October 22, 2011
It's December 2011. Two months ago, the California Supreme Court ruled on the certified question and held that under the unique circumstances that this case presents - neither the Governor nor the Attorney General will defend the constitutionality of an initiative measure that the voters adopted and there are parties and counsel who will - appellants do have standing to appeal the district court's judgment declaring Proposition 8 unconstitutional. The California Supreme Court's opinion in that case is now final, and, as standing is a matter of state law, that decision forecloses appellees' challenge to standing in the Ninth Circuit. The matter has now returned to the Ninth Circuit for a decision on the merits - i.e., whether Judge Walker correctly held that Proposition 8 "unconstitutionally burdens the exercise of the fundamental right to marry and create an irrational classification on the basis of sexual orientation." Oral argument having been heard, the panel must now turn to the task of crafting an opinion. The panel consists of five AAAL Fellows, all former State Supreme Court Justices. They will conference the case and decide how to proceed.