The Supreme Court's decision to reject the Prop. 8 appeal on procedural grounds has one very significant, immediate effect. As of last month, 12 states and the District of Columbia embraced marriage equality, and as of this morning, California is the 13th.
The Supreme Court cleared the way Wednesday for same-sex marriages to resume in California as the justices, in a procedural ruling, turned away the defenders of Proposition 8.
Chief Justice John Roberts, speaking for the 5-4 majority, said the private sponsors of Prop. 8 did not have legal standing to appeal after the ballot measure was struck down by a federal judge in San Francisco. [...]
The court's action, while not a sweeping ruling, sends the case back to California, where state and federal judges and the state's top officials have said same-sex marriage is a matter of equal rights.
This gets a little tricky, but if I'm reading this correctly, the federal district court struck down California's anti-gay measure. There was an appeal, but state officials, including Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and state Attorney General Kamala Harris (D), refused to defend the discriminatory measure, and this morning, the Supreme Court majority scrapped the appeals court ruling on procedural grounds, which leaves the district court ruling in place.
The effect of the decision, then, will be to allow same-sex marriages to resume in California.
By some accounts, state clerks may begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples as early as this afternoon.
* Update: I originally said California is 12th, when in fact, it's 13th.