The Gay Marriage Prop 8 trial

Court cases are nearly always like that. For example, ever heard of Roe v. Wade? Henry Wade was just the District Attorney in Dallas, TX, not anyone specially involved in abortion cases.

I understand that but normally the states legal representatives get named. Perry v Brown would have made sense. Was that name just taken or something?

Depends on who is listed first in the court documents, The Romer in Romer v. Evans was Roy Romer, then Governor of Colorado, who personally despised Amendment II but was named in his official capacity, just as Arnold Schwarzenegger is in this case.

On the other hand, a state may waive sovereign immunity to commence a suit, and an appeal from any case the state enters as a party, including a criminal case where it is prosecuting, will be listed as “Arizona v. Jones” or “Thompson v. Rhode Island” (the “State” or “People” of the state court usage being converted to the state’s name in Federal court).

Fine, at the toaster factory, then. :wink:

Right. Technically this case is Kristin M Perry, Sandra B Stier, Paul T. Katami, and Jeffrey J. Zarrillo v. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edmund G. Brown, Jr., Mark B. Horton, Linette Scott, Patrick O’Connell, and Dean C. Logan.

BTW, not everyone thinks this case is a good idea. Some advocates of same-sex marriage think the lawsuit is premature and think that the ruling could go against them. Here’s an article where the argument against the suit is presented (although, of course, it’s a moot point).

Several posters have already mentioned the risks of bringing this case at this time and in this court. SSM advocates are clearly not all of one mind.

Who are all the defendants not named Schwarzenegger?

Brown’s the Attorney General, Horton is the Director of Public Health and Registrar of Vital Statistics, Scott is Deputy Director of Health Information and Strategic Planning for the Department of Public Health, O’Connell is Alameda County Clerk, and Logan is LA County Registrar/Clerk.

Not really, though I know what you mean. It comes down to the level of scrutiny given to laws that affect homosexuals, and the Court has been pretty clear up to now that rational basis is the level of scrutiny, in other words the lowest possible level. Under Equal Protection analysis, it really can’t get a lot worse.

I also wouldn’t be definite this Court would go that way, though I would give it an 80% chance. Kennedy’s comments in Lawrence suggest it is possible he might go in favor of marriage for gays as a fundamental right.

Is there a good site that shows the timeline for this case’s (projected) progress through the court system?

Why would Horton, Scott, O’Connell, and Logan be part of the defendents?

I’m not sure about the first two, but O’Connell and Logan’s jobs deal with a specific county. I don’t see why they should be there at all. We’ve got the state representative in Schwartzenegger already.

Marriages are registered in the county that the marriage happens and then by the Department of Public Health and Vital Statistics. The two couples that want to be married live in Alameda County and LA County. So O’Connell and Logan are being sued because the county clerks’ offices won’t register the marriages, and Horton and Scott because the Department of Public Health won’t register the marriages.

A long but quite interesting discussion of the case by Margaret Talbot in The New Yorker:

I’m surprised there hasn’t been more discussion on this, but this site has been very helpful in tracking the day-to-day progress and testimonies. The defense in particular seems to be increasingly grasping at straws when it comes to making their case in some kind of coherent, consistent fashion.

Thanks, this really helps. Too bad they chickened out on broadcasting it. The OJ thing got more publicity and that doesn’t really effect more than a handful of people. This is a major civil rights trial and it’s almost like a secretive military tribunal

this is all going to come down to what level of scrutiny the court is going to give this discrimination. rational bases will most probably be found, regardless of how incoherent and inconsistent you think the argument is.

No, seriously. The defense witnesses are just abysmal! The plaintiff attorneys have had both of them tied up in knots for the last three days. Neither one is an “expert” on anything but their own egos. I’m no lawyer nor a judge, but I can’t see how the defense side has anything that resembles a rational basis for anything.

Although if this ends up in the Supreme Court, I’m guessing the way it goes depends on whether Kennedy has his wallet in his right or left pocket that day.

Some feel that the Defense is throwing the game just to get it to the SCOTUS on appeal. I don’t think I’m that paranoid, but it sometimes depends on the day.

That’s such an unbelievable high risk strategy, I don’t think there is any possible way it will be trying that. The Court doesn’t take every case that comes to it, and there’s a distinct possibility it would not take this one. And there is no real way of predicting which way the Court will go on this, especially if the lower court finds no credible justification for the law other than animus towards homosexuals.

The burden is all on the plaintiff here. However badly the defense screw up, it is hard for them to lose this one given current controlling precedent.