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Supreme Court Schedules Conference to Consider Taking Up Prop 8 Case

The Supreme Court announces on its website that the Prop 8 case (now known as Hollingsworth v. Perry after Prop 8 proponent Dennis Hollingsworth) has been scheduled for a conference on September 24 at which the Court will consider whether or not to take up the appeal.  The conference is not a hearing on the merits of the Prop 8 case, but rather a private meeting of the Justices to decide whether or not the Court should even hear the case, whether it can hand down a ruling without oral arguments, or whether it should deny the petition for review altogether.

Because of the summer recess, during which applications for Supreme Court review tend to pile up, the September 24 conference is a very busy one, and there is no set timeline in which the Court must announce its decision on the Prop 8 case.  Orders about which cases will be heard are usually handed down on Mondays, although in rare occasions they can be handed down the day after conferences are held.

If the Supreme Court denies the petition for review, the Ninth Circuit’s appellate decision stands, and Proposition 8 is invalidated, although such a decision would not set any nationwide precedent, since the Ninth Circuit limited its ruling specifically to California. If the high court decides to review the case, it is assigned a date for oral argument, and a decision on the merits would be handed down by the end of June 2013.

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