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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments in Prop. 8 Cases on Thursday

In a recent Press Release, The California Supreme Court announced that it will hear oral arguments on Thursday, March 5, 2009, on three cases challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8. (Strauss v. Horton, S168047; Tyler v. State of California, S168066; City and County of San Francisco v. Horton, S168078).

In the cases before the court, the court has issued an order listing the following three issues to be briefed and argued:

  1. Is Proposition 8 invalid because it constitutes a revision of, rather than an amendment to, the California Constitution?
  2. Does Proposition 8 violate the separation of powers doctrine under the California Constitution?
  3. If Proposition 8 is not unconstitutional, what is its effect, if any, on the marriages of same-sex couples performed before the adoption of Proposition 8?

The three cases were filed directly in the California Supreme Court on November 5, 2008, the day after the California voters’ approved Prop 8.

To increase public access to the court session, the Supreme Court has designated the California Channel, a public affairs cable network, to provide a live TV broadcast of the session and to serve as the "pool" channel. California Channel will provide a press pool outside the State Building to facilitate coverage of the oral argument by television and radio stations. For a list of cable companies that carry the network, see

Oral arguments also will be broadcast in an overflow viewing auditorium in the Milton Marks Conference Center, San Francisco. In addition, the Supreme Court has announced that all briefs in the Proposition 8 cases are now posted to a special section of the California Courts Web site at .

Under the applicable court rules, the Supreme Court generally issues a decision, through a written opinion, within 90 days of oral argument. For more information on the cases, including the attorneys of record, please see the Supreme Court’s online Case Information System at

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