LGBT Did anyone else listen to the CA Prop 8 hearings?

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by cedric, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. cedric

    cedric I don't have a contract

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    They're hearing arguments on whether or not the passage of Prop 8 was constitutional. The supreme court then has 90 days to make a decision.

    If you didn't listen to this, you might want to check out the highlights. 3hrs of arguments is pretty tedious, but it's relevant to us all.


    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/03/04/MN6I16807P.DTL

    Prop. 8 hearing: majority vote, minority rights

    Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
    Wednesday, March 4, 2009

    When the seven California Supreme Court justices return to the national spotlight Thursday to consider voters' power to overrule them on same-sex marriage, court-watchers will be keeping a close eye on two in particular - Chief Justice Ronald George and Justice Joyce Kennard.

    Proposition 8More NewsTheir votes were crucial in last year's court decision legalizing same-sex marriages. Now they could hold the key to whether the court bows to the will of a majority of Californians to undo that ruling.
    In a three-hour hearing in San Francisco, the court will consider challenges to Proposition 8, the initiative approved by voters in November that restored the state's definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Less than six months earlier, the court had declared that gays and lesbians had a constitutional right to marry.

    The issue this time is different: not whether the marriage limitation is discriminatory or intrudes on personal freedom, but whether a majority of the voters, by amending the state Constitution, can eliminate minority rights that the court has recognized.
    A ruling is due within 90 days.

    Holding onto 4 votes

    Both Kennard and George were part of the 4-3 majority that struck down California's ban on same-sex marriage in May. Although judicial forecasting is only slightly more reliable than reading tea leaves, it's likely that opponents of Prop. 8 - two groups of same-sex couples and an array of local governments led by San Francisco - will need votes from the same four justices to overturn the measure.

    But Kennard, the court's senior justice in her 20th year of service and one of its strongest supporters of same-sex couples' rights, seemed to signal shortly after Prop. 8 passed that she was inclined to uphold it.

    When the court voted to take up the lawsuits challenging Prop. 8 two weeks after the election, Kennard cast the lone dissenting vote. She said the only issue that the court needed to review was whether the 18,000 same-sex marriages conducted before the election were valid.

    The court has asked the opposing sides to address that question, which focuses on the meaning of Prop. 8's language that only opposite-sex marriage is "valid or recognized in California." Supporters say that bars the state from recognizing all existing same-sex marriages; opponents say dissolving pre-election marriages would amount to a state-compelled divorce, trampling on 18,000 couples' family and property rights.

    But the court will get to that issue only if it upholds Prop. 8. That outcome will look more likely if Kennard, usually the court's most persistent interrogator, hits lawyers with a round of questions about existing marriages.

    Validity of marriages

    As San Francisco lawyer Dennis Maio, a former longtime staff attorney with the state's high court, put it, "If Proposition 8 is not valid, that means all those marriages are fine, so why talk about them?"

    Another clue could come from George, the author of last year's marriage ruling.

    The chief justice, who sits at the center of the courtroom dais, also occupies the court's ideological center - three justices usually line up to his left and three to his right - and nearly always casts the deciding vote in close cases. George's comments at a hearing last March on same-sex marriage, when he likened the case to the interracial marriage ban that the court overturned in 1948, foreshadowed his majority opinion two months later.

    "He's typically in the middle," said Stephen Barnett, a UC Berkeley law professor. He cautioned, though, that this case, which involves "such strong moral persuasions," might not follow the usual pattern.

    Political backing

    The anti-Prop. 8 forces head into the hearing with political support from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and both houses of the Legislature, which passed nonbinding resolutions this week calling the initiative unconstitutional.

    They even have won support from Attorney General Jerry Brown, who defended the earlier marriage law in court last year. Brown argues that Prop. 8 exceeds the legal boundaries of an initiative by withdrawing "inalienable" rights - equality and privacy - from a minority without a compelling reason.

    But if history is any indication, those seeking to overturn the ballot measure are swimming upstream.

    Because Prop. 8 amended the state Constitution, opponents can no longer rely on that document's guarantees of equal treatment and personal liberty to grant gays and lesbians the right to marry.

    Instead, advocates of same-sex marriage argue that Prop. 8, by withdrawing fundamental rights the court had sought to protect, assaulted the state Constitution itself.

    Amendment or revision?

    One of their claims is that the measure was not merely an amendment but a revision of the Constitution, which can be placed on the ballot only by a two-thirds legislative vote or by delegates to a new state constitutional convention.

    The court ruled in 1948 that a ballot measure that would have changed 15 of the Constitution's 21 sections was an invalid revision. In 1990, the court overturned a section of an initiative that would have set aside the state Constitution in criminal cases by limiting defendants to their rights under the U.S. Constitution.

    But the court has rejected similar challenges to such far-reaching ballot measures as Proposition 13 of 1978, which rewrote California laws on tax increases; the 1990 initiative that set term limits for legislators and state elected officials; and the 1972 constitutional amendment overturning the court's decision earlier that year striking down the death penalty.

    Judges' reach

    Prop. 8's opponents also argue that it interferes with judges' authority to shield minorities - racial, religious, political or sexual - from discrimination. The court has occasionally ruled that a law intrudes into judicial terrain, but Prop. 8 supporters say the justices have also recognized that the voters have the last word on sensitive issues such as school busing, affirmative action and the death penalty.

    Finally, Brown contends the "inalienable" rights listed in the beginning of the state Constitution shouldn't be subject to majority whim. The attorney general made an impassioned plea to the court in written arguments that invoked California's "guarantees of individual liberty," but could not point to any rulings that endorsed his view of the limits of ballot measures.

    The lead case is Strauss vs. Horton, S168047.
    Viewer's guide to Supreme Court hearing

    A guide to the California Supreme Court hearing Thursday on Proposition 8 and same-sex marriage:

    How to watch: The hearing is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon at the court's chambers at 350 McAllister St. in San Francisco. It can be viewed live on the California Channel, which is carried on Comcast cable systems in the Bay Area. The channel number varies from city to city, so check local listings.

    -- A group favoring same-sex marriage will sponsor a public viewing of the oral arguments on a JumboTron in San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza.
    -- A live Webcast will also be available at www.calchannel.com.

    Opponents: Lawyers for two groups of same-sex couples challenging Prop. 8 will have 30 minutes each to present their case. The city of San Francisco, representing local governments opposing Prop. 8, will also have 30 minutes.

    Proponents: Kenneth Starr, representing Protect Marriage, sponsor of Prop. 8, will have one hour.

    Attorney general's office: Attorney General Jerry Brown's office will have 15 minutes for arguments that Prop. 8 is unconstitutional because it denies fundamental rights to a minority group. His office also will have 15 minutes, however, to counter Prop. 8 opponents' arguments that the measure is an invalid revision of the state Constitution and a violation of separation of powers.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2009
  2. Sam Gamgee

    Sam Gamgee Every tool is a weapon if you hold it right. OT Supporter

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    is there a link to it?
    I'm at work and don't have access to a TV...
     
  3. cedric

    cedric I don't have a contract

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  4. novo

    novo Pokey Man OT Supporter

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    Ken Starr :mad:
     
  5. So can we kiss each other and marry or no?

    I'm too retarded to read all of that. :o
     
  6. cedric

    cedric I don't have a contract

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    He was so articulate compared to Kruger who spoke before him on our behalf. The attorney general's office did us NO favors there. Especially since they're arguing against prop 8 being a revision :ugh2:

    I thought Starr sounded awfully gay in a very Phillip Seymour Hoffman kind of way :o
     
  7. cedric

    cedric I don't have a contract

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    you should care about this. indifference is exactly what allowed Prop 8 to pass in the first place
     
  8. NOVAJock

    NOVAJock Modded & Underrated

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    I listened to it here in work, but couldn't tell who was defending it and who wasn't.
     
  9. cedric

    cedric I don't have a contract

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    it's because they spent almost the entire thing quibbling over definitions and precedents. I get the impression that they're not going to go for the revision argument, but I'm still hoping they rule it unconstitutional on some other grounds :sad2:
     
  10. calisteph6

    calisteph6 Active Member

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    cliffs cedric? That's confusing. :rofl:

    I'm guessing we won't know the real outcome for awhile. I wish they would just go and change the legal definition of marriage because it seems like there are a lot of more liberal christians who are just upset with the wordage.
     
  11. calisteph6

    calisteph6 Active Member

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    oh, ok, 90 days. damn, that's a long time. Typical CA legislature taking there sweet ass time and probably spending a ton of cash.
     
  12. cedric

    cedric I don't have a contract

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    I think any christian who has a problem with gays getting married deserves to have a flaming bible shoved up their ass :o
     
  13. cedric

    cedric I don't have a contract

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    I'm thinking they'll come to a decision much sooner than that.
     
  14. calisteph6

    calisteph6 Active Member

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    imo it's their opinion and their right to that opinion. But that doesn't mean that gays shouldn't have the right to marry though. It was a mistake to make a legal marriage be called the same thing as a church marriage though. It's just confusing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2009
  15. calisteph6

    calisteph6 Active Member

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    yea hopefully in 60 days they'll be dudes sucking each other off on the steps of the sacramento capitol buildings. :x:
     
  16. cedric

    cedric I don't have a contract

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    everyone has a right to their opinion until that opinion motivates them to involve themselves in issues that have nothing to do with them. organized religion causes people to do such stupid things :o
     
  17. cedric

    cedric I don't have a contract

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    I'll do my part on the steps of SF city hall, but I'm not going to Sacramento :down:
     
  18. I'd gladly make out on the steps of SF City Hall. :bowrofl:

    I bet some people would be so peeved. :mamoru:
     
  19. PanasonicYouth

    PanasonicYouth New Member

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    This.
     
  20. novo

    novo Pokey Man OT Supporter

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    It doesn't sound good :(
     
  21. i cant believe this is an issue in cali. i always though san fran was the gay capital of the us... shit, try living in Texas...
     
  22. novo

    novo Pokey Man OT Supporter

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    From OC to San Diego, CA is rather conservative.
     
  23. wow i did not know that. i thought i was needing to make a pilgrimage to cali, you know visit the promise land type of thing? lol
     
  24. phrxn

    phrxn New Member

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    Haha I was there with a group of friends last Wednesday...

    I went to support a friend and didnt join in the march but met at city hall to hold candles and listen to the speeches haha...it was interesting to say the least.
     
  25. ondizo

    ondizo New Member

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    The next 3 months shall prove very interesting...
     

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