A three-judge panel of 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday to seek the assistance of the Supreme Court of California in determining whether the proponents of Proposition 8 have legal standing to defend the measure, according to Reuters.
In August, U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker struck down California’s ban on gay marriage stating that it violated the constitution by denying plaintiffs a fundamental right. During the trial, supporters of Prop 8 were represented by attorneys for then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and then-Attorney General and current Gov. Jerry Brown. After Judge Walker overturned Proposition 8, both Schwarzenegger and Brown refused to appeal Walker’s ruling, stating that they believed Prop 8 was unconstitutional.
The question before the Supreme Court now is whether Prop 8 supporters, led by Protect Marriage, have the authority to represent the voters who approved the ban.
According to Keen News Service, if the California Supreme Court decides that the proponents of Prop 8 do not have legal standing to defend the measure, Judge Walker’s ruling will stand and same-sex marriage will become legal in California. Alternatively, if the state’s high court determines that Yes on 8 does have the necessary legal standing, the case will be returned to the Ninth Circuit for a final ruling.
Regardless of how California’s high court rules, the case is ultimately expected to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
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