Friday, December 07, 2012

US Supreme Court to hear Proposition 8, DOMA cases

The United States Supreme Court has granted review of Hollingsworth v. Perry in the California Proposition 8 case, and of United States v. Windsor in the Defense of Marriage Act. Key issues could be the interpretation of the 14th Amendment and due process, as well as equal protection. . 

AFER (American Foundation for Equal Rights) has a link for the download of the certiorari order, here.

The Supreme Court has also said that it must consider first whether the Obama administration’s unwillingness to defend DOMA itself has applicability in deciding the case.  A key concept may be equal protection.   

The Court will feel challenged to keep its questions within the parameters of constitutional law and not social policy, in a time when political processes and even referendums are gradually shifting in many states toward supporting full equal rights for gays, including marriage and parental rights.   

AFER issued a corrected press release, but I can’t tell what changed. 

Writing in the Washington Post (Dec. 8), Robert Barnes notes that the Ninth Circuit (and, apparently. circuit judge Stephen Reinhardt earlier) had overturned Proposition 8 on constitutionally narrow grounds, that "taking away a right by a majority from a minority" was not permissible.  The link for the Post story is here

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