Proposition 8 Backers Request “En Banc” Review By Full 9th Circuit

(The Bay Area Reporter) The backers of California’s ban against same-sex marriage have asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review a recent ruling that found voters did not have the right to adopt the antigay law.

In a 2-1 decision released February 7 a three-judge appellate panel upheld the 2010 ruling by now-retired U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker that the constitutional amendment voters passed in 2008, known as Proposition 8, is unconstitutional. 

Lawyers for, the group that succeeded in having voters adopt Prop 8, filed their request with the federal appellate court Tuesday, February 21. The move was expected and means Prop 8 will remain in effect for the time being.

They are seeking what is known as an en banc review, in which the chief judge of the appellate court and 10 other judges of the 9th Circuit assigned at random reconsider the case.

A majority of the 9th Circuit’s 25 judges in regular active service must vote to grant the request. According to the court’s rules published online, en banc reviews are “not favored” and “ordinarily will not be ordered” unless there is a need to “secure or maintain uniformity of the court’s decisions” or the case raises “a question of exceptional importance.”

In their 61-page request with the court, Prop 8’s attorneys contend that “the panel majority’s decision conflicts with decisions of the United States Supreme Court” as well as the 9th Circuit.

They also contend that an important question is raised by the case: if the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits a state from limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples.

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