Proposition 8 now headed to the Supreme Court?

“A federal appeals court Tuesday”, reports the Los Angeles Times, “overturned Proposition 8 on narrow grounds, ruling that Californians took away a right from a minority group without justification when they approved the 2008 ban on same-sex marriage.” In fact, the ruling was simply another example of a judicial oligarchy continuing to both redefine basic social institutions and overturning the democratically expressed will of the people, who voted in Proposition 8 in 2008, 52.25% to 47.75%. Ed Whelan of NRO’s “Bench Memos” analyzes the ruling from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and finds it to be confused, illogical, and misleading:

2. For Reinhardt, “‘marriage’ is the name that society gives to the relationship that matters most between two adults.” (P. 37.) The right to marry that the state supreme court conferred on same-sex couples “symbolize[d] state legitimization and social recognition of their committed relationships.” (P. 5.)

Notice what’s missing from Reinhardt’s description? Any recognition that the very institution of marriage arose and exists in order to encourage responsible procreation and childrearing.

3. On pages 56-63, Reinhardt does confront the argument that Prop 8 advances California’s interest in procreation and childrearing, but his analysis is badly flawed …

After describing those flaws, Whelan notes:

5. If one accepts Reinhardt’s reasoning that dismisses the core rationales for traditional marriage, I don’t see how traditional marriage laws could survive anywhere. In other words, the sweep of Reinhardt’s reasoning is far broader than his purportedly narrow holding.

6. Former judge Vaughn Walker’s purported factual findings play virtually no role in Reinhardt’s ruling. That’s further evidence that Walker’s whole trial was a pointless (and time-consuming) farce.

Catholics for the Common Good point out that Reinhardt has a less than stellar track record when it comes to having his rulings upheld at the next 

“The decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold Judge Walker’s radical decision overturning Prop 8 comes as no surprise,” said Catholics for the Common Good President William B. May.

“We always knew this case would be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Now that the Ninth Circuit has rendered its decision, the case can finally move to the U.S. Supreme Court where it will be decided on sound legal arguments rather than the emotional appeals by those trying to obliterate the only institution that unites children with their moms and dads.”

“The author of the decision, Judge Stephen Reinhardt, is one of the most overturned judges in the most overturned court in the U.S.”

According to Prop 8 Legal Defense General Counsel Andy Pugno, this decision “is completely out of step with every other federal appellate and Supreme Court decision in American history on the subject of marriage.” ProtectMarriage.com will immediately file its appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“It is outrageous that judges continue to disregard the will of 7 million voters who voted to protect the centrality and integrity of marriage for children and society,” May said.

The news of the past couple of weeks has been interesting, to put it most blandly: Judges tossing out the popular acclamation of real marriage, a Presidential administration demanding that churches and religious groups violate their beliefs and consciences, and the nation’s largest abortion provider depicting itself as an innocent victim when private, voluntary funding is not (temporariliy, it turns out) renewed. And yet there are still people who fret that the United States is on the edge of becoming a theocracy! Alas, the fight against self-induced insanity continues to wage without many signs of hope.


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About Carl E. Olson 1108 Articles
Carl E. Olson is editor of Catholic World Report and Ignatius Insight. He is the author of Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?, Will Catholics Be "Left Behind"?, co-editor/contributor to Called To Be the Children of God, co-author of The Da Vinci Hoax (Ignatius), and author of the "Catholicism" and "Priest Prophet King" Study Guides for Bishop Robert Barron/Word on Fire. He is also a contributor to "Our Sunday Visitor" newspaper, "The Catholic Answer" magazine, "The Imaginative Conservative", "The Catholic Herald", "National Catholic Register", "Chronicles", and other publications.