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Until now, Nevada's Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto has fought vehemently to uphold the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

As recently as last week, on the same day that the Ninth Circuit held that a heightened standard of scrutiny, as well as equal protection principles, applied to gays, the state submitted a brief that reportedly placed gay marriage in the context of bigamy and incest.

By Friday afternoon, Masto's office had backed off via a press release, announcing that in light of the Smithkline opinion, many of the arguments made in the brief were now untenable.

The twin challenges to Nevada and Hawaii's prohibitions on same-sex marriage took further steps towards diverting, and in Hawaii's case, derailing. Though the cases were initially put on parallel tracks by the Ninth Circuit, extensions were requested in both cases, postponing the resolution of the issue in both states.

In Hawaii's case, a prior extension was granted due to the state legislature's plan to address the issue. A second unopposed request was filed earlier this week, after Hawaii became the 15th state to allow same-sex marriage, Equality on Trial reports.

The two formerly consolidated legal battles for same-sex marriage have now diverged, with one pushing forward in the Ninth Circuit, as well as possibly on the ballot, while the other is headed toward a special legislative session showdown.

In Nevada, same sex-marriage advocates submitted their opening briefs this week in the Ninth Circuit with a "trickle down" equality sort of argument, while in Hawaii, both sides of the debate are gearing up for Monday's legislative session.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have arrived at the latest Prop 8 destination. And here it is:

The petitioners, also known as the proponents of California’s Proposition 8, which amended the California Constitution to define marriage as “the union of a man and a woman,” argue that the Equal Protection Clause does not prohibit the State of California from employing such a definition.

The respondents, same-sex couples that wish to marry, ask whether California, having previously recognized same-sex marriage, can withdraw that right through a referendum in light of the Supreme Court’s holding in Romer v. Evans.

Perry v. Schwarzenegger, No. 10-16751

Denial of Proposition 8 Intervention Motion

In Perry v. Schwarzenegger, No. 10-16751, an appeal by the County of Imperial, its Board of Supervisors, and a Deputy Clerk for the County from the denial of their motion to intervene in the case concerning the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8, the court dismissed the appeal where none of the Imperial County movants demonstrated a "significant protectable interest" at stake in this action.

Perry v. Prop. 8 Official Proponents, No. 09-16959

In an action challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8, a California ballot initiative restricting the definition of marriage to the union of a man and a woman, denial of a prospective intervenor's application to intervene is affirmed where the existing parties would adequately represent its interests.

Read Perry v. Prop. 8 Official Proponents, No. 09-16959

Appellate Information

Argued and Submitted November 4, 2009

Filed November 19, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge McKeown

Counsel

For Appellant:

Mary E. McAlister and Mathew D. Staver, Liberty Counsel, Lynchburg, VA

For Appellees:

Matthew D. McGill and Theodore B. Olson, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Washington, DC

Charles J. Cooper and Howard C. Nielson, Cooper and Kirk, PLLC, Washington, DC

Disability Law Ctr. v. Anchorage Sch. Dist., No. 08-35057

In an action by a child protection agency seeking contact information for the guardians or legal representatives of students in a special education class in which mistreatment of students was alleged, dismissal of the action is reversed where: 1) the district court erred in holding that probable cause under the Developmental Disabilities Act (DD Act) required some showing that abuse and neglect were ongoing or likely to recur; and 2) the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act did not override plaintiff's authority under the DD Act to demand guardian or representative contact information from the school district.

Read Disability Law Ctr. v. Anchorage Sch. Dist., No. 08-35057

Appellate Information

Argued and Submitted February 11, 2009

Filed September 9, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Farris

Counsel

For Appellant:

Megan K. Allison, Disability Law Center of Alaska, Anchorage, AK

Holly Johanknecht, Disability Law Center of Alaska, Anchorage, AK

For Appellee:

Bradley D. Owens, Jermain, Dunnagan & Owens, Anchorage, AK

Cheryl Mandala, Jermain, Dunnagan & Owens, Anchorage, AK

Asvesta v. Petroutsas, No. 08-15365

In a petition for return of a child under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Convention), the District Court's order extending comity to a Greek court's denial of Respondent's petition pursuant to the Convention is reversed where the Greek court misapplied the provisions of the Convention, relied on unreasonable factual findings, and contradicted the principles and objectives of the Convention.

Read Asvesta v. Petroutsas, No. 08-15365

Appellate Information

Argued Submitted July 14, 2008

Submitted August 28, 2009

Filed September 4, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Paez

Counsel

For Petitioner:

Renee C. Day, Hoover & Bechtel, LLP, San Jose, CA

Kelly A. Powers, Miles & Stockbridge P.C., Towson, MD

For Respondent:

Carmenella Athena Roussos, Elk Grove, CA