The state high court, meeting in closed session, agreed to a request by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to determine the status California law gives initiative sponsors. The court was unanimous in deciding to accept the case. The court's order set an expedited briefing schedule to permit a hearing by "as early as September." The court must rule on a case 90 days after oral argument.
Initial briefs are due March 14.
On January 4, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals punted the appeal of the landmark Prop 8 ruling to the California Supreme Court. The federal court "certified" a request to the California Supreme Court on the question of "standing"—asking if the supporters of the voter-approved marriage ban can defend the measure in court when state officials refuse to do so.
California' high court has ruled twice on marriage equality. In a May 2008 ruling, the court voted 4-3 to end California’s ban on same-sex marriage. Voters reinstated the ban only six months later. In May 2009, the court voted 6-1 to reject a challenge of Proposition 8.