The Ninth Circuit Court, pondering a request to reconsider en banc a three-judge panel’s February ruling striking down California’s “Proposition 8″ ban on same-sex marriage, will issue an order in the case Tuesday at 1 p.m. (Eastern time), the Court announced on Monday afternoon.   The backers of the ballot measure had sought review before an 11-judge court, but that is being resisted by the two gay couples who won the case in both a District Court and in the Circuit panel.

If the full court were to deny the new review — and that is what most observers now expect — it is unclear whether the panel ruling would be put into effect promptly, or delayed further while the case moved on to the Supreme Court, which appears to be inevitable.

The panel’s ruling was comparatively narrow in scope, holding only that it is unconstitutional for a state that has once given same-sex couples the right to marry to then take away that right, while leaving the right intact for opposite-sex couples — especially when the decision to nullify the rate was motivated in part by hostility to homosexuality.   In that form, the opinion might not have any impact beyond California.   Even then, however, if the ruling withstands an appeal to the Supreme Court, it would be a major breakthrough for marriage equality in the nation’s largest state, and symbolically for the entire country.

The Circuit Court disclosed the plan to release the order in this e-mail to news organizations:

“Editors, Reporters:

“This is to inform you that a filing is expected on Tuesday, June 5, 2012, at approximately 10 a.m., in Perry v. Brown, case 11-16577, also know[n] as the Proposition 8 case.  The filing will be available from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals website, www.ca9.uscourts.gov/opinions.  We are advised that this is not a large document.  If you have difficulty downloading the filing, please contact us by email.
Thank you. “

Posted in Cases in the Pipeline, Featured

Recommended Citation: Lyle Denniston, Prop. 8 action due Tuesday, SCOTUSblog (Jun. 4, 2012, 5:09 PM), http://www.scotusblog.com/2012/06/prop-8-action-due-tuesday/