American Foundation for Equal Rights

SCOTUS Blog: Prop. 8 cases joined, moving faster

Veteran Supreme Court reporter Lyle Denniston writes about the decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to consolidate two appeals in Perry v Brown:

“Moving to speed up its coming rulings on California’s ban on same-sex marriage, the Ninth Circuit Court on Monday joined two of its pending cases that seek to revive that measure — Proposition 8.   In a brief order, a three-judge panel consolidated cases that both carry the case title Perry, et al., v. Brown, et al. (Circuit dockets 10-16696 and 10-16577).   Both are challenges, but for different reasons, to a federal District judge’s ruling in August 2010 nullifying the ballot measure adopted by the state’s voters in 2008.

“One of the appeals is a plea to overturn the Walker decision on the merits (docket 10-16696).  The other (docket 11-16577) is also an attempt to overturn Walker’s ruling, but with the argument that he should have disqualified himself from ruling on the case — and that, as a result, his ruling must be vacated — because he was not an impartial judge.   The second challenge is based on two facts and a theory.  The facts are that he is a gay person and that he has been in a long-term relationship with a partner of the same sex.  The theory is that he would likely be interested in marrying his partner, and thus would benefit from his own ruling against the marriage ban.

“The judge who succeeded Walker on the case, Chief Judge James Ware of San Francisco, has rejected the claim of partiality.”

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