The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, who ruled Proposition 8 unconstitutional earlier this year, issued a brief today stating the court would not be revisiting the earlier ruling on the same-sex marriage ban. Today's brief means the final decision on the constitutionality of the ban will likely come from the high court.
Prop 8 supporters and people who think their marriage is more legitimate than some other folks' now have the next 90 days to ask the Supreme Court to either overturn or uphold the appeal court's ruling. Frank Schubert, political director for National Organization for Marriage, which was the proposition's biggest funder in 2008 and continues to pour money in to defending the ban, said in a press conference this morning that he was confident the Supreme Court would see things his way, despite the earlier ruling:
We’re very, very confident in our position on Prop 8 that it is a properly enacted constitutional amendment well within the rights of the people of California to enact, and we are looking forward to that issue going to the U.S. Supreme Court because we are confident that we’ll win it there... The sooner it can get there the better as far as we’re concerned.
As Politico notes, the case will probably be heard by the Supreme Court right as this year's presidential election is ramping up, but a decision probably won't be handed down before voters hit the polling places in November.
As SFist has noted before, rushing Prop 8 to the Supreme Court isn't necessarily a good thing. Despite support for same-sex marriage from the President and the recent federal ruling on DOMA, the vote at the SCOTUS could still come down to Justice Kennedy. Kennedy has been the swing vote in similar cases and generally sides with more gay rights, but he might be hesitant to impose gay marriage on all 50 states when a disappointing majority of them still explicitly ban it. In that case, it would be better to ensure these rights at the state level rather than making a sweeping federal ruling. That said, there's always the chance the Supreme Court could pass on this altogether, should they decide it's too political and state-specific. And many same-sex marriage advocates are hoping that one of the DOMA cases reaches SCOTUS first.
Previously: Why Prop 8 Probably Shouldn't Get To The Supreme Court