Monday, December 6, 2010

Three Ninth Circuit Court Judges Start Trial On Prop 8 Issues

Today the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard the case of California’s Proposition 8 (Prop 8). The three judges hearing the case are:

1) Judge Stephen Roy Reinhardt, who was confirmed in 1980 after being nominated by President Jimmy Carter.

2). Judge Michael Daly Hawkins, who  joined the 9th circuit court in 1994 after being nominated by President Bill Clinton.

3). Judge Norman Randy Smith, who was confirmed in 2007 after being nominated by then  President George W. Bush. He is of course, the only Republican nominated judge.

Although the three judges gave attorneys for both sides (as they should have)difficult questions, it was easily apparent to anyone, which side was better prepared. There is no doubt be  those on either side trying to embellish and/or tailor the proceedings (so far) in their own best light. The fact remains, the attorneys for the repeal of Prop 8 (Theodore Olson and David Boies) have made an unprecedented start to the case.

The Prop 8 law which was instituted as “The California Marriage Protection Act”  was a ballot proposition and constitutional amendment passed in the November 2008 by California voters.  The law has since lost favor with many if not most California voters. It was passed in opposition to the over 18,000 gays and lesbian that entered in marriage. Notwithstanding its passage, the 18,000 that were married, are still legally married, although any other marriages after Prop 8 are not. Yes, I agree it’s a bit confusing. Why do some have marriages, but others don’t?  Legalities aren’t always clear and cut. Perhaps it is another reason for this matter to be settled once and for all.

The Attorneys in favor of Prop 8 which was heavily funded by recently named hate group “The National Organization For Marriage, had only the same rhetoric of “Non traditional marriage will harm our children, since marriage is for procreation”argument. An argument that seemed as futile as the attempts of an ant to squash an elephant.

The National Organization For Marriage has sought the recusal of Justice Reinhardt, stating the position of his wife, Ramona Ripson as head of the California ACLU. It’s President Brian S. Brown said:
This hearing makes a mockery of the federal judiciary. Citizens are entitled to a guarantee of impartiality from their judiciary. Yet here we have the spectacle of a federal appeals court justice ruling on a case in which his wife represents a group that is a participant. A cynic would be left to wonder if the fix is in for marriage in the Ninth Circuit
To which Justice Stephen Reinhardt replied:
I will be able to rule impartially on this appeal, and I will do so," the 79-year-old judge wrote in denying the recusal motion.
It seems the proceeding are indeed looking favorable to those of us in the LGBT community. California’s Governor (and present Attorney General) Jerry Brown, who also served as California Governor from 1975 to 1983 said he will not stand in the way of marriage equality when Governor. He takes office in January of 2010.  Governor elect Brown’s successor as Attorney General will be Ms. Kamela Harris who is also in favor of granting marriage equality to the LGBT community, stated :

The Ninth Circuit Court of appeals has setup a website where anyone can keep up with the proceedings at the court’s Prop 8 site. It seems that although the game is too early to call, and may go into halftime (Supreme Court) it is indeed in favor of the LGBT community and the many gays and lesbians awaiting its outcome. I for one hope it’s a favorable outcome. It’s time to un-prop Proposition 8.


  1. Yes Stone! It is time to un prop Proposition 8! Let us all stand up and become the freedom fighters like our predecessors wanted us to be!

    Everett J.Smith

  2. We're off to a good start! It's only a matter of time. The thoughts on marriage equality are shifting daily in the favor of the LGBT community. Until then, all we can do is keep fighting.

  3. Thank you for continuing in you efforts to fight!

  4. You're welcome!My thanks to you as well! We need as many equality fighters as we can get! Especially with the GOP controlling the House in January.


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