SCOTUS Blog has issued an interesting tweet that must be mentioned. They tweeted that “Breaking: 1st update- #prop8 unlikely to be upheld; either struck down or #scotus won’t decide case. More in 30 mins.” Now, if this is true, it could mean several things; however, the decision is not entirely surprising. As Dr. Maddow and her guest pointed out last night, there are several options that the Supreme Court could take with regards to Prop 8.
One of these options is to decide that the people who have been defending the amendment do not have standing to defend it in court, and that means that Judge Walker’s ruling on Prop 8 stands. This means that Prop 8 will no longer be the law of the land in California.
What could also happen is that Prop 8 is defeated but that this defeat also renders all marriage equality bans in the nation null. This is the ‘fifty-state ruling’ kind of deal. The Supreme Court could also rule that civil unions are not equal and strike down Prop 8 and elevate all civil union laws to full marriage equality laws. That would mean that one in five states in the Union would then have same-sex marriage.
Exactly how this falls out depends on a lot of factors, but it may not be known for some time. SCOTUS Blog, though, appears to be quite confident that Prop 8 is going down, and going down hard. This will be a major blow to the anti-gay groups which have been adamant about defending this particular law.
If Prop 8 does go down, then it could open up the various state marriage bans to challenges in the courts based upon the precedent set by the court. Of course, a ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act could render the victory in Prop 8 into something more akin to icing on the cake.