Protect Marriage, the organization that sponsored California Proposition 8, thinks that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is 'misguided," according to the Los Angeles Times.
Not that that comes as a surprise.
In February, a Ninth Circuit panel struck down Prop 8, finding that "Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples." In June, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied en banc rehearing in the case. Now, Protect Marriage is asking the Supreme Court to reverse that decision.
Protect Marriage's attorney, Charles Cooper, told the L.A. Times, "The Supreme Court has made it very clear that the age-old definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is constitutional as a matter of state public policy ... The lower court decisions essentially rejected all relevant Supreme Court and appellate court precedent while attacking the character and judgment of millions of Californians."
(While the Nine may be hesitant to interfere with a state's authority to regulate marriage within its borders, such action is not without precedent. In 1967, the Supreme Court unanimously overturned Virginia's anti-miscegenation statute in Loving v. Virginia.)
As the most frequently-reviewed circuit, there are plenty of people who question the Ninth Circuit's rulings on a daily basis, but this case will likely draw more attention than usual. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 38 states limit marriage to heterosexual couples; public scrutiny will probably parallel the buzz surrounding the healthcare cases if the Supreme Court reviews California Prop 8.
- Perry v. Brown (FindLaw's CaseLaw)
- Perry v. Brown: Ninth Circuit Says Prop 8 is Unconstitutional (FindLaw's Ninth Circuit Blog)
- Prop. 8 Backers Seek Top Court's Support (San Francisco Chronicle)