Posts Tagged ‘appeal’

Analysis of Today’s Prop 8 Decision

January 4th, 2011 No comments

It’s over at

In brief, the Ninth Circuit panel punted the decision on standing over to the California Supreme Court. After analyzing the court’s opinion — which is carefully constructed to get the court to find that there is standing, I ask:

What does it all mean?

First, the California Supreme Court doesn’t have to answer the question put to it. If it refuses, the issue will be thrown back to the Ninth Circuit, which will then have to make its best guess. (If the composition of the panel is the same, the answer to the standing question will be “yes.”)

Second, it’s very clear now that the panelists really want to answer the monumental constitutional issue put before them. They have just made it much harder for the Supreme Court to dodge the question on the basis of standing, as would have been likelier had the judges simply ruled – one way or the other – on standing. In that case, the losing side would have appealed that ruling to the high court, which could simply have decided there’s no standing and thereby allowed same-sex marriages in California – but only there – to continue.

But if the California Supreme Court finds that the Prop 8 proponents have standing – and it will – then it would become harder for the U.S. Supreme Court to disagree, given the Court’s statement in Arizonans for Official English about the importance of state law.

Third, this decision really pushes back the ultimate day of reckoning. The California court can take its time deciding whether to certify, and then call for briefs, then schedule oral argument, then render a decision….And whoever loses the standing issue is likely to appeal that issue, perhaps twice (to the Ninth Circuit en banc and then to the Supreme Court) before we even get to the merits.

If ever. Because the voters could themselves make all of this moot by voting to repeal Prop 8, which could happen in 2012. Suddenly, that doesn’t seem so far off.

Live-Blogging Monday’s Oral Argument in Prop 8 Appeal

December 4th, 2010 No comments

On Monday (Dec. 6), the Ninth Circuit (federal appellate court) will be hearing arguments in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the case challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8. I will be live-blogging the argument, beginning at 1 pm EST, over at (I will link back to it from here when it’s done, but if you want the blow-by-blow, go there — not here.)

The first hour will address the standing issue; the second, the substance of the constitutional arguments. While standing arguments are usually a MEGO1, in this case it’s worth listening closely — there’s more than a minimal chance that the court will toss the Prop 8 defenders out on the ground that intervening parties don’t have standing to appeal.

  1. “My eyes glaze over.”

The Obama Administration Must Appeal the DOMA Decisions

July 15th, 2010 1 comment

In today’s column over at (not gay on Feb. 29?), I argue that the government needs to appeal the decision by a Massachusetts federal district judge that ruled section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional.

I even think that the case might come out favorably even when it reaches the  Supreme Court.

The Hunt-A-Homo Chain

May 25th, 2010 2 comments


Just when you thought the hammer couldn’t hit the Anti-Homo scale any harder, this one rings the bell. Really, check out this video. It’s only fifty seconds long and will astonish you — maybe. (I can’t embed it, or I would.) Listen as Baptist pastor Owens (no first name given, oddly!) calls for us to be shot with a “scatter shot gun.” That, he confidently predicts, will send us scurrying back to the closet. Oh, he’s sorry for having said it. He was young, after all. Listen to his “flock” scream their assent.

In a possibly unrelated story, Owens’ son pleaded guilty to the sexual assault of two under-age girls, one of whom he met at…church.


Mike Huckabee had this to say a few weeks ago: Gay marriages shouldn’t be accommodated any more than incest, drug abuse, and polygamy should be. The affable but dangerous Huckabee added that gay couples shouldn’t be allowed to adopt because “children aren’t puppies.”

I can see why Huckabee might have wanted gays to adopt puppies, though. Here‘s a story that you might have missed:

Two boy scout counselors, 17 year old Clayton Frady and 18 year old David litickabee [sic], the son of Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, have admitted to catching a stray dog during their summer session at Camp Pioneer in Hatfield, AR, and hanging the dog by his neck, slitting his throat and stoning him to death.

Camp officials, who did not report the crime to law enforcement officials, have admitted that the act did occur and have fired the boys from their positions. However, no charges have been filed against the young men.


The two men convicted in Malawi of gross indecency and sentenced to fourteen years at hard labor will appeal their conviction.