BREAKING: 9th Circuit Sends Prop 8 Ruling Back to CA Supreme Court

Looks like we still don't have an answer on Prop 8. Moments ago, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to send the proposition -- which would restrict legal marriages to those between a man and a woman -- back to the California Supreme Court to determine if its proponents have standing. From the ruling:

Because we cannot consider this important constitutional question unless the appellants before us have standing to raise it, and in light of Arizonans for Official English v. Arizona, 520 U.S. 43 (1997) (“Arizonans”), it is critical that we be advised of the rights under California law of the official proponents of an initiative measure to defend the constitutionality of that measure upon its adoption by the People when the state officers charged with the laws’ enforcement, including the Attorney General, refuse to provide such a defense or appeal a judgment declaring the measure unconstitutional.

As we are aware of no controlling state precedent on this precise question, we respectfully ask the Supreme Court of California to exercise its discretion to accept and decide the certified question below.

In essence, the 9th Circuit wants a guiding hand from the Supreme Court before it can/will proceed -- to rule whether the proponents have standing to restrict marriage in the California law at all. “The parties shall notify the Clerk of this Court within three days after the Court accepts or rejects certification, and again within three days if the Court renders an opinion. The panel retains jurisdiction over further proceedings.” In other words, we've got to keep playing the waiting game for at least one more week, while the Supreme Court determines whether its proponents -- the anti-gay marriage side -- are legally allowed to defend the bill.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at January 4, 2011, 8:03am

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