supreme court announced Wednesday that it will review
legal challenges to Proposition 8, which passed by a narrow
margin on November 4, constitutionally banning
same-sex marriage in the state.
But don't look
for any resolution in the immediate future: The high court
scheduled a hearing for March, asking litigants on both
sides for more written arguments in the interim.
Center for Lesbian Rights, the American Civil Liberties
Union, and Lambda Legal filed a suit challenging the
validity of Prop. 8 on November 5, before Equality
California, the official group that worked to defeat
Prop. 8, had formally conceded.
The court will be
asked to answer the following questions:
"Is Proposition 8
invalid because it constitutes a revision of, rather
than an amendment to, the California constitution?"
8 violate the separation of powers doctrine under the
"If Proposition 8
is not unconstitutional, what is its effect, if any,
on the marriages of same-sex couples performed before the
adoption of Proposition 8?"
According to the
Los Angeles Times, it's impossible to see
how the court is currently leaning on the matter. The
same court overturned a ban on same-sex marriage last May in
a 4-3 decision. The one thing that's certain is
that it could have thrown out the challenge but chose
The court denied
an immediate stay of the decision -- which would have
permitted same-sex couples to marry until a final court
decision was rendered -- but agreed to set an
expedited briefing schedule on the matter.
supreme court has upheld at least six ballot initiatives
and rejected only two, according to the Times. In
1966 the court struck down a ballot measure that
would have allowed racial discrimination in housing.
The court also overturned Proposition 187, an
anti-immigration initiative passed by voters in 1994.
(Ross von Metzke and Neal Broverman, The Advocate)