This seems to me the news in Judge Walker's decision to extend a stay on his ruling in favor of marriage rights for gay couples until August 18. I'm not a legal expert but this is from the NCLR's release:
Even though Judge Walker did not immediately let same-sex couples in California marry, the ruling provides important insight into the merits of the issues that the Ninth Circuit will consider on appeal. For example, in his ruling today, Judge Walker casts serious doubt on whether the proponents of Prop 8 even have "standing" to pursue an appeal because they do not speak for the state of California, and the official representatives of the state agree that Prop 8 is unconstitutional. Standing refers to whether a particular person has a legal right to bring an appeal. In his ruling today, Judge Walker said: “As it appears at least doubtful that proponents will be able to proceed with their appeal without a state defendant, it remains unclear whether the court of appeals will be able to reach the merits of proponents’ appeal. In light of those concerns, proponents may have little choice but to attempt to convince either the governor or the attorney general to file an appeal to ensure jurisdiction."
But the governor and attorney general favor marriage equality. So it will be up to Anthony Kennedy, if the appeal court denies standing to the Prop 8 proponents. But maybe not. A reader notes:
Appellate courts generally try to resolve cases on the narrowest grounds possible. Since the question of whether the intervenors have standing to pursue the appeal is a procedural/jurisdictional issue, and not the merits of the case, an appellate court should look to that question first to see if the case can be resolved without addressing the merits. If the court decides that the intervenors don't have standing to appeal, the court could resolve the case in favor of the plaintiffs without granting much room for the Supreme Court to take the case and reverse it.Fascinating.