Gay Marriages May Resume August 18

I’m not sure whether to report the stay lifted, or the stay extended.

Judge Vaughn Walker today announced that he will lift the temporary stay of his ruling that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional, but that he is extending that stay until August 18, 2010, at 5pm. This will allow proponents of the amendment time to file their appeal with the Appellate Court. If that court does not issue some sort of stay on the matter by that time, then gay marriage will resume at 5:01pm. Anybody planning to get married has at least six more days to think about it.

Some of the most interesting commentary I’ve heard about the appeals process is that the Appellate Court might take the position that the pro-8 team doesn’t have legal standing to make the appeal. Since the State of California is not interested in defending Proposition 8, Judge Walker’s decision may become final without further judicial review. That would limit the ruling to California, instead of becoming binding in the entire 9th Circuit, or eventually the entire country if the case went all the way to the Supreme Court.

The only fly in the ointment may be if California elects Meg Whitman to the governor’s position. She might very well decide to defend Proposition 8. If the Appellate Court accepts the case, and schedules hearings after January 2011, we could end up with a vigorous defense by California. I’m hoping Jerry Brown wins the election!