Supreme Court dismisses Prop 8 case and marriage equality returns to California

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Washington, D.C. The United States Supreme Court dismissed with a 5-4 ruling the State of California case concerning Proposition 8, which means same-sex marriages can resume in the Golden State.

The ruling was released on June 26.

Same-sex couples were able to marry in California in 2008 after the State Supreme Court ruled that prohibiting marriage equality was unconstitutional. In November of that year, voters passed Proposition 8, which blocked gay couples from marrying.

In the case, Justice John Roberts writes the opinion with Justices Scalia, Ginsberg, Breyer and Kagan ruling in the majority. Justices Kennedy, Alito, Thomas and Sotomayor voted in dissent.

After the two same-sex couples filed their challenge to Proposition 8 in federal court in California, the California government officials who would normally have defended the law in court, declined to do so. So the proponents of Proposition 8 stepped in to defend the law, and the California Supreme Court (in response to a request by the lower court) ruled that they could do so under state law.

But on June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court held that the proponents do not have the legal right to defend the law in court. As a result, it held, the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the intermediate appellate court, has no legal force, and it sent the case back to that court with instructions for it to dismiss the case.

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