Supreme Court Grants Cert in Prop 8 Case

Why bother with the headlines of today when you can offer the headlines of tomorrow? Judge Reinhardt’s amicus brief in favor of striking down Prop 8 — aimed squarely at Justice Kennedy, naturally, and based largely on his opinion in Romer v. Evans — is available here.

UPDATE: Based on a quick skim, Reinhardt decided that the Supreme Court wasn’t ready yet to embrace a full right to same-sex marriage, and that it was wiser to offer AMK a narrow rationale based on Romer rather than a broad rationale based on Lawrence or Loving. So Reinhardt’s reasoning seems to be California-specific: He argues that Prop 8 took away rights provided by the California Supreme Court’s Marriage Cases, and that those who voted for Prop 8 acted out of animus towards or disapproval of gays, making Prop 8 unconstitutional under a Romer rationale regardless of whether same-sex marriage is constitutional in the general case. I assume Reinhardt is figuring that this either will work or at the worst might buy some time: If the Supreme Court grants cert and reverses on the merits, on remand the case presumably goes back to the same panel. On remand, Reinhardt can then strike down Prop 8 again, but this time under a broader theory along the lines of Judge Walker’s opinion below. That would take a few years, though, keeping the issue alive in the meantime — giving the social attitudes more time to develop, more states time to change their laws, and possibly more time for a change in personnel at the Court.

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