Talk:Hollingsworth v. Perry

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Former good article nominee Hollingsworth v. Perry was a Social sciences and society good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
August 13, 2010 Good article nominee Not listed
August 16, 2010 Good article reassessment Not listed
Current status: Former good article nominee
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Perry v. Brown?[edit]

When does this become Perry v. Brown to reflect the new administration? Orrin Knox (talk) 18:21, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

IMNAL but it is my understanding that it will not change. Since Schwarzenegger was sued "in his official capacity as governor" the suit will keep his name on it, as it's the governor being sued, and Arnold is no longer personally involved. Uberhill 22:26, 21 January 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Uberhill (talkcontribs)

The name won't change unless the court changes it.--Bbb23 (talk) 23:29, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

I've heard that the court just changed it, I am trying to find a reliable source but am unable to, if someone can confirm it should it be changed? (talk) 09:25, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
The primary title should be v. Schwarzenegger until v. Brown is the more commonly used name for it, but if v. Brown becomes the official title, then there should be a redirect from Perry v. Brown to here. --Nat Gertler (talk) 16:21, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
The court changed it yesterday. I can only confirm it through PACER: "COURT DOCKET UPDATE: Party substitution of new officials: EDMUND G. BROWN, Jr., in his official capacity as Governor of California; and KAMALA D. HARRIS, in her official capacity as Attorney General of California. [7664704] (RY)". I tend to agree with Nat - a redirect would be better because it's still much better known as v. Schwarzenegger.--Bbb23 (talk) 00:29, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

I've made put a redirect in place. See Perry v. Brown Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 00:47, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. I guess I could've done that. :-) --Bbb23 (talk) 00:59, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

But is there really a Perry v. Brown case - or since it's an appeal, is that appeal Brown v. Perry? I'm going to hold off on adding an alternate name into the article text until I see that usage in a Reliable Source. --Nat Gertler (talk) 04:16, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

The appeal still goes under the original case name, as I understand it. But the redirect is cheap.  :) Struck, not so sure. But yeah, no harm in waiting for WP:RS for usage. --joe deckertalk to me 04:49, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
The name of the case has always listed the appellee first. Just look at previous orders/decisions. That hasn't changed. All that's changed is the substitution of the new governor and attorney general. As for holding off on a note in the article, I don't much care. Although the Ninth Circuit has changed its docket, it hasn't yet changed the name on its main page. If it gets around to doing that, that would probably be enough to insert a note into the article. I'm not sure that the name change will ever get any third-party coverage - it's just not all that interesting.--Bbb23 (talk) 13:48, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
The 9th circuit webmaster doesn't seem to be on top of the latest news. And for some reason Coleman v. Schwarzenegger is lumped in with Perry as part of the Prop 8 litigation. --haha169 (talk) 03:39, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Update The 9th circuit website has changed the name to v. Brown, but I suggest that we keep the current name because it is the more well-known and representative of the subject, and because the article is still based on the district court proceedings as of now. --haha169 (talk) 03:58, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Haha, but just for the sake of data, [1], here's the first relatively reliable secondary source I've seen use the new name. --joe deckertalk to me 18:36, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
The Christian Science Monitor is calling it Perry v. Brown. [2] Therequiembellishere (talk) 22:44, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
Also this: [3] Therequiembellishere (talk) 22:46, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
BTW, thanks again to Bmclaughlin9 for adding the redirect. Ironically, both Gov Brown and Gov. Schwarzenegger thought Prop 8 was unconstitutional and refused to defend it but that is how such cases are named. --Javaweb (talk) 00:20, 3 February 2012 (UTC)Javaweb
Now that the 9th Circuit has released its opinion, I'll be moving it to Perry v. Brown. NW (Talk) 02:55, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

"Millions voted for Proposition 8"[edit]

This article occasionally gets a line thrown into the lead about "xMillion Californians voted for Proposition 8...." and the inevitable reverts begin. Why?

  1. This article is about a court case, challenging the constitutionality of Prop8, not the voting record.
  2. Posting something on the Internet doesn't make it true, and voting for something doesn't make it constitutional. A popular initiative to ban women from voting would be unconstitutional, even if 99% of the voters approved it.
  3. Poll results are relevant to the article on Prop8 itself, but not here. It may be true, but it is irrelevant to this piece of the issue. Prop8 is linked from this article for those interested.

Issues like gay marriage can stray so easily into a dozen other subjects, this article's best hope is if we can keep it focused on what's immediately relevant. Uberhill 04:07, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

The inserts you're concerned about appear to be the work of a single editor, working through a series of sock puppets. He is not likely to be moved by anything you post here, and as you've seen by the quick reverts of his statements, you should not be too concerned about other editors allowing those statements to remain. --Nat Gertler (talk) 04:12, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Is lawdork notable?[edit]

Is lawdork worth mentioning here? I've never heard of it so I am inclined to remove it. --Javaweb (talk) 19:02, 20 May 2011 (UTC)Javaweb

It shouldn't be removed. It's not being cited for what it says - it's part of a list of entities that provided live coverage.--Bbb23 (talk) 19:11, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Judge Walker recusal hearing[edit]

Here is the transcript --Javaweb (talk) 20:43, 14 June 2011 (UTC)Javaweb Here is the decision transcript. Thanks to Bmclaughlin9 --Javaweb (talk) 20:57, 14 June 2011 (UTC)Javaweb
Here is the exact same decision transcript fetched from a better known source, the LA Times. --Javaweb (talk) 22:00, 14 June 2011 (UTC)Javaweb

Sorry to break your bubble...[4], source directly from the court. --haha169 (talk) 03:22, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
 :) Thank you. I'm crossing-out the indirect refs --Javaweb (talk) 04:24, 16 June 2011 (UTC)Javaweb

Standing hearing[edit]

The California Supreme Court hearing is archived here. --Javaweb (talk) 16:54, 6 September 2011 (UTC)Javaweb

Tape ruling[edit]

Chief Judge Ware's ruling on the tape recordings. [5] Therequiembellishere (talk) 22:10, 19 September 2011 (UTC)

Text of the ruling Therequiembellishere (talk) 22:11, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
UPDATE: Ninth Circuit's reversal of Ware's ruling. [6] Therequiembellishere (talk) 22:41, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

9th Circuit Opinion[edit]

Because of the massive interest in editing this article. I decided to preserve a few points here so that the final look incorporating today's 9th Circuit ruling may be considered after interest in editing the article every 3 minutes has subsided.

My opinion is that the quotation from the opinion which is most relevant is this, "Although the Constitution permits communities to enact most laws they believe to be desirable, it requires that there be at least a legitimate reason for the passage of a law that treats different classes of people differently. There was no such reason that Proposition 8 could have been enacted..."

I believe so because this is the part of the ruling where we find reference to rational basis review under the Equal Protection clause. The finding is interesting because it rejected judge Walker's holding that sexual orientation is a suspect classification deserving of strict scrutiny review. It follows the ruling in Romer v. Evans which held the level of scrutiny is rational basis. It also permits those seeking further review to brief additional purposes either before the 9th Circuit en banc, or before the Supreme Court.

Another quotation which is important is "Whether under the Constitution same-sex couples may ever be denied the right to marry, a right that has long been enjoyed by opposite-sex couples, is an important and highly controversial question...We need not and do not answer the broader question in this case."

This quotation is important because it states the opinion is a narrow one. It leaves in place same sex marriage bans in other 9th Circuit States such as Arizona.

There is the question of standing which can still be addressed be the 9th Circuit or the Supreme Court notwithstanding the California Supreme Court's certified question. The opinion indicates that it accepted the California finding of standing. Opponents to proposition 8 may continue a standing challenge upon further review, possibly arguing the 9th Circuit erred in finding continued standing to challenge the district court's opinion.

Finally, there is the issue that this is an article concerning the district court case, but we now have a Circuit Court Opinion. I would suggest that the article be adapted to a circuit court case article rather than creating a new article for today's ruling.

There may be others, but thoughts are welcome. Gx872op (talk) 19:14, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

What quotations are there in reference to denying Walker's need to recuse himself due to his sexual orientation (the first time such grounds have been levied)? Therequiembellishere (talk) 19:24, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
I honestly cannot recall ever seeing a trial court article become so expansive as this; adapting it to a circuit court article will be very difficult, if not impossible. There is important content in this article (like a description of the trial) that wouldn't necessarily be relevant to a circuit court article. There isn't any precedent about this, thoughts? --haha169 (talk) 19:43, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Perhaps quotations should be chosen based on their use in intelligent coverage. I chose this based on Geidner: "the People of California may not, consistent with the Federal Constitution, add to their state constitution a provision that has no more practical effect than to strip gays and lesbians of their right to use the official designation that the State and society give to committed relationships, thereby adversely affecting the status and dignity of the members of a disfavored class." What is more important than any quote or quotes, I think, will be a clear account of how limited (Romer-based) this decision is. Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 20:02, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Is there a way for the template to say which parts Smith concurred with and which parts he dissented with? Therequiembellishere (talk) 05:13, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
I know of no such template. An example of good organization is the article Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. Following the structure of that example would be best. Quite a few elements, such as the live streaming issue, are not legally significant to the case anymore, but are significant to the trial court proceedings. From a reading of the lead, this is now a circuit court article a no longer a trial court article. Gx872op (talk) 17:32, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Anyone interested might also find THIS an illuminating source for pulling quotes from the 9th Circuit ruling. (From the PROP 8 TRIAL TRACKER site's article "The top 10 quotations from the 9th Circuit’s Prop 8 ruling") Codenamemary (talk) 19:24, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Upon reflection, I think it's important to write a summary that marshals quotations in the service of communicating the core of the opinion, not to start with quotable quotes. The last of those on the trial tracker site is, of course, the silliest, and others, while of interest, are far from pithy. So, for what it's worth, here's a draft:
Reinhardt wrote that the Court did not need to consider Walker's holding that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional because "it deprives same-sex couples of the fundamental right to marry" and violated the Equal Protection Clause by excluding same-sex couples to an "honored status" permitted opposite=sex couples. Instead, he noted the argument raised by attorneys representing the City of San Francisco: "Proposition 8 singles out same-sex couples for unequal treatment by taking away from them alone the right to marry", a "distinct constitutional violation" in that it subjected a minority group to "the deprivation of an existing right without a legitimate reason." He called this "the narrowest ground" for considering the case. He then asked if "the People of California have legitimate reasons for ... tak[ing] away from same-sex couples the right to have their lifelong partnerships dignified by the official status of 'marriage'". He found a close parallel in the case of Evans v. Romer (1993) to support his approach. He then rejected each of the reasons offered as justifications for Proposition 8. He found it had no effect on child-rearing, since it made no change to laws governing parenting and adoption, nor would it affect the procreative behavior of opposite-sex couples. He rejected the notion that it reflected a reasonable attempt to "proceed with caution" in altering social institutions since more than 18,000 same-sex couples had already married and its prohibition on same-sex marriage was absolute. He wrote that the "inevitable inference" was that Proposition 8's rationale was "disapproval of gays and lesbians as a class." He concluded that "the People of California may not, consistent with the Federal Constitution, add to their state constitution a provision that has no more practical effect than to strip gays and lesbians of their right to use the official designation that the State and society give to committed relationships, thereby adversely affecting the status and dignity of the members of a disfavored class."

Much of the rest of the entry is still a mess/poorly written. There's much to work on. Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 20:07, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Pretty bias sounding statement[edit]

Cott was then cross-examined by David Thompson, who took supposedly out-of-context statements from her deposition testimony and publications and asked if she agreed with them.[59]

Although there is a reference here the link does not work so I could not verify who opined that they were out-of-context.

Perhaps we could say something like: "Cott was then cross-examined by David Thompson, who took statements from her deposition testimony and publications and asked if she agreed with them. Person/Organization however, argued that Mr. Thompson took these statements out of context.[Reference]"

Or if no reference like the above actually exists: "Cott was then cross-examined by David Thompson. Mr. Thompson used this time to highlight statements Cott made that he believed supported the Defendant-Intervenor's position".ObieTalk (talk) 19:55, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

WP:BOLD, if you think something is wrong, change it yourself! --haha169 (talk) 04:57, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
Make the edit Obie...I believe in you. Face-smile.svg Teammm Let's Talk! :) 11:39, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

I found a good source -- the Harvard Crimson -- and did a re-write. In general, refs to Pam's House Blend should be replaced with better sources. It's an opinionated blog that I generally agree with, but not a good WP source. Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 18:56, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

Thanks. Generally blogs/opinion pieces have enough info that a web search will turn up a reliable source if the item is true. Fellow editors, please post those sources rather than web pages that may have an axe to grind. --Javaweb (talk) 20:29, 12 February 2012 (UTC)Javaweb

Only reason I did not make this edit was I was hoping someone knew what was intended here or had a source. The rewrite seems appropriate.ObieTalk (talk) 03:09, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Tape NOT permanently sealed[edit]

I know some news articles have said the tape is permanently sealed, but that is clearly false. See p.13 of Ninth Circuit ruling. There is no legal possibility of a permanent sealing. By default, it will automatically unseal 10 years post case closure (which I assume means a final judgement with all appeals exhausted, so we haven't got there yet.) The parties can apply for a delay to make it longer than 10 years, and they have to do so prior to case closure. So, potentially the, Intervenors could file a motion to delay it more than 10 years (their timeline to do that hasn't expired yet I believe, since the case is still being appealed), which if they choose to do, the Court may or may not accept. But even if they succeed in such a motion, a forever sealing is impossible - a motion extending the sealing must specify a date for the record to be unsealed. What this means, is that even though the 9th Circuit ruled to keep the tape sealed for now, the public will one day get to see it, although probably not until some time in the 2020s. The tape exists in the Court archives, in the possession of the parties, in the possession of Judge Walker, all of whom will be free to distribute the tape as they wish once the sealing expires. (talk) 12:07, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

The word "permanently" was incorrect and I left in your change in that regard. However, I removed the sentence you added about the opinion and the local rule. It's unnecessary and it's sourced twice to primary sources, the opinion and the local rule. One is bad enough.--Bbb23 (talk) 23:17, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
I still think it would be useful to point out that the tape WILL be released eventually, although that is at least ten years away from now. Could we say something like "The tape will be unsealed ten years after the finalization of all appeals, unless one of the parties succeeds in a motion to delay the unsealing to some later date". What about adding a footnote to that effect? We could put the references to the local rules and the 9th circuit decision in the footnote, if necessary. (talk) 05:51, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
I think quoting primary sources is fine here, given that WP:PRIMARY says "A primary source may only be used on Wikipedia to make straightforward, descriptive statements of facts that any educated person, with access to the source but without specialist knowledge, will be able to verify are supported by the source." Automatic unsealing 10 years after case closure unless the court grants a motion prior to case closure to delay unsealing to a specified future date is a straightforward reading of the primary sources (it's not hard), not some difficult work of interpretation, and any educated person reading the court judgement would reach the same conclusion. I'm not aware of anyone who is disagreeing with this statement. (talk) 05:57, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved. Jenks24 (talk) 12:38, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

Perry v. BrownPerry v. Schwarzenegger – While the case has technically been renamed since Schwarzenegger is no longer governor of California, the case is much better known with the Schwarzenegger's name. Nearly all of the press coverage and discussion of the case was under the former name. If this case moves to higher courts and receives further press there, then the article can be renamed, but for now, the Schwarzenegger name should have been retained. D O N D E groovily Talk to me 23:48, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose Current usage is Brown, Google News Archives runs about 20:1 in favor of "Perry v. Brown" in the last month, 8970 v. 419. Names change. --joe deckertalk to me 23:53, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
    Moreover, see [7] v. [8], which leans Brown but admittedly nowhere near 20:1. --joe deckertalk to me 23:55, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose And there's much more to come under Perry v. Brown, including all the coverage of the denial of request for rehearing en banc on June 5. Bmclaughlin9 Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 18:39, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Number dissenting from denial of hearing en banc[edit]

RE: "On June 5, 2012, the request was denied, with three (out of twenty-five) judges dissenting"

This implies that only 3 judges opposed the decision to deny the request for a hearing en banc. That's not quite fair to the reader who doesn't understand there's a huge difference between voting (a) in the minority and (b) announcing your dissent. It also undercounts the dissenters we know about!

Opposing the decision and making your dissent public are two very different things. The court does not tell us what the vote was, only that a majority decided to deny the request. The only other details we have are (1) that 3 signed a dissent and the decision's statement that: "Judge N.R. Smith would grant the petition." So he's a fourth. To say 3 is dead wrong. It's 4 minimum.

We have no way of knowing if there are others who wanted the en banc review but did not write a dissent or sign the one that was written. Rather than present this misleading detail about a subject that is so uncertain, I've removed the bit about how many dissented. The fact is we don't know how many and the number is of little importance. I think it's better not to state something as misleading as what I've quoted above. An alternative would be to say that 3 joined in a dissent, but only if it's said in a way that doesn't mislead. And the whole bit is too unimportant. Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 01:37, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

Agreed (as the person who put it in there in the first place) --joe deckertalk to me 01:50, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I agree with everything you've said. Thanks for fixing it and the explanation. I don't think we need to say anything more.--Bbb23 (talk) 01:51, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
The fact that 3 judges issued a written dissent might still be worth mentioning, without any numerical comparison.--agr (talk) 01:54, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

Just FYI, the clearest and most detailed writing on this case and similar ones can be found at Prof. Arthur Leonard's blog: here. He also also reminds us that either party can ask for certiorari. Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 10:44, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

Case name and docket number[edit]

SCOTUSblog gives the docket number as 12-144 and the new case name as Hollingsworth v. Perry. [9] Therequiembellishere (talk)

Shouldn't this new case name be featured more prominently in the lede? Therequiembellishere (talk) 02:46, 1 December 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps, but the Supreme Court has not yet decided whether to hear the case. NauticaShades 11:33, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

Hollingsworth v. Perry[edit]

The Supreme Court case is Hollingsworth v. Perry. Should this article be renamed?--В и к и T 20:54, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

Yes, the article should be renamed. Ron 1987 (talk) 23:00, 7 December 2012 (UTC)
I have moved it to Hollingsworth v. Perry.

As an aside, there already is a decision in Hollingsworth v. perry, when SCOTUS decided to not allow tv cameras in the original federal case. have a good day. Mang (talk) 01:03, 8 December 2012 (UTC)

Is there a precedent for disambig pages for these kinds of ocassions?— Preceding unsigned comment added by Haha169 (talkcontribs) 05:13, 8 December 2012 (UTC)
Isn't all of the content about that trial in this article? Or do we actually have a separate article on it? Also, I'm not super familiar with SCOTUS naming conventions, but I imagine the name change has something to do with the fact that it's the name they heard it under previously. — Francophonie&Androphilie(Je vous invite à me parler) 05:16, 8 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure we should change the name quite yet, but I'm neutral about it. To answer your question, Francophonie, the "Hollingsworth" party appealed the case to the Supreme Court - thus they are technically the ones "suing" the winners from the 9th Circuit, hence the name Hollingsworth v. Perry. Gov. Brown and the State chose not to do anything, thus they are not named in the complaint. --haha169 (talk) 08:12, 8 December 2012 (UTC)
Ahh, I see. Thanks.Face-smile.svg Understanding that, I'd say that it'd be rather odd to split the content into two articles about highly related trials. Perhaps at some point down the line we should change the lede to say "is the name of two related Supreme Court cases," but I agree with you, Haha169, that it's better to wait before making any decisions in that regard. On a side note, at least Jerry Brown gets his name taken out of the suit now - I've always found it rather amusing/ironic that the guy who refused to pursue the case, both as attorney general and as governor, was the one who got named in the suit (though I understand the legal-conventional reasons for this). — Francophonie&Androphilie(Je vous invite à me parler) 09:43, 8 December 2012 (UTC)

could reach the Supreme Court?[edit]

The sentence <could reach the Supreme Court> must be changed as far as the case already reached to the Supreme Court and scheduled to be heard. ( (talk) 05:42, 10 December 2012 (UTC))

It appears that correction has been made. (If you don't see it, you might try clearing your browser cache.) --j⚛e deckertalk 05:58, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

2012-12-07 BBC Newsreport US Supreme Court to rule on gay marriage cases - SCOTUS Options[edit]

The BBC writes in its 2012-12-07 BBC Newsreport US Supreme Court to rule on gay marriage cases: "The Supreme Court has the option of reversing the lower judgements - thus reinstating both laws - or upholding them, which could afford gay weddings legal status under the US Constitution. However, the justices have also reserved the right to decide that they do not have jurisdiction to hear the cases."

Can someone please explain me why these SCOTUS options shall not be included into the article? Thanks in advance. --P3Y229 (talkcontribs) 14:58, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

Because they're speculative. —Jeremy v^_^v Bori! 20:15, 10 December 2012 (UTC)
There are more options than these. And telling the reader than the Supreme Court might not have jurisdiction will enlighten few and befuddle many. They're "Supreme"! How can they not have jurisdiction? What does that mean? Better to explain as the briefs are submitted and the decision rendered.
You'll find that with court cases, wikipedia generally doesn't speculate beyond things like "oral argument expected (month)" and "decision anticipated (month)". Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 16:28, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

Jurisdiction for the ruling of the Supreme Court[edit]

I'm puzzled about what the majority did in this case. They found that the petitioners did not have standing to bring the appeal. Doesn't it follow that the US Supreme Court lacked jurisdiction to do anything other than dismiss (or possibly quash) the appeal? But that's not what the Supreme Court did; instead it vacated the Circuit Court's decision and remanded. How can the Supreme Court have jurisdiction to vacate the decision appealed from, if nobody had standing to bring that appeal? Mathew5000 (talk) 19:53, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

AIUI, the SC was ruling not just on whether the petitioners could appeal to the Supreme Court, but also whether they could appeal to the Ninth Circuit. Because the answer to both questions was "no", the Ninth Circuit appeal was invalidated (as well as the SC appeal). The article could probably be a bit clearer on this, but I'm not sure how to go about doing so. Andrew Gray (talk) 20:03, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
The S. Ct.'s appeal wasn't "invalidated". Otherwise, you are correct, although I'm not sure I would describe it the way you have. The S. Ct. found that the 9th circuit did not have jurisdiction of the appeal from the district court. Therefore, they ordered the 9th circuit to "dismiss" the appeal. The S. Ct. also found that it did not have jurisdiction because of the petitioner's lack of standing. Without jurisdiction, the S. Ct. could not go to the merits.--Bbb23 (talk) 20:17, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
Right, I understand all that, and obviously there's no problem if the S. Ct. wants to say in obiter dicta that the 9th Circuit should not have heard the appeal on the merits, but it seems very odd for the S. Ct. to have issued an order formally vacating the 9th Circuit decision when nobody had standing to bring the appeal before the S. Ct. on any issue, even the standing issue itself. Mathew5000 (talk) 22:11, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
The S. Ct. held that the 9th circuit did not have jurisdiction; it wasn't dicta. I frankly don't understand what you're saying.--Bbb23 (talk) 22:57, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
The U.S. Supreme Court had to throw out (vacate) the Ninth Circuit decision because Prop 8 sponsors did not have the legal authority to be defending Prop 8 in that wasn't proper for the Ninth Circuit to hear their appeal (no jurisdiction). When the U.S. Supreme Court said the Prop 8 sponsors did not have Article III standing to appeal the district court decision, that meant that they do not have standing in any federal court. Judge Walker's decision stands because that case was defended by lawyers for the Governor and Attorney General (who were nonexistent during appeal), as well as the Prop 8 sponsor lawyer Charles Cooper - as intervenor. The U.S. Supreme can review an issue of standing without getting to the merits of a case, which is what it did here. Jurisdiction refers to the ability of a court to rule on the merits or central legal issues of the case before them. As the head of the federal court system, the U.S. Supreme Court said the Ninth Circuit's trial shouldn't have happened and the ruling had to be thrown out. Hope that cleared everything up. Teammm talk
01:57, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
The case was not defended by the governor and the attorney general. They were named by the plaintiffs, and they refused to defend. Also, standing at the trial court level is not the same as standing at the appellate level. The procedural posture is obviously different, and standing, of course, always depends on the parties bringing the case. The parties bringing the case at the trial level were the gay couples. The parties appealing were the proponents of Prop 8.--Bbb23 (talk) 00:53, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
No, it's not completely correct to say “Jurisdiction refers to the ability of a court to rule on the merits or central legal issues of the case before them”; jurisdiction also refers to the ability of a court to hear issues of procedure and to issue orders that may be procedural in nature. In any event that's true in the British and other common-law systems; is it really the case that in American law, the term "jurisdiction" is used only in reference to the merits of a case? Anyway if nobody sees the issue I'm pointing out with the logic of the S.Ct. making an order vacating the decision of the court below, in the absence of any of the parties having had standing to bring the case to the Supreme Court, then I guess it's no big deal. Thanks for trying to help. Mathew5000 (talk) 02:29, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
All you need to know is that the S.Ct. was within its power to rule on the standing issue and vacate the 9th Circuit decision. The S.Ct. is the highest court in America and has the last say over any other. The S.Ct. doesn't need to have jurisdiction to hear the constitutionality arguments in order to rule on whether the Prop 8 sponsors had standing in the lower court. They are two separate questions to the court/issues in the case. The S.Ct. granted review because it was necessary to clarify that the Prop 8 sponsors did not have standing. I don't understand what your logic is. Teammm talk
03:05, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Focus of the lead and infobox[edit]

Shouldn't the lede and also the infobox focus on the much more significant circuit court decision? After all, it's the ruling that banning gay marriage violates due process and equal protection that is the truly significant part of this case; the Supreme Courts ruling on standing is a mere technical footnote in comparison. The lede should thus give more depth to the gay marriage circuit court case and mention the Supreme Court ruling as a footnote - similarly, there should, in this case, be two infoboxes, first for Perry v Schwarzenegger on the gay marriage ruling and second on Hollingsworth v Perry on the standing issue. I'm sure this isn't the typical way to describe a Supreme Court case, but this is not a typical case. Ego White Tray (talk) 20:50, 20 June 2014 (UTC)