Assoc. Dean Amar Publishes Prop. 8 Commentary in San Francisco Chronicle, Comments for New York Times and other media outlets
Vikram Amar, Associate Dean and Professor of Law at UC Davis School of Law, has published a guest commentary in the San Francisco Chronicle on the California Supreme Court's recent ruling that proponents of a ballot initiative have standing to defend the initiative in court when elected officials do not. Amar also commented on the ruling for media including the New York Times, San Jose Mercury News, Sacramento Bee, The Recorder, and "The California Report" on KQED radio.
Amar's essay, "Headed for Supreme Court?," appeared the in Chronicle's November 18 edition. The California Supreme Court ruling is significant for Proposition 8, California's same-sex marriage ban initiative, and "makes it considerably more likely that the same-sex marriage controversy will end up in the U.S. Supreme Court," Amar writes. The essay recounts the history of the legal battle over Prop. 8, which was passed by voters in 2008 but overturned in 2010 federal court decision. The California Supreme Court decision means that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will grant standing to Prop. 8 proponents seeking to appeal the federal court decision, Amar explains. If the Ninth Circuit upholds the trial court decision and strikes down Prop. 8, "the U.S. Supreme Court may have no choice but to take up the case," Amar states, adding that it is likely to be at least a year before the case would reach the Supreme Court.
Though the issue of standing in federal courts is distinct from the state law question, Amar expects the Ninth Circuit to accept the state high court's conclusion. "Given the makeup of the panel in the Ninth Circuit and the signals they've already sent, it seems pretty likely they will find Article III standing," Amar told The Recorder, noting that it remains unclear whether the U.S. Supreme Court justices would agree if the case ultimately reaches them as is widely expected. "There may be some members of the U.S. Supreme Court who think that the California Supreme Court has no claim of expertise on Article III standing, so they're not going to be influenced by what the Court has to say."
In the short term, the California high court decision may be considered worth celebrating for Prop. 8 proponents, but "in the long run, it's a tougher question," Amar told the New York Times.
Vikram Amar, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Law with the UC Davis School of Law, is a national authority in the fields of constitutional law, civil procedure, criminal procedure, and remedies. His biweekly column for Justia.com, a leading provider of online legal information, centers on his expertise in constitutional law.
Amar Guest Commentary: "Prop. 8 case likely heading to Supreme Court"
New York Times article
San Jose Mercury News article
The Recorder article