Wednesday, June 4, 2008

"Should I Stay or Should I Go?"

By its original 4-3 majority, he California Supreme Court has denied the requests for rehearing and that it stay the effect of its decision in In re Marriage Cases until after the voters decide in November whether to amend the state Constitution to bar the state from recognizing marriages for same-sex couples. (The court's news release and order are here.) This comes as no surprise to me and most scholars who've commented on the requests, but it does clear the way for counties to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples without fear of liability as early as 5:00 p.m. on Monday, June 16.


  1. Saw you quoted as saying: "We have never seen a constitutional amendment like this in California that would take away rights that people had already exercised."
    I was reminded a story told to me by my mother (Dorothy Mackay [Maggs]), (who was a student at Boalt Hall around 1924, when she was 20 years old). She said that California passed (or debated?) a law raising the age of adulthood for women from 18 to 21, putting her in a difficult position, since she had property in her own name. She said that she successfully lobbied to get a clause exempting women who had already reached adulthood.
    - Peter Maggs
    Professor of Law, University of Illinois

  2. Thanks for reading and commenting. As it turns out, the change in California law your mother recalls was a 1927 amendment to the Civil Code, i.e. a statutory provision, not a constitutional amendment.