While proponents of California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage have vowed to appeal a ruling that declared the referendum unconstitutional "to the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court," U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker has said it's doubtful it will go any higher up the judicial chain.
Walker, whose ruling yesterday would allow same-sex marriages to resume in California on Aug. 18, said that to have standing in federal appeals court, proponents need to prove they have suffered an actual injury. He says there's no evidence they could.
There is another sticking point: the defendants in the case heard by Walker were Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown. But neither supported the ban and instead hailed the very ruling they lost.
According to The Associated Press:
Although [Walker] allowed the coalition of religious and conservative groups that sponsored the measure to defend the lawsuit during the 13-day trial over which he presided, the judge said appellate courts have different rules for deciding when a party is eligible to challenge a lower court.
Based on his interpretation of those rules, it appears the ban's sponsors can only appeal his decision with the backing of either [Schwarzenegger or Brown], Walker said. But that seems unlikely as both officials refused to defend Proposition 8 in Walker's court and said last week they see no reason why gay couples should not be able to tie the knot now.