Supreme Court Decides To Hear California’s Prop. 8

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The Supreme Court announced on Friday that it will take up California’s Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that amends the state’s Constitution to ban same sex marriage.

The Court will hear oral arguments in next spring and render a decision by the end of June. At issue is whether the U.S. Constitution prohibits a state from codifying a ban on recognizing same sex marriages.

In the short term, that means couples in California will have to wait until the Supreme Court rules, despite lower courts invalidating Prop. 8. The challenge is being spearheaded by high-profile lawyers Ted Olson and David Boies.

“Proposition 8 served no purpose, and had no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California,” declared a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel in a 2-1 decision back in February.

The move came as a surprise to many court watchers, which saw relatively few reasons for the Supreme Court to take on Prop. 8, particularly if it was also ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act, which it has also agreed to do.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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