Today there was a long-awaited and tense announcement from the California Supreme Court regarding the issue of standing in the Prop 8 Trial. As you may recall, the California Supreme Court had been asked to decide whether the appellants of the original Prop 8 decision – the people who support Prop 8 – had legal standing to appeal Judge Walker’s ruling. The question was whether the consequences of the decision affected the Yes on 8 side concretely enough that they could legitimately appeal the ruling. The court has not come to a decision on that, but today they did definitively announce that they will take up the question. Their exact words:
The request, pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 8.548, that this court decide a question of California law presented in a matter pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, is granted. For the purposes of briefing and oral argument, defendant-intervenors Dennis Hollingsworth, Gail J. Knight, Martin F. Gutierrez, Mark A. Jansson, and ProtectMarriage.com (collectively “Proponents”) are deemed the petitioners in this court. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 8.520(a)(6).) In order to facilitate expedited consideration and resolution of the issues presented, and to accommodate oral argument in this matter as early as September, 2011, the normal briefing schedule is shortened, pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 8.68, as follows: The opening brief on the merits is to be served and filed on or before Monday, March 14, 2011. The answer brief on the merits is to be served and filed on or before Monday, April 4. A reply brief may be served and filed on or before Monday, April 18. Any person or entity wishing to file an amicus curiae brief must file an application for permission to file such brief, accompanied by the proposed brief, on or before Monday, May 2, 2011. Any party may serve and file an omnibus reply to any or all amicus curiae briefs on or before Monday, May 9, 2011. The court does not contemplate any extension of the above deadlines. Votes: Cantil-Sakauye, C.J., Kennard, Baxter, Werdegar, Chin, Moreno, and Corrigan, JJ.
The full text of the ruling can be found here.
It’s a little bit frustrating; for all of us, but especially for those who are waiting anxiously to have their relationships legally affirmed. With every new development, we are hoping it will be the final one, that the question of whether our families are real will finally cease to be up for debate. That didn’t happen today. But that doesn’t mean it won’t. This appeal could potentially end here if the state Supreme Court decides there is no standing; on the other hand, it could go as far as the Supreme Court of the entire United States. Until then, we’ll be waiting and hoping, and ready to fight for our rights if waiting doesn’t give us what we need.