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Supreme Court declines to hear appeal of Prop. 8

Nation’s highest court issues limited ruling leaving Prop. 8 the law of California
Published On: 10/18/2017

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday declined to review the validity of Proposition 8, California’s constitutional amendment protecting marriage as the union of one man and one woman.


The court said that the official proponents of Proposition 8 do not have the legal authority to defend it in federal court, even though the state’s governor and attorney general refused to defend it. The high court then voided a U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit opinion striking down the amendment. Without an appellate court decision declaring the amendment unconstitutional, Proposition 8 remains the law of the land in California.

“Despite the Supreme Court’s decision, the debate over marriage has only just begun,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Austin R. Nimocks, a member of the Proposition 8 legal defense team. “The court’s decision does not silence the voices of Americans. Marriage--the union of husband and wife--will remain timeless, universal, and special, particularly because children need mothers and fathers. This has been the experience of diverse cultures and faiths throughout history, including the American experience, and that will not change.”

“Americans will continue advancing the truth about marriage between a man and a woman and why it matters for children, civil society, and limited government,” Nimocks added.

In a dissent from the majority opinion in Hollingsworth v. Perry, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote, “The essence of democracy is that the right to make law rests in the people and flows to the government, not the other way around. Freedom resides first in the people without need of a grant from government.”

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys are part of the legal team defending the California marriage amendment on behalf of, the banner organization for the official proponents and campaign committee of Proposition 8.

  • Pronunciation guide: Nimocks (NIM’-ucks)


Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.


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