Pride Foundation Celebrates 9th Circuit’s Declining En Banc Review in Prop 8 Case

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals released a statement yesterday in which a majority of the 29-judge panel stated that they would decline to re-hear a prior decision in the case against Proposition 8.

Today’s decision, part of the ongoing litigation known as Perry v. Brown, is the latest in a line of decisions about whether the voter initiative Proposition 8 is constitutional. Proposition 8 stripped same-sex couples of their right to marry during the 2008 election and has faced court challenges ever since. Proposition 8’s proponents submitted the request for an en banc hearing before 11 judges after they lost their original 9th Circuit appeal in February.

The next step in the case is a likely appeal to the United States Supreme Court, by the proponents of Proposition 8. They have 90 days to file the appeal, and if accepted, oral arguments would be held in the coming year. Legal experts disagree about whether the case is likely to be accepted for review. Only about 1% of cases appealed to the Supreme Court are accepted for review, making it a long-shot for the Prop 8 proponents who seek to keep marriage equality from same-sex couples in California.

Pacific Pride Foundation joins the American Foundation for Equal Rights and other gay rights organizations throughout California and the country celebrating today’s decision not to re-hear the case. In the absence of an en banc hearing, the timeline of the case is somewhat expedited. The proceedings to re-hear could have taken almost a year to conclude, and the outcome would also have faced a Supreme Court appeal. Optimistic estimates now say that same-sex couples in California could wed as early as next fall if the Supreme Court does not accept the case.

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