Prop 8 Oral Argument Reax

John Culhane live-blogged it:

If I had to guess, I’d say that those married between June and November 4, 2008 will still be married. Going forward, forget it. It’s time to dive back into the political process. I don’t expect a unanimous decision on either issue, but I’d be surprised if either vote is close. (I do think that there’s at least a chance that the retroactivity issue will be unanimous.)

Dale Carpenter agrees:

I’m out of the business of predicting with confidence what the California Supreme Court will do based on its oral arguments. So I’ll predict without confidence that: (1) the court will hold that Proposition 8 was a valid amendment, but (2) will also hold that the 18,000 same-sex marriages entered between June and November continue to be recognized and valid in California.

Marriage opponent Maggie Gallagher enjoyed herself:

The most fun was watching the justices grill the California state lawyer, poor man, who had to defend Attorney General Jerry Brown's official position: Prop. 8 was an amendment, not a revision, but the court could strike it down anyway because it violated the "inalienable rights" clause of the California constitution. A joy to watch!

Andy Towle:

Two quick impressions, just from watching the proceedings, were that Justice Joyce Kennard, who was in the majority 4-3 ruling for the legalization of same-sex marriage last May and was the only justice in that majority to vote against hearing the challenges to Proposition 8 seemed to take an immediately aggressive position toward those challenging the measure. And Kenneth Starr, who immediately followed a rather bumbling and hesitant performance by Christopher Krueger, senior assistant attorney general under Attorney General Jerry Brown, displayed an almost arrogant ease in the courtroom that was only magnified by Krueger's fits and starts.

Paul Cates, ACLU:

This case is not just about marriage or gay people. If a simple majority of the voters can take this core right away from gay people, it can take any right away from any other group as well (Kenneth Starr – who argued for the supporters of Prop 8 – acknowledged this in court today). If Prop. 8 is upheld, then Californians could, for example, vote to take religious freedom away from Muslims, or free speech rights away from women, or the right to vote away from Chinese-Americans. This case is important for every Californian: it’s about whether the limits we’ve set on the power of the majority have meaning.

Ethan Leib:

From what I heard, I didn't think the Court seemed very eager to call it a revision and strike it down.