Standing for Equality
J.D. Candidate 2013, UCI Law
The California Supreme Court recently granted standing for the Prop 8 Campaign to appeal last year’s holding that the proposition, which implemented a state constitutional amendment declaring marriage to be between a man and a woman, is unconstitutional. On an emotional level, the granting of standing was frustrating at first—a further delay for California couples waiting to wed. But, the Court was clear that their basis for standing was the necessity of allowing someone to represent the state’s interest in defending any initiative when the state itself declines to do so—and left no doubt that their decision did not express a view on the validity of the proposition itself. The result of this decision is that the appeal will go to the Ninth Circuit—and, with all reasonable assumptions standing correct, will continue on to the Supreme Court. While we cannot know for certain what the Supreme Court will do, there is good reason to be optimistic—society is moving toward equality, locally and worldwide. It seems unlikely that the justices will fail to recognize the backward legacy they would create for themselves by acting as a roadblock to a movement that ultimately promises to be successful. At worst, marriage equality is integrated further into the national lexicon, and passion is ignited in supporters who are not yet involved. At best, a major victory, and one that’s been a long time coming.
The ball’s in your Court, Kennedy. Don’t drop it.