News (USA)

Supreme Court reschedules conference to review DOMA, Prop 8 cases

WASHINGTON — The United States Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it has rescheduled the private conference to review the legal appeals relating to California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act.

The American Foundation of Equal Rights, which is sponsoring the challenge to Proposition 8 — the 2008 voter approved ban on same-sex marriage– said the Court would consider the case on Friday, November 30.

The Court will also consider on that date whether it will hear one or more challenges to the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Both the Prop. 8 case and the DOMA cases had previously been distributed for discussion at the Justices’ November 20 Conference.

The updated timeline suggests that we will likely find out if our case will be heard by the nation’s highest court, or if marriages can resume in California, by Monday, December 3. However, there is no deadline by which the Court must act, and the Justices could hold the case for consideration at a future Conference.

If the high court declines to hear the Prop 8 case from the February 2012 decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which struck down Proposition 8, then the 9th Circuit Courts’s decision will stand and same-sex marriages in California will be legal and can resume.

Legal analysts tell LGBTQ Nation that should the Supreme Court grant the request for review, the justices will consider whether or not Proposition 8 violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. A request for Supreme Court review is only granted upon an affirmative vote of four justices.

The court is also set to consider two recent federal appellate court decisions in New York and Massachusetts that have ruled sections of DOMA are unconstitutional.

Last year, the Obama administration said it had concluded that DOMA would not be able to pass constitutional muster, and that the Department of Justice would not defend the law in court.

That controversial decision prompted Republican leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives to hire outside counsel to argue and defend the law in the federal courts where DOMA was being challenged.

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