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ACS and Pride Law Host Prop. 8 Panel

December 06, 2010

On Nov. 18, the USF School of Law American Constitution Society and Pride Law Association co-sponsored the “Prop 8 Update.”

Professor Julie Nice (right) talks with panel members at the "Prop 8 Update."

The event, which discussed the Proposition 8 hearing that occurred today before a three-judge panel at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, was moderated by Professor Julie Nice and attended by approximately 100 students and USF community members.

“It was judged by all to be both thought provoking and informative,” Thomas Newman 2L said. “The three panelists shared their views on what the contested issues will be at the appellate hearing, as well as how the Ninth Circuit panel might approach the comprehensive decision written by U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker.”

Jeremy Goldman, a partner at Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP and counsel for the plaintiffs, discussed whether the appellants have sufficient standing to continue their defense of Proposition 8. He said that if the appellants are not found to have standing and Proposition 8 is overturned in California, the plaintiffs will consider their case a success despite not proceeding to the United States Supreme Court.

USF School of Law American Constitution Society

Christopher Stoll, senior staff attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said that the decision by Judge Walker was a clear and complete victory and that the comprehensive nature of the findings of fact and law will be tremendously hard to disregard at the Ninth Circuit.

Mollie Lee, deputy city attorney for San Francisco, discussed the working relationship between the city, county, and plaintiff's lead counsel. She said it is an interesting relationship, noting that the city and county of San Francisco have significant institutional knowledge in this subject area.

Professor Nice said it is difficult to assess how Justice Kennedy would rule if the case proceeds to the U.S. Supreme Court. While he has been a strong advocate for protections of LGBT Americans, he has also leaned toward traditional family values in family structure and abortion rights cases, she said.