In Perry v. Schwarzenegger, U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker has found that Proposition 8 violated the federal constitutional rights of gays and lesbians to marry the partners of their choice. While this is undoubtedly the first step in successive legal battles over this issue, the unlikely team of Ted Olsen and David Boies is proving to be a formidable foe of those who wish to deny marriage equality.
Readers can get a copy of the final ruling here, but the main thrust of it comes in the remedy section:
Plaintiffs have demonstrated by overwhelming evidence that Proposition 8 violates their due process and equal protection rights and that they will continue to suffer these constitutional violations until state officials cease enforcement of Proposition 8. California is able to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, as it has already issued 18,000 marriage licenses to same-sex couples and has not suffered any demonstrated harm as a result,see FF 64-66; moreover, California officials have chosen not to defend Proposition 8 in these proceedings.
Because Proposition 8 is unconstitutional under both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses, the court orders entry of judgment permanently enjoining its enforcement; prohibiting the official defendants from applying or enforcing Proposition 8 and directing the official defendants that all persons under their control or supervision shall not apply or enforce Proposition 8. The clerk is DIRECTED to enter judgment without bond in favor of plaintiffs and plaintiff-intervenors and against defendants and defendant-intervenors pursuant to FRCP 58.
There is sure to be more analysis as people get a chance to digest the details. Feel free to note your feelings and opinions here in the mean time.
Hat Tip: GoodAsYou