Associate Dean Amar Comments on Same-Sex Marriage and U.S. Supreme Court for KQED
Vikram Amar, Associate Dean and Professor of Law at UC Davis School of Law, commented for Bay Area public radio station KQED on the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court review of cases concerning Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage, and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.
In a wide-ranging interview, Amar said that it remains uncertain whether the Court intends to address the California initiative on grounds specific to Prop. 8 or to address same-sex marriage more broadly. He also noted that it is significant that the Court has asked the parties involved to brief it on the question of whether the sponsors of Prop. 8 and the team of attorneys hired by the House of Representatives to defend DOMA have standing to defend the measures.
With same-sex marriage gaining support from voters and in public opinion polls, it remains to be seen whether the Supreme Court will be impacted by cultural trends that seem to favor increasing acceptance of same-sex marriage, Amar said.
"That might incline some justices to want to get out ahead of the issue and to invalidate bans on same-sex marriage if ultimately that's the way the populace is going," Amar said. "Other justices might say, ‘Look, if that's the way the states are going there's no reason for the courts to stick their noses in, just let it happen more slowly.'"
Vikram Amar, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Law with the UC Davis School of Law, is a national authority in the fields of constitutional law, civil procedure, criminal procedure, and remedies. His biweekly column for Justia.com, a leading provider of online legal information, centers on his expertise in constitutional law.