actually a very important separation of powers point and could be the sole reason for taking up the DOMA case. Notice they did not take up any other DOMA cases - just this one that is actually only related to one part of the DOMA law unlike some of the others.


I would not be surprised if they uphold standing in the Prop 8 case and then focus heavily on the issues brought forward into trial with a focus on heightened scrutiny and whether sexual orientation is malleable. For the DOMA case I would be surprised if they didn't smack BLAG down and deny them standing as a violation of the separation of powers (the legislative branch stepping on the rights of the executive branch).

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