The linked story is an excellent read concerning what today’s ruling means:
Assuming that the proponents will seek Supreme Court review of their appellate loss, they would file a petition for a writ of certiorari. The plaintiffs and the state defendants — who have opposed Proposition 8’s constitutionality — as well as outside groups and individuals would then be able to file a response to the proponents’ filing.
The Supreme Court, which generally recesses for the summer by late June, would then consider the petition after that briefing is completed, likely once the justices return in the fall. By Supreme Court practice, four of the justices would need to want to hear the case in order for the court to accept it.
I think two valuable questions are other there to talk about:
- Will SCOTUS choose to hear the case? I think there is reason for it to go either way.
- What ramifications are there of the more limited position that the Ninth Circuit appeals issued as compared to Judge Walker’s decision?
These may be closely connected, but still different questions:
The appellate decision striking down Proposition 8 was based upon the reasoning of the Supreme Court in the 1996 case of Romer v. Evans, where the court struck down Colorado’s Amendment 2 as unconstitutional. Amendment 2 had prohibited state and local entities from passing sexual orientation protections. The U.S. Supreme Court struck Colorado’s Amendment 2 down as a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause because the amendment’s aim was “not to further a proper legislative end but to make [LGB people] unequal to everyone else.”
In writing the opinion for the Ninth Circuit in the Proposition 8 appeal, Perry v. Brown, Judge Stephen Reinhardt noted, “Proposition 8 is remarkably similar to Amendment 2.”