The Supreme Court in San Francisco announced today it will hear arguments in March on the validity of Proposition 8, and asked the litigants to include in their written submissions points on the status of already-legalized same-sex marriages. Arguments are due by Jan. 15. The court also left Prop. 8 in effect pending a final ruling, meaning there will be no more same-sex marriages in the meantime. Just one justice, Carlos R. Moreno, voted in the private conference to stay implementation of the measure, says Maura Dolan of the L.A. Times. The vote was 6-1 to hear the Prop. 8 review, with Joyce Kennard declining. Both Moreno and Kennard were in the 4-3 majority that struck down the state's previous ban on same sex marriages earlier this year.
The court's previous rulings on similar lawsuits have been mixed. The court has upheld at least six initiatives and rejected only two that were challenged as illegal revisions.
Supporters of Proposition 8 have threatened to mount a recall of any justice who votes to overturn the measure. The court's members serve 12-year terms and appear on the ballot unopposed in retention elections.
Although the court tends to defer to voter sentiment on initiative challenges, it has overturned popular ballot measures in the past.
Federal courts overturned another contentious initiative, Proposition 187, the anti-immigration measure passed by voters. Unlike state judges, federal judges have lifetime tenure and do not face voters.
Here's Bob Egelko's coverage for the San Francisco Chronicle.