United States Ninth Circuit

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Perry v. Brown, 10-16696

In a challenge to Proposition 8, a California ballot initiative approved by the voters amending the state constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry, the district court's judgment invalidating the initiative is affirmed, with the following rulings: 1) the proponents of Proposition 8 had standing to bring the appeal on behalf of the State of California, whose people must be allowed to defend in federal courts the validity of their use of the initiative power; 2) however, Proposition 8 violated the Equal Protection Clause of the federal constitution, as the people may not employ the initiative power to single out a disfavored group for unequal treatment and strip them, without a legitimate justification, of a right as important as the right to marry; and 3) the district court properly denied a motion to vacate the judgment, as the trial judge, who had been in a same-sex relationship for ten years, had no obligation to recuse himself or to disclose any personal conflict.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 02/07/2012
  • Published 02/07/2012


  • Reinhardt


  • United States Ninth Circuit


  • For Appellant:
  • David Boies, Andrew P. Pugno

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