Blog Archives

Prop 8: Emergency Stay is no ground for optimism

Romeo & Romeo finally found the right place for them

As many of you will know, the 9th Circuit of the US Court of Appeal has imposed an emergency stay on Judge Walker’s ruling on Proposition 8 (stay which the man, a homo himself, had decided not to impose). Therefore, so-called homo “marriages” continue to be banned pending the appeal. This will be very sad news for the two aged Romeos the San Francisco Chronicle has so “sympathetically” written about last week and one wonders what will be their reaction at having to wait four months, when less than a week has caused such girlish crying.

It would prima facie appear that reason is starting to prevail and that once the question is examined from a court not composed from one homosexual judge things start to go in the right direction. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Let us see why.

1) The judges of the Ninth Circuit have decided to fast-track the proceeding. A decision is now expected for around Christimas. Notice that this is after the gubernatorial election in California, but before the new Governor is installed.

2) The judges have invited the supporters of Prop 8 to indicate why they think they should have the right to appeal in the first place. I remind you here that neither the Governor of California nor the Attorney General have defended Prop 8 in front of Judge Walker and the emergency stay has been granted following an appeal of various sponsors of Prop 8 (among them a California county with 70% of voters in favour of Prop 8 ) in the face of the scandalous inaction of the two.

As things stand, it seems to me that the plan is very clear: to pave the way for a rejection of the appeal because of (alleged) lack of  legitimacy of the Prop 8 sponsors. In order to do this one must act (that is: decide on the appeal) before the new Governor to be elected in November decides to do his job. If this happened, it would change the cards on the table if not from a procedural standpoint (I have no idea whether he would stil be on time to do so), certainly from a political one.
This is, I am tempted to think, exactly the reason why the process has been now fast-tracked. There are further options like an additional appeal in front of an enlarged court, but in my eyes there is now a clear indication that the Court of Appeal might decide the question in December based on Governor and AG not showing up. The judges will not be the same ones who decided over the emergency stay though, so one never knows.

The emergency stay is certainly a small piece of good news in itself. Still, there is no reason whatsoever to believe that the Prop 8 sponsors are now any nearer to final victory.


%d bloggers like this: