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Ninth Circuit May Announce Prop 8 En Banc Decision Tomorrow

1:15 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Judge Vaughn Walker (photo: Mike Linksvayer)

The announcement from the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that they will have an announcement tomorrow has stirred some speculation about what is to be announced. JoeMyGod:

KQED’s Scott Shafer said this is almost surely the decision on whether to rehear the case en banc. An en banc panel is made up of 11 judges, chosen at random from the circuit. If the 9th Circuit denies the request, Prop 8 supporters will almost certainly ask the United States Supreme Court to hear the case. Proponents of Prop 8, California’s same-sex marriage ban, asked the 9th Circuit for the en banc review in February, after a ruling by a three-judge panel upheld Judge Vaughn Walker’s 2010 decision striking down the law as unconstitutional.

Courage Campaign’s Prop 8 Trial Tracker reminds us of the state of play:

Here’s where things stand right now: the Ninth Circuit, in a decision by a three-judge panel has affirmed Judge Walker’s decision striking down Proposition 8 as unconstitutional, albeit on narrower grounds than he did. Then, the proponents of Proposition 8 asked the Ninth Circuit for an en banc rehearing, to vacate their decision and put the case before a larger panel of judges on the Ninth Circuit. We have been waiting for the judges to decide whether they will grant the en banc rehearing and start the whole process over, or let the three-judge panel’s decision written by Judge Reinhardt stand.

Either the narrow Reinhardt decision will be affirmed tomorrow by a denial of the en banc request from the Prop 8 supporters, or that decision will be thrown out and a new, larger panel of 11 judges will re-hear the appeal and issue its own decision.

If the former happens, we’ll see an immediate appeal to the US Supreme Court by the supporters of Prop 8 — will the stay of Judge Walker’s decision nullifying Prop 8 remain in place? Stay tuned.

If a new, larger en banc panel will hear the appeal, the possibility exists that the Ninth Circuit could issue a more expansive ruling than Reinhardt’s — or they could overturn Walker’s decision completely. Risk abounds.

House Hard-Core Hate-Filled Homophobe Caucus Moves to Condemn Perry

10:23 am in Government, Legislature, LGBT, Politics, Republican Party by Teddy Partridge

[Ed. note: see the fun fact at the end which I missed the first time I read this piece -- worth a chuckle over these chuckleheads.]

The hard-core homophobes in the House GOP caucus have revealed themselves, and they are a sorry lot indeed. These are the people American history books will cast into the dustbin: bigots, haters, the sorry folks who see civil rights as a zero-sum game. If you get your civil rights, I lose mine.

A group of conservative House Republicans on Tuesday introduced a resolution in Congress to condemn the recent federal court decision overturning Proposition 8 in California.

The introduction of the non-binding measure is one of the most prominent moves against the ruling from Republicans, whose response has largely been muted, or in some cases supportive of the decision.

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) is sponsoring the resolution, H. Res. 1607. The measure is pending before the House Judiciary Committee.

A quick reminder here: Lamar Smith is the Ranking Member of this Committee, and would become its Chair should the GOP take over the House this fall.

The resolution goes after Judge Vaughn Walker directly, and makes the incontrovertible statement that the decision is "wrong:"

The resolution offers findings faulting U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision for engaging in improper conduct during his consideration of the case. It says Walker “failed to conduct himself in an impartial manner” and “attempted to illegally broadcast the trial in disregard of the harassment such broadcast would invite on witnesses supporting Proposition 8.”

The resolution concludes that the sense of the U.S. House is that:

• Walker “failed to conduct himself in an impartial manner before striking down California’s popularly enacted Proposition 8 and thereby redefined traditional marriage to include same-sex relationships;”

• and Walker’s decision to overturn “California’s popularly enacted Proposition 8 is wrong.”

Here is the full text of the hate-filled screed.

And here is the list of the hard-core homophobes in the House, GOPs all, who want their body to reject Judge Walker’s reasoned decision in the face of foolish non-evidence that gays are icky:

Mr. SMITH of Texas (for himself, Mr. FRANKS of Arizona, Mr. JORDAN of Ohio, Mr. KING of Iowa, Mr. AKIN, Mr. CHAFFETZ, Mr. LAMBORN, Mr. LATTA, Mr. SENSENBRENNER, Mr. PITTS, Mr. JONES, Mrs. BACHMANN, Mr. FLEMING, Mr. GINGREY of Georgia, Mr. BACHUS, Mr. HOEKSTRA, Mr. MARCHANT, and Mr. ADERHOLT)

Fun fact: I do believe the resolution mis-names the case decided by Judge Walker. Mr Smith calls it Hollingsworth v Perry and not Perry v Schwarzenegger. Maybe this is the revenge of a gay or lesbian copy-editor in someone’s office on Capitol Hill?

DENIED: Prop 8 Stay to Be Lifted Aug. 18 at 5:00 p.m. PDT

12:41 pm in Culture, LGBT by Teddy Partridge

Here’s the actual text from Vaughn Walker’s court:

ORDER by Judge Walker denying [705] Motion to Stay. The clerk is DIRECTED to enter judgment forthwith. That judgment shall be STAYED until August 18, 2010 at 5 PM PDT at which time defendants and all persons under their control or supervision shall cease to apply or enforce Proposition 8. (vrwlc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 8/12/2010)

[Ed. note: You can view the full document at this link: Prop 8 Stay Order. More about the denial here: Breaking: Judge Walker Denies Prop 8 Motion, Stays Decision till 8/18, by bmaz.]

Couples Line Up at SF City Hall Awaiting Vaughn Walker’s Decision Today

11:01 am in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Awaiting Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision today about a stay on his Perry ruling, lesbian and gay couples lined up at San Francisco’s City Hall to take advantage of what might prove to be a narrow window again for legal same-sex nuptials in California.

Rod Wood, 56, and his boyfriend of seven years, Roger Hunt, 52, were the first in line at San Francisco City Hall. The San Francisco couple said they wanted to be there in case the window of opportunity to wed was small.

Wood proposed to Hunt two days ago, and the couple got rings Wednesday night at the Stonestown Galleria. If the two get married, they plan to celebrate their honeymoon by taking a motorcycle trip to the Sierra.

"I’m trying to remain calm, but I don’t want to be devastated if the stay is lifted," Hunt said.

Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker intends to rule today on whether same-sex marriage can resume. Last week, Walker invalidated Proposition 8, which was passed by voters in 2008 and bans same-sex marriage in California, but he immediately put in place a stay that froze enforcement of his ruling.

And the City and County of San Francisco appears to be fully prepared to provide legal services at the Marriage Licenses window as soon as is possible:

One couple, Teresa Rowe, and her girlfriend of five years, Kristin Orbin, both 31, arrived at 4:30 a.m. from Fairfield. They were playing it safe; rather than wait in line at the clerk’s office, they were sitting on the steps of City Hall to see whether Vaughn would lift the stay.

The clerk’s office, meanwhile, was girding for the likely onrush of same-sex couples seeking to get married.

"We’re fully prepared,’ said deputy county clerk Alan Wong. "We’re fully ready."

Both of the state’s two highest elected officials, in briefs to the Court, have urged the judge not to use potential administrative delays as an excuse to hold off on allowing California to resume marrying same-sex couples:

Schwarzenegger said the state was well-equipped to handle the marriages of gays and pointed to the fact that an estimated 18,000 gay couples were wed in California before Proposition 8 passed.

"Government officials can resume issuing such licenses without administrative delay or difficulty,” Schwarzenegger’s office said in written arguments to the court.

The governor called Walker’s repudiation of Proposition 8 "consistent with California’s long history of leading the way in recognizing the rights of gay and lesbian families to order their relationships and manage their day-to-day lives."

Brown also told Walker that possible administrative difficulties should not be used as an excuse for denying gays the right to wed. Brown said his office last year opposed a pretrial request to block Proposition 8 only because the legal and factual issues had not yet been explored.

Prop 8 Trial Ruling Wednesday Between 1-3pm PDT

7:39 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Judge Vaughn Walker of the Ninth Circuit Court announced Tuesday that he will rule on the Prop 8 case (Perry v Schwarzenegger) on Wednesday, August 4, 2010. The ruling will be issued sometime between 1 and 3pm Pacific time and will not be read from the bench. Judge Walker’s ruling will be issued through the court’s electronic filing system, so it will be available to one and all at exactly the same time.

I certainly hope the Ninth Circuit is prepared for the constant refreshing of browser windows starting at 4pm Eastern item as concerned attorneys and court personnel everywhere with PACER assess log on to determine which side will be appealing Judge Walker’s ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, a virtual certainty.

From the Court’s announcement today:

August 3, 2010


On August 4, 2010, the court will issue its written order containing findings of fact and conclusions of law following the court trial held in January and June of this year. The order will be e-filed in the court’s Electronic Case Filing system, and will be immediately available thereafter through ECF and PACER. There will be no court proceeding associated with the publication of the order.