This piece by Jillian Rayfield in today’s Talking Points Memo takes a much different approach to the Tuesday decision that California’s Proposition 8 banning gay marriage is unconstitutional.
Convention wisdom is that the case will surely be appealed and that the court will make the final decision. Rayfield agrees that it will be appealed but quotes some court experts saying the U.S. Supreme Court justices might not agree to review the decision, mostly because they don’t have to.
The 9th Circuit ruling repeatedly stated that the ruling applied only to California. That is because California courts granted the right to marry to same-gender couples and then took it away.
“This unique and strictly limited effect of Proposition 8 allows us to address the amendment’s constitutionality on narrow grounds,” wrote Judge Stephen Reinhardt for the court’s 2-1 majority.
Rayfield wrote: “Several California law professors speculated to TPM that this “narrow” focus of the ruling could mean that the Supreme Court will decline to hear the case, since the ruling is so limited to California.”