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California Supreme Court Case Study



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The Supreme Court of California: The Death Penalty

George Hugh Niederauer as Archbishop of San Francisco campaigned in in favor of the Proposition, and claimed to have been instrumental in forging alliances between Catholics and Mormons to support the measure. He also attended and addressed the audience at the "March for Marriage", a rally opposing marriage for same-sex couples, in Washington, D. The First Presidency of the church announced its support for Proposition 8 in a letter intended to be read in every congregation in California. In this letter, church members were encouraged to "do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time".

In the months leading up to Election Day , Proposition 8 supporters released a commercial featuring San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom stating in a speech regarding same-sex marriage: "This door's wide open now. It's going to happen, whether you like it or not. Opponents argued that "the freedom to marry is fundamental to our society", that the California constitution "should guarantee the same freedom and rights to everyone", and that the proposition "mandates one set of rules for gay and lesbian couples and another set for everyone else". They also argued that "equality under the law is a fundamental constitutional guarantee" see Equal Protection Clause. Equality for All was the lead organization opposed to Proposition 8.

Some non-partisan organizations and corporations, as well as the editorial boards of many of the state's major newspapers, also opposed the measure. Democratic presidential nominee and U. Senator Barack Obama stated that while he personally considered marriage to be between a man and woman, [] and supported civil unions that confer comparable rights rather than gay marriage, [] he opposed "divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution Constitution or those of other states".

House Speaker , California Representative 8th District , Nancy Pelosi [] along with other members of the California congressional delegation and both of California's U. All six Episcopal diocesan bishops in California jointly issued a statement opposing Proposition 8 on September 10, In addition, the California Council of Churches urged the "immediate removal of Proposition 8"—saying that it infringes on the freedom of religion for churches who wish to bless same-sex unions.

The League of Women Voters of California opposed Proposition 8 because "no person or group should suffer legal, economic or administrative discrimination". A coalition of Silicon Valley executives urged a 'No' vote on Proposition 8. Many members of the entertainment industry were opposed to Proposition 8. Brad Pitt and Steven Spielberg each donated different amounts of money to the opposition campaign "No on 8".

All ten of the state's largest newspapers editorialized against Proposition 8, including the Los Angeles Times , [] and the San Francisco Chronicle. After the election, a number of protests were held against the referendum's passing. These included candlelight vigils outside organizations such as LDS churches that promoted the proposition. Boycotts were also a feature of public response to the outcome of the election. LGBT rights groups published lists of donors to the Yes on 8 campaign and organized boycotts of individuals or organizations who had promoted or donated to it. Some supporters of Proposition 8 reported receiving death threats , some of which claimed to be "stemming from Prop 8".

Fresno-area supporters of gay marriage were also harassed; "No On 8" signs at the Clovis Unitarian Universalist Church were torn up, with Reverend Bryan Jessup alleging that his church experienced vandalism "every night". Various opinion polls were conducted to estimate the outcome of the proposition. Those margins with differences less than their margins of error are marked as "n. Those margins considered statistically significant are indicated with the percentage points and the side favored in the poll, as either "pro" for in favor of the proposition's passage e. According to the director of the Field Poll, the discrepancy between the pre-election polls and ballot results is because "regular church-goers Amending the California Constitution by voter initiative requires a simple majority to be enacted.

Hispanic and Latino voters also voted for Proposition 8. Those who described themselves as religious were the strongest supporters of Prop 8. In California, a constitutional amendment passed by the electorate takes effect the day after the election. Following the passage of Proposition 8, mass protests took place across the state. These included protests outside the LDS Church's Los Angeles California Temple in Westwood, Los Angeles ; [] a march through Hollywood that blocked traffic and elicited police intervention; [] a candlelight vigil in front of the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center and a large demonstration in front of the state capitol.

These included protests outside a temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Westwood, Los Angeles ; [] a march through Hollywood that blocked traffic and elicited police intervention; [] and a candlelight vigil in front of the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center. On Sunday November 9 an estimated crowd of 4, people protested in front of the California State Capitol. Speakers who voiced their opinion in opposition of Proposition 8 included state senator Mark Leno and mayor Gavin Newsom.

The passage of Proposition 8 led to opponents responding by publicly shaming its supporters as bigots and boycotting supporters' businesses and employers. Protests in California were marred by racial incidents. Due to their support of Proposition 8, reported as high as 70 percent, some African Americans attending events were allegedly subjected to racial epithets and felt threatened. California Assembly Speaker Karen Bass stated she was disturbed by the treatment of African Americans in the aftermath of the passage of the proposition.

In reaction to the racial incidents, Evan Wolfson said, "In any fight, there will be people who say things they shouldn't say, but that shouldn't divert attention from what the vast majority are saying against this, that it's a terrible injustice. To protest the passage of Proposition 8, musical theatre composer Marc Shaiman wrote a satiric mini-musical called "Prop 8 — The Musical". It was directed by Adam Shankman. The video satirizes Christian churches that selectively pick and choose biblical doctrines to follow.

In , 8 , a play re-enacting the proceedings of Perry v. Brown in a condensed manner of documentary theatre , was premiered on Broadway. Church spokesman Scott Trotter denied the charges, saying the church had "fully complied with the reporting requirements" and a "further report will be filed on or before [ The Boston Herald reported on February 2, []. But in the filing made Friday, the Mormon church reported thousands in travel expenses, such as airline tickets , hotel rooms and car rentals for the campaign.

In a statement issued February 2, , the LDS Church responded to "erroneous news reports", saying its subsequent disclosure was "in no way prompted by an investigation by the California Fair Political Practices Commission," that "We believe we have complied with California law," and that the report's filing date met the January 31, deadline: []. The Church, like other organizations on both sides of the ballot issue, was required to publicly file these donations by the 31 January deadline. The Church has been filing required contribution reports throughout the campaign. Those earlier donations 'initially stated' were filed for specific time periods prior to this last reporting period, as required by law.

Other groups are also filing their final contribution reports to meet the same deadline. On January 7, , supporters of Proposition 8 filed a federal lawsuit to block public disclosure of their donations. Alleging threats against their lives as well as other forms of harassment, the lawsuit also requested a preliminary injunction that ordered the California Secretary of State to remove information about donations posted on its website.

Opponents of Proposition 8 called it "hypocritical" that its supporters would refer to their support of the measure as the "will of the people" while seeking to overturn voter-approved campaign disclosure laws. District Judge Morrison England, Jr. After the passage of Proposition 8, a number of lawsuits were filed by against the state and state officials with the intent of overturning the measure and arguing that Proposition 8 should not have retroactive effect on existing same-sex marriages. On November 13, , the California Supreme Court asked California Attorney General Jerry Brown for an opinion on whether the Court should accept these cases for review and whether the measure should be suspended while they decide the case.

On November 19, the Court accepted three lawsuits challenging Proposition 8 but denied the requests to stay its enforcement. Oral arguments were held on March 5, On Tuesday May 26 the court ruled that "The Amendment to the State Constitution referred to as Proposition 8 is valid and enforceable from the moment it was passed. The Court did rule that their decision cannot be applied to retroactively annul marriages that were transacted while the practice was legal in the state of California.

The California Supreme Court ruled unanimously on May 26, , that the approximately 18, same-sex marriages that had occurred prior to Proposition 8's passage would still be valid and must continue to be recognized in the state, since the amendment does not state explicitly that it would nullify the same-sex marriages performed before it took effect. Later legislation clarified that same-sex couples who married out-of-state within the window of legality would also retain their legal marriage rights.

The bill was signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on October 11, In the case, Smelt v. The challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act, however, remained intact. On the day of Strauss v. Horton provided them with "extensive evidence and proposed findings on strict scrutiny factors and factual rebuttals to long claimed justifications for marriage discrimination". California Attorney General, and former and later again Governor Jerry Brown backed the lawsuit, saying that Proposition 8 violates the U.

Constitution and should be struck down. Walker presiding. In an act unprecedented in California history both the Governor and Attorney General refused to defend a constitutional amendment. In August, Judge Walker heard further requests for intervenor status and ordered a trial set for January On August 4, , U. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker ruled Proposition 8 unconstitutional, but at the same time temporarily provided for a suspension of the ruling while he considered whether to grant an indefinite suspension pending appeal. It also scheduled an accelerated time table for hearing an appeal of Judge Walker's ruling.

On April 30, , the members of 'Yes! The text of the ballot would repeal Article I; Section 7. As of February , the repeal effort was canceled in light of victorious court cases. Following the passing of Proposition 8 in , and the subsequent mass protests, several lawsuits were filed in both the State Supreme Court and in the Federal District Court. In considering the cases within the state courts, on November 13, , the California Supreme Court asked California Attorney General Jerry Brown for an opinion on whether the Court should accept these cases for review and whether the measure should be suspended while they decide the case. On November 19, the Court accepted three lawsuits challenging Proposition 8, which consolidated into Strauss v.

The majority decision was that Proposition 8 "carved out a limited [or 'narrow'] exception to the state equal protection clause"; Justice Moreno dissented that exceptions to the equal protection clause could not be made by any majority since its whole purpose was to protect minorities against the will of a majority. Until overturned by Hollingsworth v. Perry below , the ruling established that Proposition 8 was valid as voted, but that marriages performed before it went into effect would remain valid. After the California Supreme Court upheld the voter initiative, a suit, Perry v. It also scheduled an accelerated time table for hearing an appeal of Walker's ruling. As the State of California chose not to appeal the ruling, an appeal was sought by two parties—the initiative proponents, and Imperial County via its deputy clerk.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals considered the question of standing first. On January 4, , the Ninth Circuit ruled that Imperial County did not have standing to intervene in the lawsuit by now called Perry v. Brown —the formal reason being the county's appeal had been "untimely", but also that the appellant was the county's deputy clerk, and precedent existed in other cases that a deputy clerk could not 'represent' a county. To address the question whether the initiative proponents had particularized standing that is, standing either via personal interest, or standing to represent the State's interest , the Ninth Circuit certified a question to the California Supreme Court on January 4, , asking that court to rule whether, under the California Constitution or otherwise under California law, non-governmental proponents of an initiative have standing to appeal when the State is no longer willing to defend it.

On February 7, , a three-judge panel on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a 2—1 majority opinion affirming the judgment in Perry v. Schwarzenegger , which declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional, saying it violated the Equal Protection Clause. The opinion, written by Judge Stephen Reinhardt and joined by Judge Michael Hawkins , states that Proposition 8 did nothing more than lessen the status and dignity of gays and lesbians, and classify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples.

The court concluded that the trial court had correctly found Proposition 8 to have no purpose other than to impose the majority's private disapproval of gays, lesbians, and their relationships through the public law , and to take away from them the designation of marriage and its recognized societal status. The dissenting judge, Judge N. Randy Smith , noted in his dissent that states do legitimately prohibit sexual relationships condemned by society such as incest , bigamy , and bestiality , and impose age limits for marriage without violating constitutional rights. On February 21, , proponents requested to have to the case reviewed en banc by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Supreme Court review. The Ninth Court's ruling was subsequently vacated withdrawn although it affirmed the district court ruling, since the Supreme Court later determined that the proponents of Proposition 8 had not had standing to appeal the district court's ruling. The proposition's proponents filed a petition for certiorari with the U. Supreme Court on July 30, , requesting that the Supreme Court review the case. Eskridge, Jr. The Supreme Court issued a 5—4 decision on June 26, To have standing, they "must have suffered an injury in fact, thus giving [them] a sufficiently concrete interest in the outcome of the issue in dispute".

This only applied to the Ninth Circuit and Supreme Court cases. The Court returned the case to the Ninth Circuit with instructions to dismiss the appeal. This left the district court's ruling overturning Proposition 8 as the final ruling in the case. Because the appeal was decided on the question of standing, the Supreme Court did not examine nor rule on whether in their view Proposition 8 had violated the U. Justice Kennedy , writing for the minority, said the views of the California Supreme Court on the proponents' standing should have been respected, [11] because "the basic premise of the initiative process [and] the essence of democracy is that the right to make law rests in the people and flows to the government, not the other way around".

On June 28, , the Ninth Circuit lifted its stay of the district court's ruling, enabling same-sex marriages to resume; [12] minutes afterward, plaintiffs Perry and Stier became the first couple in California to legally wed under state law since the enactment of Proposition 8 in , doing so at San Francisco City Hall at PDT, with California's Attorney General Kamala Harris officiating at the ceremony. There were two legal challenges made to the implementation of the ruling, both subsequently denied:. Two petitions to this effect were filed with the California Supreme Court, by proponents Hollingsworth v.

The proponents' petition challenged the state and county clerk responses to the ruling in Perry , asserting that, in their view, only two counties were affected by the ruling and other counties had no legal capacity to discretionally do likewise; that the plaintiffs, not representing a class , had their relief while others who were not plaintiffs had no change to their position within the law; and that county clerks were not in fact covered by the ruling and were therefore bound to comply with the law as it stood.

This position was rejected by California's governor, who on legal advice [] ordered the change to license issuance, according to the ruling. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from California Proposition 8 Ballot proposition and state constitutional amendment passed in November For other uses, see Proposition 8 disambiguation. Federal government. Senate sp sp sp sp sp sp sp sp sp sp sp sp U. House of Representatives 12th sp 5th sp 32nd sp 5th sp 48th sp 50th sp 36th sp 12th sp 10th sp 32nd sp 36th sp 34th sp 25th sp v t e. State government executive. Governor recall recall Lieutenant governor Attorney General Secretary of State Treasurer Controller Insurance Commissioner Superintendent of Public Instruction State Board of Equalization v t e.

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San Jose. This measure shall be known and may be cited as the "California Marriage Protection Act. Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. Play media. See also: Protests against Proposition 8 supporters and November 15, anti-Proposition 8 protests. Main article: Strauss v. This article's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information.

Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. June Main article: Perry v. Main article: Hollingsworth v. On June 29, , the proponents of Proposition 8 filed an emergency motion with the U. Supreme Court to vacate the Ninth Circuit's lifting of its stay, claiming it had been "premature". Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, responsible for overseeing the Ninth Circuit, denied the motion without comment.

Even before the Ninth Circuit lifted its stay, Proposition 8 proponents had expressed the intent to fight on, by asserting that the ruling only applies to the persons or counties involved and would be unlawful for other couples or counties to comply with it. The court requested arguments from the parties on the points raised in their petition. California Secretary of State. December 13, Archived from the original PDF on May 6, Retrieved June 26, Gay 'Marriage' Looks 'Strong ' ". Retrieved Los Angeles Times. August 4, Retrieved February 22, Perry et al. US Courts. February 7, Retrieved April 17, NBC June 26, ". Chicago Tribune.

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Archived from the original on July 31, Retrieved August 13, Retrieved October 21, Archived from the original on April 20, Office of the Governor of California. No charge. Everybody, that's who. Charles C. Dominic Pino. Caroline Downey. Brittany Bernstein. Sarah Schutte. David Harsanyi. Power and Liberty and Gordon Wood No living historian has done more to illuminate the origins of our constitutional heritage in the Revolutionary era. His latest book adds to this record. Sam Negus. The Wrong Way to Reform the IRS Having the tax-collection agency subject millions of Americans to unreasonable warrantless searches is a terrible idea on its face.

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