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Prop 8 Oral Arguments: Five choices

Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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3/27/2013 5:33:20 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
There's been pretty dismal coverage of Hollingsworth v Perry, so I thought I'd give everyone a quick update on the choices the Supreme Court has:

1. No standing- SCOTUS says the plaintiffs have no fiduciary requirements and so cannot represent the State.

2. Overturn Lower Court- Gay marriage can lead to unforseeable bad consequences and should be left to the states to decide as an experiment. The purpose of marriage is procreation (these are what the lawyers said)

3. Narrowest Ruling- California law says gays can adopt children, so the procreation attack is baseless. Thus, California lower court ruling stands.

4. Narrow Ruling- This one is interesting. If a state gives a group of people a classification/status under certain conditions, they automatically qualify as protected under the 14th amendment equality. California as well as seven or eight other states have taken the legislative steps for this to occur. If marriage is a fundamental right (which previous courts have said it is), then every state that recognizes gays as a class are legally forced to recognize gay marriage.

5. Broad Ruling- Gays have 14th amendment equality status on a federal level. All states must allow gay marriage.

1 is a pundit favorite, but horrifically unlikely. My guess is pundits think this because each lawyer got peppered initially about standing. But they've already granted cert, so it's pretty unlikely this will happen.

2 may happen, although the arguments were embarrassingly weak as to what harm gay marriage could cause. This didn't stop Scalia from literally coaching the plaintiff in why gay marriage was bad.

3 is unlikely. It would have similar effects to 4 but lacks a 14th amendment justification.

4 is what I think is the most likely decision other than overturning the lower court.

5 won't fly.
YYW
Posts: 36,375
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3/27/2013 5:36:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/27/2013 5:33:20 PM, Wnope wrote:
There's been pretty dismal coverage of Hollingsworth v Perry, so I thought I'd give everyone a quick update on the choices the Supreme Court has:

1. No standing- SCOTUS says the plaintiffs have no fiduciary requirements and so cannot represent the State.

I thought this was the most likely outcome before I heard oral arguments -though I don't see why SCOTUS would grant ceri if they were going to dismiss it on procedural grounds. Though, if they do dismiss it on procedural grounds (and I think Scalia's dissent will focus on this issue one way or another), it will be because they were unwilling/afraid to tackle the issue.

2. Overturn Lower Court- Gay marriage can lead to unforseeable bad consequences and should be left to the states to decide as an experiment. The purpose of marriage is procreation (these are what the lawyers said)

3. Narrowest Ruling- California law says gays can adopt children, so the procreation attack is baseless. Thus, California lower court ruling stands.

This is probable, though the logic is frustrating (as Roberts and Kennedy made a point to address in oral arguments).

4. Narrow Ruling- This one is interesting. If a state gives a group of people a classification/status under certain conditions, they automatically qualify as protected under the 14th amendment equality. California as well as seven or eight other states have taken the legislative steps for this to occur. If marriage is a fundamental right (which previous courts have said it is), then every state that recognizes gays as a class are legally forced to recognize gay marriage.

5. Broad Ruling- Gays have 14th amendment equality status on a federal level. All states must allow gay marriage.

1 is a pundit favorite, but horrifically unlikely. My guess is pundits think this because each lawyer got peppered initially about standing. But they've already granted cert, so it's pretty unlikely this will happen.

2 may happen, although the arguments were embarrassingly weak as to what harm gay marriage could cause. This didn't stop Scalia from literally coaching the plaintiff in why gay marriage was bad.

3 is unlikely. It would have similar effects to 4 but lacks a 14th amendment justification.

4 is what I think is the most likely decision other than overturning the lower court.

5 won't fly.
Tsar of DDO