Yesterday’s court decision was a remarkable achievement – by the Chief Justice and his colleagues in the majority. This is an amazing bit of scholarship and philosophy. Here is a link to the text of the decision.
Basically, the court says it’s not ruling on the merits of same-sex marriage, but on the constitutionality of the ban. In CA, statutory interpretation requires looking at the overall scheme of laws when considering an individual law. Since same-sex partnerships have all the rights of married couples in the eye of the law in CA, since sexual orientation is a protected category under civil rights law, and since there’s a fundamental right to marry, the court said the government had to show that the ban was necessary to serve a compelling state interest. This is the “strict scrutiny” standard of review.
Here’s a three and a half minute video I have produced on the decision for Juris Vodcast.