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Prop 8 appeal filed + timeline and what you can do

Background Trial analysis

by Adam Bink

As expected:

SAN FRANCISCO — Supporters of California’s gay marriage ban filed an appeal Thursday of a federal judge’s ruling striking down the voter-approved law.

The appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was expected, as lawyers on both sides of the legal battle repeatedly vowed to carry the fight to a higher court if they lost.

On Wednesday, a federal judge in San Francisco overturned California’s Proposition 8, which restricts a marriage to one man and one woman. U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker ruled the law violates federal equal protections and due process laws.

The 9th Circuit court has no deadlines to hear the case, which will be randomly assigned to a three-judge panel. It’s expected that the panel will order both sides to submit written legal arguments before scheduling a hearing.

The outcome in the appeals court could force the U.S. Supreme Court to confront the question of whether gays have a constitutional right to wed.

The appeal text can be found here (it’s short).

On the stay issue, as I listened to NPR on my way in this morning, it was reported that Judge Walker would give both sides until Friday to submit full arguments on whether there should be a stay. This piece confirms that:

Protect Marriage, the coalition of religious and conservative groups that sponsored Proposition 8 – and wound up defending it in court after California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown refused to – said it would immediately appeal the decision.

Walker, meanwhile, said he would consider waiting for the 9th Circuit to render its decision before he makes his opinion final and requires the state to stop enforcing the ban. The judge ordered both sides to submit written arguments by Friday on the issue.

Judge Walker will then decide whether to extend the stay pending appeals. If he decides not to, our opponents may appeal that decision to the 9th Circuit.

Meanwhile, Time Magazine outlines the timeline with the overall case appeal in the 9th Circuit:

During this trial, lawyers will argue in front of three judges, who will then release a written opinion.  This court has a reputation for having liberal judges, but the three judges are chosen randomly. Then, whatever side loses this appeal can file an “en banc” complaint to be heard in front of 11 judges on the court. None of this process has a deadline, so this saga could drag on for a while.

After the appeals court decides, then the losing side can ask the Supreme Court to take their case. This may come even instead of the “en banc” process. Legal battles could have gone on for a year before this happens. Legal experts say the Supreme Court will probably take this case, but it may not if the appeals court reverses Walker’s decision or voters reverse Prop. 8 at the ballot. That, after all this time in court, would render any decision moot.

As an aside, it may feel like individual activists out here are powerless over this case. A number of friends expressed that to me last night, that all they can do is cross their fingers. I don’t think that’s true at all. As my colleague Evan Wolfson at Freedom to Marry likes to say, the best thing to do is to use every moment between now and the 9th Circuit hearing, and a potential Supreme Court hearing, to win more states and move public opinion in order to create a climate and momentum that will maximize our chances. And there are lots of things we can all do to create that kind of environment, from talking to friends/family/colleagues to calling into radio shows and writing on a blog or in a newspaper to getting involved with electing candidates who will support marriage, like in the New York State Senate, where we are closer than ever to a win on enacting the freedom to marry in my home state. We all play a role, however small.

102 Comments

  • 1. Anna Bryan  |  August 5, 2010 at 4:36 am

    I think you actually have to have a reason for an appeal. This doesn't state any reason. Judge Walker claimed "X", but it's actually "Y".

    I think it's just a placeholder and that they have to file an amended appeal.

  • 2. Ann S.  |  August 5, 2010 at 4:36 am

    Anna, you're probably right.

  • 3. Rhonda  |  August 5, 2010 at 4:42 am

    My understanding is they automatically get an appeal hearing, just not automatic for full 9th district appeal board or SCOTUS.

    <3 Rhonda

  • 4. Sagesse  |  August 5, 2010 at 4:47 am

    Subscribing.

  • 5. Carole L Vincent  |  August 5, 2010 at 4:55 am

    Isn't there a chance that the State of Mass. challenge to DOMA might reach the Supreme Court first, ultimately making the Prop. 8 repeal unnecessary?

  • 6. Alan E.  |  August 5, 2010 at 5:05 am

    Subscribing.

  • 7. Alan E.  |  August 5, 2010 at 5:06 am

    No because the DOMA case is only about the Feds recognizing the state's decisions (individually) about what constitutes a marriage.

  • 8. Ann S.  |  August 5, 2010 at 5:11 am

    But DOMA also denies a number of federal benefits on the basis of the sex of the spouses. I wonder if the SCOTUS might combine the two cases. The issues are similar — can either Congress or a state enact legislation denying citizens the benefit of marriage based on the sex of the spouses?

  • 9. Harriet Forman  |  August 5, 2010 at 5:13 am

    Can anyone help me access the archive and read the post re: SCOTUS text re the Texas sodomy case?

  • 10. Bolt  |  August 5, 2010 at 5:16 am

    This is a bit off topic, but who gets to pay the legal tab? Did Walker settle that issue? I hope the state of California isn't stuck with the legal fees. The proponents threw themselves into this, and they should be expected to pay for it.

  • 11. Bolt  |  August 5, 2010 at 5:18 am

    Go to google, and type in Lawrence v. Texas. Your first option will be wikipedia. Links galore.

  • 12. Dave in CA  |  August 5, 2010 at 5:22 am

    Just want to say – the St. Louis stop tonight should be a doozie?

  • 13. l8r_g8r  |  August 5, 2010 at 5:23 am

    The notice of appeal is just something telling the other parties that they are going to appeal. It is entirely procedural. They have some time before they have to submit briefs that say why they're appealing and should prevail.

  • 14. Kevin  |  August 5, 2010 at 5:25 am

    @Ann: The Supreme Court cannot combine the DoMA cases decided by Judge Tauro and Perry v. Schwarzenegger because they present two distinct legal questions.

    @Harriet: It's easier to just read the decision: http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?…

    @Bolt: California will not pay legal fees since Attorney General Brown and Governor Schwarzenegger refused to defend the suit. Cooper's legal team is independently financed, as are the Plaintiffs led by attorneys Olson and Boies.

  • 15. Elsie  |  August 5, 2010 at 5:28 am

    There are no "automatic" appeals except in death penalty cases.

    The parties have what is called "an appeal of right" which only means that IF a party appeals the decision of a lower court the appeal court MUST hear the appeal. The "en banc" appeal is discretionary, as is the writ granting certiorari to the SCOTUS, meaning that the court can decline to hear any further appeal.

    Depending upon the 9th Circuit's preference the court could decide the appeal with out a live "hearing" (oral argument) and just permit briefing to the court, but the court is almost certain to permit oral argument in this case because of its high profile.

  • 16. Kathleen  |  August 5, 2010 at 5:31 am

    I wouldn't expect them to combine the two cases. While some of the arguments overlap, they really involve different questions. One asks whether the federal government can refuse to extend federal benefits to couples recognized as married in their individual states; the other asks whether a state con deny marriage to ss couples in the first place. But I could be wrong (in case you didn't know that) :)

  • 17. Kathleen  |  August 5, 2010 at 5:32 am

    Was that ever an issue? I wasn't aware of Proponents asking for their legal fees to be paid by the state.

  • 18. Elsie  |  August 5, 2010 at 5:33 am

    I beg to differ. The SCOTUS can combined any case they choose, but will likely decline unless the issues can be resolved in a single opinion. Besides, the DOMA case hasn't been heard by the 1st Circuit yet. The SCOTUS may not even grant cert in that case.

  • 19. Owen  |  August 5, 2010 at 5:36 am

    So they could just skip en banc review and go directly to the Supreme Court?

    What are the odds of this happening, and who would make the decision for this to happen?

  • 20. Kevin  |  August 5, 2010 at 5:38 am

    You can differ, but they still won't do it.

  • 21. Dave in ME  |  August 5, 2010 at 5:50 am

    Me, too, Sagesse!

    Dave

  • 22. JonT  |  August 5, 2010 at 5:50 am

    This just in from the Ministry of Propaganda:
    http://themop.info/love.html

    :)

  • 23. Anne B.  |  August 5, 2010 at 5:56 am

    Remember – one way we can support Olson and Boies is by donating to AFER! I will be donating to them for the appeal, although haven't done it yet.

    And of course I'll be donating again to Courage Campaign to keep this web site going!

    Anne

  • 24. Harriet Forman  |  August 5, 2010 at 6:01 am

    Actually I was looking for the quote on this blog, P8TT, re the Texas case.

  • 25. Bolt  |  August 5, 2010 at 6:40 am

    I think it was an issue presented last year, in July. Do you know who will pay the legal fees, or when?

    I don't know if the proponents have asked California to pay for their legal services. It would align with their behavior, because they don't want to take responsibility for anything they've done.

  • 26. Straight Ally #3008  |  August 5, 2010 at 6:49 am

    The fundamentalists are terrified – not so much at the prospect of two men or two women getting legally married, but of losing their means of financial support. Check out the mission statement of organizations like the American Family Association, Focus on the Family, Spam Spam Family Family and Spam, etc., and most of the talking points are about suppression of all things LGBT. If they get equal rights, what the heck are they supposed to do, find an honest living?

  • 27. Dave P.  |  August 5, 2010 at 6:51 am

    KAGAN CONFIRMED TO SCOTUS: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38570191/ns/politics-

  • 28. Dave P.  |  August 5, 2010 at 6:53 am

    I hope so! Party on, St. Louis! And tell us all about it!

  • 29. Dave P.  |  August 5, 2010 at 6:54 am

    "Spam Spam Family Family and Spam"

    Ha HAA! : ) Love this.

  • 30. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 5, 2010 at 7:03 am

    i started a blog in March because of this site. I have long been vocal about letting folks know the importance of marriage equality, and in my current situation it is even more crucial. Now if someone can give me some help getting more readers to the blog. My blog may not be all that glamorous, but it is still vital. you see, i concentrate on what actually happens in our life here at the house and wherever we have to go. My blog is all about showing folks what "the gay lifestyle" is all about for us. Ours is not glamorous, but it is our life–dogs, family , and all. to preview it, just click on my name here.

  • 31. Ann S.  |  August 5, 2010 at 7:16 am

    Did anyone else go here and watch the deposition of William Tam?
    https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/cand/09cv2292/evide

    There's a good bit around 22:40, where he talks about SSM being "in the air" and so his daughter's friends thought they would experiment with lesbianism because they couldn't get dates with boys.

    There's an earlier bit where he talks about a group of "gay leaders" getting together in a meeting in 1972 and setting the "gay agenda". How does he know?

    ALL TOGETHER NOW:

    He read it "on the internet"!

  • 32. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  August 5, 2010 at 7:17 am

    But I DON'T like spam……..

  • 33. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  August 5, 2010 at 7:18 am

    I have been Gay all my life (48 yrs)…I have yet to be given my copy of 'our agenda'
    gimmie gimmie gimmie

  • 34. Lesbians Love Boies  |  August 5, 2010 at 7:19 am

    ditto

  • 35. Seraphiel  |  August 5, 2010 at 7:20 am

    Can the appellate court decline to hear the case?

    If the bigots' brief there is as sloppy and irrational as their work in the trial itself, they'd only be wasting the court's time with a full hearing and everything else.

  • 36. ElsieH  |  August 5, 2010 at 7:22 am

    Just subscribing and a disclaimer. Looks like someone has joined our community also using the handle of Elsie. To avoid confusion I'll be ElsieH from now on. I'm the one with no legal knowledge or opinion what so ever.

  • 37. Straight Grandmother  |  August 5, 2010 at 7:24 am

    Oh we had quite a bit of fun with Dr Tam when he was testifying and we were all reading the live blogging during the trial. He doesn't jsut get it generically fromt he internet he gets it from NARTH. I htink he made a statement on the stand, "I believe in NARTH" of course that lead into the Darth Vador comments and light sabers etc. Our posters here were quite hysterical with their comments to Dr. Tam's testimony.

  • 38. Straight Grandmother  |  August 5, 2010 at 7:27 am

    Are you the Elsie who commented that we should shout out at the NOM Summer of hate rallies? (What is the plural of rally?) Did you say something similar to if this was the KKK we would not be holding silent protests or off site protests. Well NOM is the KKK to Marriage Equality. I'm paraphrasing here. Is that you ElsieH or jsut plain old Elsie?

  • 39. JakeInPhx  |  August 5, 2010 at 7:33 am

    Er, 1st Circuit ('cause it's Massachusetts) or 4th Circuit ('cause it's Federal)?

  • 40. Ann S.  |  August 5, 2010 at 7:35 am

    More good news from Mexico, and who're these good-lookin' guys I keep seeing?
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/05/mexico-g

  • 41. Sagesse  |  August 5, 2010 at 7:38 am

    SG, all Python references greatly appreciated. Very clever.

  • 42. Alan E.  |  August 5, 2010 at 7:48 am

    Hey Dpeck, there was a picture of us from behind the same time we were getting our picture taken by my husband.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jasonbentley/4863061

  • 43. ElsieH  |  August 5, 2010 at 7:51 am

    Yes, I'm that Elsie, now known as ElsieH. Although I've calmed down now and think that different situations require tactics. For anyone interested I've posted pictures of the Castro celebration on my flickr account. There was easily a thousand people. The Chronicle called it several hundred but they may have done there count at City Hall by which point a lot of people have dropped out. It's over a mile's walk from the Castro to City Hall.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/25872614@N02/

  • 44. ElsieH  |  August 5, 2010 at 7:52 am

    Doh, darn, not edit button. I meant to say that I think different situations require different tactics.

  • 45. nightshayde  |  August 5, 2010 at 7:55 am

    On a related thought, I'm still wondering if they threw the trial in order to keep the right wing voters and their dollars flowing.

    They know their arguments (being religious in nature) can not be honored in a secular court — so they're really just hoping to bring out the rabid fundies to keep voting against equality supporters (and pretty much anything the current administration supports).

    If they truly wanted to win the case in California, wouldn't they have at least tried to produce witnesses who sounded as if they know what they're talking about?

  • 46. AndrewPDX  |  August 5, 2010 at 7:59 am

    Say…
    In the previous thread, Anonymous pointed out that Maggie's opinion in sfgate makes refernce to a similar case in Nebraska. Courious, I Googled and found this:
    http://www.ca8.uscourts.gov/opndir/06/07/052604P…. (I hope I did the link right).

    In the Nebraska case, the Appellate judges seem to come to very different conclusions than Walker did here. I know nothing about law, 'cept what's in IMDB under Law&Order and Matlock, so can someone with more knowledge tell us how, if at all, this could be used against AFER in Appeal?

    Love,
    Andrew

  • 47. Ronnie  |  August 5, 2010 at 8:03 am

    double ditto….lol…<3…Ronnie

  • 48. nightshayde  |  August 5, 2010 at 8:18 am

    I'm also not a lawyer, but …

    It looks like the Nebraska case was decided differently because the Judge accepted the whole procreation argument as being a rational reason for encouraging heterosexual marriage (i.e. same-sex partners can not produce children, therefore don't "need" marriage the same way people who can accidentally produce children do).

    I have no idea what testimony/evidence was presented at that trial & maybe that's where the difference comes in. If the attorneys representing the marriage equality side didn't refute the claims about procreation being the reason for marriage, maybe the judge really had no choice.

  • 49. Owen  |  August 5, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Right off the bat, I see something about the challenge referring to the same-sex marriage ban in Nebraska as a bill of attainder.

    That would seem to be an argument distinct from the one being made in the prop. 8 case, and a much more difficult argument at that.

  • 50. Owen  |  August 5, 2010 at 8:23 am

    Addendum: I'm not a lawyer either – just positing something based on layperson's knowledge. :)

  • 51. Don in Texas  |  August 5, 2010 at 8:23 am

    America's best Christian, Mrs. Betty Bowers of the Landover Baptist Church, has discovered the Homosexual Agenda and posted it for the world to see.
    http://www.bettybowers.com/homoagenda.html

  • 52. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 5, 2010 at 8:24 am

    And could someone please email me the text version so i can use the translator to put it in Hebrew for BZ? Neither one of us ever got our copy either.

  • 53. JakeInPhx  |  August 5, 2010 at 8:25 am

    Having read through the Nebraska thing, I saw that it was argued and overturned on 1st Amendment grounds, not the 14th.

    Legal experts, what say youse?

  • 54. Owen  |  August 5, 2010 at 8:30 am

    Here's another interesting tidbit:

    "Relying primarily on Romer, Appellees argue that § 29 violates the Equal Protection Clause because it raises an insurmountable political barrier to same-sex couples obtaining the many governmental and private sector benefits that are based upon a legally valid marriage relationship. Appellees do not assert a right to marriage or same-sex unions. Rather, they seek “a level playing field, an equal opportunity to convince the people’s elected representatives that same-sex relationships deserve legal protection.”"

    So the basis of argument by the equality side in that case appears to be very different from that argued in this case. The equality group seemed to argue that the amendment was an attack on their political power, whereas the prop. 8 case is based on the constitutional guarantee of the right to marry.

  • 55. Ann S.  |  August 5, 2010 at 8:33 am

    I am a lawyer, but this is NOT my area of expertise.

    It looks as though they used an equal protection analysis and decided to use a rational basis analysis for the statute (so, no "suspect class"). Then they bought the "responsible procreation" argument.

  • 56. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 5, 2010 at 8:34 am

    The first Circuit, because that is the Federal circuit of Appeals that includes MA.

  • 57. jc  |  August 5, 2010 at 8:36 am

    as always i'm off topic…here's an interesting poll fox news in conducting(or as some like to call them 'faux' news):
    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/08/04/decide-

    my favorite line is 'shouldn't the voters views count for something?'. as if it were 100% of voters who set prop 8 into motion….gosh, we all know there was no one who might have voted against it, so i guess there are no views from that perspective…how idiotic!

    i found this link through one of my subscribed science blogs, pharyngula. i don't know how many of the subscribers are gay, but it's fantastic to see the support of so many people in the comments section…here' s that link if anyone is interested:
    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/08/foxnew

    i figure i see so much vitriol and poison directed at 'us' that it's such a relief to find support in unexpected places…

  • 58. jc  |  August 5, 2010 at 8:38 am

    ". I know nothing about law, ‘cept what’s in IMDB under Law&Order and Matlock,"

    is there any more to know? :) lol! i hate to embarrass myself, but i enjoy matlock!

  • 59. Dpeck  |  August 5, 2010 at 8:40 am

    Woo Hoo! I just got the LAST TICKET to see Boise speak tonight at the Commonwealth Club in SF !! I'm leaving for BART in an hour, I'll post back later & tell you about it.

  • 60. jc  |  August 5, 2010 at 8:40 am

    oh, also i recommend going to boxturtlebulletin.com and reading their latest articles…especially any with 'schadenfreude' in the title!

  • 61. Rhonda  |  August 5, 2010 at 8:46 am

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/doug-molitor/prop-8

  • 62. Alan E.  |  August 5, 2010 at 8:50 am

    The first few pages claim that no injury was actually caused to the plaintiffs ("Appellants"). They don't show what evidence says that, but Walker's ruling lists quite a lot of evidence to the contrary.

    It then quotes Romer v. Evans on the basis that nothing was ever taken away from the gays (using this ironically but also for shorthand to make it easier for me; please don't hate) because they were gay. Prop 8 specifically took away the right to marriage from the gays. It tries to quote "a single named group," but we all know who that group is. It's sort of a *wink wink nudge nudge* situation without actually saying it and claiming they weren't targeting the gays specifically. It appears as if the appellants primarily used Romer as their grounds. Prop 8 used Romer plus a plethora of other evidence to support the case from all angles.

    It looks like the appellants tried to make the exact same argument as the Romer case, but since the Supreme Court did not use the strict scrutiny to decide, that argument did not have precedence in the courts.

    The courts decided to use rational-basis review, something Walker said Prop 8 failed to pass. The court says that it does pass for a few reasons:
    1) It's up to the state to decide who can and cannot get married (no argument from me)
    2) "steering procreation into marriage," "encourage procreation to take place within the socially recognized unit that is best situated for raising children," and everyone's favorite "responsible procreation." [Judge Walker could not find any basis for this except for it being pulled out of mid-air. I think this is one of many cases that the Yes on 8 side looked at to justify using this approach. Since there was no evidence to back this claim, Walker dismissed it as such]
    3) This court found that this claim does not discriminate against the gays but instead limits it to 1 man and 1 woman. This logic doesn't necessarily follow, but there was plenty of evidence in the Prop 8 case to show that they indeed mean the same thing, especially since this was in direct response to the state supreme court's ruling.

    I don't have time to go on much further, but many of the claims in this case were thoroughly refuted in the Prop 8 case with mountains of evidence.

  • 63. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  August 5, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Oh, I missed a new post again :(
    But I heard about appeal!
    Yay!
    We got 'em, baby!

  • 64. AndrewPDX  |  August 5, 2010 at 9:02 am

    Yeah… I've been thinking this same thing for a while… It's devious, insidious, and too crazy to not be true.

    And they claim to be afraid of OUR 'agenda'?

    *shakes head in bewilderment*

    Love,
    Andrew

  • 65. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 5, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Darn it, Don! Now I can't stop laughing! And I have to drive in a few minutes.

  • 66. Phil L  |  August 5, 2010 at 9:07 am

    But doesen't such a thing destroy their chance at a successful appeal? I thought that the appeal process was conducted based on the case as it was originally presented without permitting new testimony or evidence?

  • 67. Owen  |  August 5, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Any news from the St. Louis rally?

  • 68. AndrewPDX  |  August 5, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Awesome :) thanks for letting me borrow your eyeballs to read this thing. I figure if it's important enough for Maggie to mention, we should at least be prepared to rebut her conclusions with facts instead of just dismissing it out-of-hand. We are better than that.

    Thanks, @anonymous for directing me to this, and thank you Maggie for mentioning it!

    Love,
    Andrew

    Love,
    Andrew

  • 69. AndrewPDX  |  August 5, 2010 at 9:37 am

    @Phil L,
    If they can get the religious Reich rabid enough, and NOM can drain them of all their money, and spend it all (barring Brian's salary, of course), they can influence campaigns and get all the 'activist' judges replaced with those who agree with them.
    Then, after they take over the US, they can take over the world!!! (imagining Maggie laughing maniacally)

    Love,
    Andrew

  • 70. Victoria  |  August 5, 2010 at 10:02 am

    I really hate the feeling that my right to marry who I choose is going to be left to ONE person's swing vote on a panel chosen by politicians….some who left years ago and some who have done way more harm to the country then good. For some odd reason, this is really upsetting me today. That we can go through all of this…have the right argument…the perfect argument…the constitutional argument…have the moral argument…and have it all be subjected to a swing vote.

    I mean I always knew the day would come…just never thought it would be in front of a panel this much up in the air on the issue. Let's all hope some of these legislatures wake up. Let's all hope more and more countries allow SSM. We need more momentum. We need to be more vocal and obvious with our non-scary love. We need to start making A LOT of calls. 😉

  • 71. Kathleen  |  August 5, 2010 at 10:06 am

    What quote are you looking for? Something from the decision?

  • 72. Victoria  |  August 5, 2010 at 10:07 am

    That said…how cool would it be to get a helicopter for a half hour to fly over NOM for some lovely arial shots of their non-existent 'rallies.' Total pipe dream I know…maybe just tall buildings? lol We don't have to stand close to observe the numbers…and goodness knows, we all know what the message is…

  • 73. Harriet Forman  |  August 5, 2010 at 10:12 am

    P8TT was reporting on the SCOTUS dissent of Scalia, I think. I was looking for that section of the P8TT blog.

  • 74. Kathleen  |  August 5, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Frankly, can't see how they'd be able to get the state to pay. the state chose not to defend the case. It's not up to the state to pay for someone to defend it. Do you have references to the request being made? I'd like to read it, if you know where it was discussed.

  • 75. Kathleen  |  August 5, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Can the appellate court decline to hear the case?
    No. There is a right to appeal from a federal district court to the appropriate Circuit Court of Appeals. All appeals after that are at the discretion of the courts.

  • 76. Kathleen  |  August 5, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Did it again! The italics were supposed to just be around the question. My answer starts at "No."

  • 77. Kathleen  |  August 5, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Thanks for the pictures. They're great!

  • 78. Breaking the Silence  |  August 5, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Done :^)

  • 79. Breaking the Silence  |  August 5, 2010 at 11:14 am

    LOL & good point! That also brought to mind a line regarding these people's need to maintain some sort of enemy or threat in the real world which provides a perceived need for the guidance and protection of their other-worldly beliefs- "…And what's the good of moral outrage unless you have something tangible to direct it against?" -Reverend Jonathan Whirley (bad guy) Dragnet, 1987.

  • 80. Kathleen  |  August 5, 2010 at 11:22 am

    So they could just skip en banc review and go directly to the Supreme Court?
    Yes. There is no requirement that the a circuit court of appeals grant en banc review. It is entirely at the Court's discretion whether or not to grant en banc review. The only guaranteed appeal is to the 3 judge panel.

    What are the odds of this happening,
    Of all the cases which go to a federal circuit court of appeals, the percentage of cases that are granted en banc review is extremely small. That said, this case might be of significant enough import that it would be granted.

    who would make the decision for this to happen?
    In general, it is one of the parties to the suit who request an en banc review and then the court decides if it is willing to grant the request.

    However, I think there are mechanisms in place where the court itself can initiate the en banc review – either as a rehearing after the 3 judge panel has reviewed it, or as the form of the initial appeal to the circuit court. I'm not absolutely sure about this. … as always, weak in matters of procedure.

  • 81. Kathleen  |  August 5, 2010 at 11:37 am

    I don't think they intentionally threw this case. I think they did the best they could to find witnesses and present evidence. The simple fact is there aren't any credible witnesses that support their position and the evidence is all against them.

    If you follow all the various cases around the country where marriage and adoption laws are being challenged, you discover that the ADF and related crowd mostly call on the same group of 'experts' over and over. Sadly (<–imagine sarcasm font), one of their 'experts' lost his credibility when he hired a rent boy to 'lift his luggage.'

    You know the adoption case in Florida? A number of documents were released under the state's freedom of information acts, and from those you get a real inside look at how they find these people.

    One of the greatest services Walker did our community was insisting on a trial with witnesses and a thorough evidentiary record. That is what has been missing in so many other challenges. By doing that, he exposed the emperor's nakedness in a way it never has been before.

  • 82. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 5, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Thanks, Rhonda! I can always count on someone here at P8TT to give me at least one good belly laugh a day, and you did it. And this isn't the first time for you either! Way to GO!!!

  • 83. Kathleen  |  August 5, 2010 at 11:43 am

    I discussed my take on it somewhere, too – but must be another post. Maybe you can find it.

  • 84. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 5, 2010 at 11:58 am

    @ AndrewPDX: i heard her laughing once when I was listening to some panel discussion she was on, so I don't have to imagine her laughing maniacally. That laugh was maniacal.

  • 85. Kathleen  |  August 5, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    I'm only just catching up with posts and realize this is old news, but CONGRATULATIONS!! We want a FULL report. :)

  • 86. Kathleen  |  August 5, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Are you just looking for the text of Scalia's dissent in Lawrence v Texas? If so, you can find it here: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/02-102.ZD.h

  • 87. Dpeck  |  August 5, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    Hi Kathleen,

    Just got home from the Commonwealth Club – I'll add a new post about it under the current comment thread. But in short – it was great!!

  • 88. What is this “Const&hellip  |  August 5, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    […] is this “Constitution” of which you speak? Read this in a newspaper article quoted over at the Prop 8 Trial Tracker: [1] U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker ruled the law violates federal equal protections and […]

  • 89. Franck  |  August 5, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Whoa there, now that's impressive. Last time I checked the pro-equality side on that poll was just a bit ahead of the opposing sides. Right now the difference has gone over 40% (69% for the ruling/26% against) – way to go!

    I finally got to read the full text of the ruling at home yesterday. I did let out an amused snort or even a chuckle, many times. I haven't read something that captivating in a long while!

    – Franck P. Rabeson
    Days spent apart from my fiancé because of DOMA: 1141 days, as of today.

  • 90. Kathleen  |  August 5, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    I'm soooo jealous! Can't wait to hear.

  • 91. Dpeck  |  August 5, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    …. had to take a break for an hour and watch The Daily Show and Colbert Report. My new post is up now in the current thread..

  • 92. John  |  August 5, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    I haven't read all comments, so maybe someone already posted this:
    http://blogs.ajc.com/mike-luckovich/2010/08/05/86

  • 93. John  |  August 5, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    Found another one along the same line, sorry if it has already been posted!
    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/tomtoles/

    It's the cartoon of 8/6/10

  • 94. Scotty B  |  August 5, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    What gets me the most is Slaggie and her ilk keep claiming that one judge overturned the will of 7 million Californians. Hate to tell you Slaggs but not all 7 million voted for Prop 8. only about 3.6 million did. So if you take that number and figure the real percentage of Californian's that voted for P8, it is less than 10% of California, not much of a majority there. CA has a population of over 36.5 million people and only 9% of those voted for P8. So Judge Walker did not overturn the will of the majority in CA, he just rectified the wrong that 3.6 million religious zelots put in place.

  • 95. Kathleen  |  August 6, 2010 at 1:45 am

    Brilliant!

  • 96. Sagesse  |  August 6, 2010 at 2:17 am

    I luv Tom Toles.

  • 97. Kathleen  |  August 6, 2010 at 2:35 am

    Not sure where you got your figures, but the official numbers from the State of California are here: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/sov/2008_general/
    7,001,084 (52.30%) For
    6,401,482 (47.70%) Against

  • 98. Alan E.  |  August 6, 2010 at 2:38 am

    I wrote up an extensive statistical analysis months ago. Your numbers are way off as Kathleen has pointed out.
    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=34543597

    Let me know if you can't read it and I'll post it here again.

  • 99. Fag Ben  |  August 6, 2010 at 4:15 am

    fags united!

  • 100. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 6, 2010 at 6:17 am

    Count this one in, Ben. Should I bring my rewrite of "Redneck Woman" to the party?

  • 101. Fag Ben  |  August 6, 2010 at 6:54 am

    sure sounds fantasic!

  • 102. The Wedding Matters: Whic&hellip  |  August 12, 2010 at 7:21 am

    […] our side in this court case, that all they could do was cross their fingers and hope for the best. I wrote here at Prop 8 Trial Tracker: I don’t think that’s true at all. As my colleague Evan Wolfson at Freedom to Marry likes to […]

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