September 13, 2012
By Matt Baume
This is it. The moment of truth for Proposition 8.
In just a matter of days, the Supreme Court of the United States will meet to consider hearing AFER’s case against Prop 8. There are a number of different potential outcomes. So let’s take a minute to talk about what’s going to happen, and when.
First, a few basics. Prop 8 passed in 2008 by a narrow margin, changing the California state constitution and taking away the freedom to marry from committed gay and lesbian couples.
In response, AFER sued the state in federal court, pointing out that there is no rational basis for Prop 8, and that the law now denies Californians equal protection under the law.
And we won. Twice. First in District Court in 2010, and then at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2012. Both courts agreed that Prop 8 violates the United States Constitution, and should be struck down. But even though we won, the law will remain in place until its proponents can exhaust their opportunities to be reheard.
And now they’re down to their last opportunity for that rehearing: the Supreme Court of the United States.
Here’s what happens next.
The Justices will meet on Monday, September 24th, to discuss all the cases before them. At that meeting, they’ll chose some of the cases that they’ll hear during their upcoming term, which will run from November to June of 2013. Other cases, they’ll decide not to hear.
If they decide to take our case, they’ll announce it in a list that’s released on Tuesday, September 25th. Then we’ll file briefs, have oral arguments, and get a decision from the court by next June.
If we’re not on that list, it means one of two things. Either they won’t hear our case, or they’re simply holding off on making a decision until later.
If they’ve rejected the petition to hear our case, then they’ll announce that on the following Monday, October 1st. In that case, our previous victory will be the final, decisive word. In other words, Prop 8 will be unconstitutional forever, and marriages can start back up again in California.
So there you have it. It’s taken a while to get here, but we’re finally approaching the end the case.