Prop 8 stay granted by California judge

Court Gavel

Image CC by Jonathunder/Flickr.

After Judge Vaughn Walker overturned Proposition 8, the California initiative that banned gay marriage in the state, he issued a temporary hold on any new marriages taking place. Today, he ruled that he will extend the hold on further same sex marriages. It is expected that the defense for Prop 8 will appeal the ruling.

Judge grants Prop 8 a stay of execution

Judge Vaughn Walker anticipated that his overturn of Proposition 8 would be appealed. He decided to enjoin same sex marriages from taking place and give Prop 8 defenders the chance to appeal the case. According to the Los Angeles Times, Judge Walker placed an injunction on any further same sex marriages Aug. 4, to determine how long the injunction should last. Today, he granted a further injunction until Aug. 18. If the defense from Perry v. Schwarzenegger do not appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit by Aug. 18, same sex marriages will resume.

Lacking a rational basis

Judge Walker determined that Prop 8 had no rational, that is to say legal, basis for denying same sex couples the right to “marry,” versus having “domestic partnerships” or “civil unions.” He cited Griswold v. Connecticut (giving married couples the right to make decisions about their own marriage) and Loving v. Virginia (the right to choose who to marry) in the decision over whether Prop 8 violated the 14th Amendment, which he held it did. Upon announcing his ruling, he stayed the ruling on Prop 8 to give defenders ample time to appeal.

Wherever the case shall go

Decisions from Federal courts can be appealed to the Court of Appeals, and California is in the Ninth Circuit. (The largest circuit in the U.S.) Once the decision is made in the Court of Appeals, then it can be appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States. Appellate courts can decide to take or not take a case. Proponents 0f the ban have six days to decide whether to appeal.

Further Reading

Los Angeles Times

PDF of the Judge’s Ruling (Requires Adobe Reader)

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