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Constitutional Law

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The article chosen for this paper is titled “Will the Supreme Court ‘stay its hand’ on gay marriage? SCOTUSblog’s Goldstein thinks so” (Weiss, 2013). The work is in relation to the constitutionality proposition 8 that banned gay marriage. Gay marriage is a controversial topic that has caught the attention of the nation in the last two decades. In 2004, Gavin Newsom, then Mayor of San Francisco, gave instructions to city officials within the City of San Francisco to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The Supreme Court of California overruled the mayor of San Francisco because he lacked authority to bypass the state law that banned such unions from licensing. Lawsuits have ensued pitting groups supporting same-sex marriages against the state of California, and in 2008 the issue reached the Supreme Court of California (Liptak, 2013).

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The Supreme Court overturned the ban on same-sex marriage in remarriage cases,which prompted those opposed to the decision to collect signatures requiring the issue to be put in a referendum during the November 2008 elections (Nagourney, 2012). The initiative known as Proposition 8 was won by those who opposed gay marriage. Proponents of gay marriage followed up the issue into the Supreme Court of the S, and, in this article, the writer is exploring the likely outcomes regarding this case.

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The author is of the opinion that the Supreme Court may stay its hands off the issue for some time to allow society to develop its views further on the topic (Weiss, 2013). This is important considering the divisiveness with which the issue is discussed with between the liberals and conservatives. Currently the difference in opinion between the two sides is so wide that the Supreme Court cannot take a definite stand without occasioning widespread condemnation. By staying off the issue for now, the Supreme Court holds that gap between the opposing sides will narrow with time and allow society to take a stand via consensus. Goldstein thinks that since the California state official abandoned defending Proposition 8, groups that took over the defense lack a standing in the court dominated by liberals (Weiss, 2013). In this way, the case will be dismissed on the grounds the petitioners do not have the authority to execute it.

In the second scenario, Goldstein states the court would dismiss the case due to inability to attain a majority as suggested by Justice Kennedy. The latter condition is needed to decide the case either way. If Kennedy stays off the case as is expected, that maajority is not attainable. In addition, the proponents of gay marriages would score a win because the decision by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals striking down Proposition 8 will stay (Weiss, 2013).

This article concerns constitutional law in two aspects. The Constitution recognizes marriage as between one man and one woman. On the other hand, the same Constitution under the Bill of Rights bans discrimination on any grounds. Proponents of gay marriage argue that denying gay couples the right to marry constitutes discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation (Leff, 2012). The two sides therefore anchor their arguments on the Constitution and constitutional lawyers have not come to a common stand on the interpretations thereof. The other issue under consideration is whether a voter’s initiative, in this case Proposition 8, can amend the Constitution.

The writing piece provides an insight of what to expect from the Supreme Court ruling. As the article puts it, it was not expected the Supreme Court would deliver a decisive judgment on this case either to accord same-sex marriages recognition nationally or to ban them. The court may stay its hands off the topic for now; however, in defense of the Constitution, this issue needs finality.

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