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Analysis: Why Kennedy Will Support Prop 8 Ruling
With the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling last week that California's Proposition 8 is unconstitutional, the debate on the constitutionality of marriage rights is hurtling toward the Supreme Court with increasing velocity. If and when the case reaches the Supreme Court, the decision will depend greatly on Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Following the Appeals Court ruling last week, the next step for the case is for the backers of Proposition 8 to file an appeal. They can appeal the ruling to one of two places: a larger panel of judges from the Ninth Circuit or directly to the Supreme Court of the United States. Appealing to a larger panel of the circuit court, however, is essentially just a pit stop on the way to the Supreme Court, since another Ninth Court ruling -- even by a larger panel -- can still be appealed to our nation's highest court.

Once the case reaches the Supreme Court though, there is no guarantee the Justices will hear it. The Supreme Court receives thousands of requests to hear cases each year, and only chooses a small percentage of those to hear and rule on, based on which cases they think actually concern constitutional issues. For the case to be heard, four of the nine justices must vote to put the case on the Court's calendar.

Full Story from City Watch LA

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Published on:  February 17, 2012

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