Tuesday, March 26

Monumental Case at the U.S. Supreme Court

At issue in today's Supreme Court argument is California’s Proposition 8, the state constitutional amendment enacted by voters in 2008 which bans same-sex marriage. Proposition 8 was passed by 52% of the voters after the California Supreme Court granted same-sex couples the right to marry. After Prop. 8 passed, a federal court followed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said Prop. 8 was unconstitutional.

The high court could decide to uphold Proposition 8 or it could decide to not only strike it down but to invalidate any state law that limits marriage to one man and one woman.

In recent years, nine states, either through court rulings, legislation, or ballot measures, have redefined marriage to include same-sex couples. But 41 states have laws or constitutional provisions that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

On Wednesday the court will hear oral arguments in a challenge to one section of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which for purposes of federal regulations and benefits, defines marriage as "a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife."

Charles Cooper, who served in the Reagan administration as assistant attorney general in charge of the Office of Legal Counsel, will be arguing the case Tuesday for supporters of Proposition 8.

Solicitor General Donald Verrilli will be arguing for the Obama administration, as a friend of the court, in opposition to Proposition 8.

The decision from the high court is likely by the end of its term sometime in late June.

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