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Prop. 8 Backers Demand Review Of Gay Marriage Case

Publication Date: 
February 24, 2012
The Salt Lake Tribune
Lisa Leff

Professor Jane Shachter contributed to the discussion over whether or not the Prop 8 battle would make its way to the US Supreme Court. Lisa Leff of the Salt Lake Tribune reported the following story.

Same-sex couples in California will have to wait a while to find out if they have regained the right to get married, after the backers of the state’s gay marriage ban petitioned a federal appeals court to review a split decision by three of its judges that struck down Proposition 8.

Lawyers for a coalition of religious and legal groups on Tuesday asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear the 2-1 decision that declared the voter-approved ban to be a violation of the federal civil rights of gay and lesbian Californians, opting for now to avoid taking their chances with the U.S. Supreme Court.


Stanford University law professor Jane Schacter said that while the 9th Circuit does not often reverse the decisions of member judges, Prop. 8 backers might believe a ruling by a bigger appeals court panel could yield a decision more likely to pique the interest of the Supreme Court. The two judges who rejected Prop. 8 two weeks ago focused their decision exclusively on California's ban, even though the court has jurisdiction in nine western states.


"If the en banc decision was broad, it might be more likely to draw attention of the Supreme Court because it would be a decision with national reverberations," Schacter said.