Prop 8 Update: U.S. Supreme Court’s Friday conference

Dec. 6, 2012
To journalists, editors and interested parties:
Here’s a quick reminder about the possibility — but not certainty — of news tomorrow from the U.S. Supreme Court pertaining to same-sex marriage.

On Friday, Dec. 7…

  • The U.S. Supreme Court will meet in private conference in the morning to consider petitions for review for the current court term. As with last week’s conference, cases currently distributed to the justices for consideration include the federal challenge to California’s Prop 8 (to which the S.F. City Attorney is co-counsel with lead attorneys from the American Foundation for Equal Rights) and several lawsuits against the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
  • As early as Friday afternoon (possibly late-morning PST), the court may post a list of cases to which it has granted review. It would not be expected to report at that time cases in which it has denied review, or cases it is holding to consider for review later.
  • If the Prop 8 case (now called Hollingsworth v. Perry) appears on the grant list, it means nation’s highest court is hearing the case. Perry would then be briefed and argued early next year, and would likely decided before the end of June 2013.
  • Should the U.S. Supreme Court announce on Friday that it is taking up the Prop 8 challenge (i.e., granting review), City Attorney Dennis Herrera will host a City Hall press conference within a few hours of the announcement to answer questions about the case and describe the forthcoming process. Other city and community leaders may attend and take part. I would quickly email details about the press conference once we know for sure that it’s happening.
  • Should the Prop 8 case not appear on the list on Friday — or if the court declines to publish a list at all on Friday — it means we will remain uncertain about the Supreme Court’s decision until Monday, at the earliest. But as was the case last week, it’s also possible that no decision on review on Prop 8 will be forthcoming on Monday, either.
  • As before, if we have no news, we’ll obviously have no news conference.
    Should the Supreme Court again take no action, it would offer no explanation as to why. We do know, however, that the high court has further conferences scheduled for Jan. 4, 11 and 18, according to its website at

Timeline of San Francisco’s Battle for Marriage Equality

As a reminder, we’ve posted online the complete chronology of major events in San Francisco’s long fight for marriage equality going back to February 2004, when Mayor Newsom first issued same-sex marriage licenses and City Attorney Herrera defended his actions in doing so. It’s on the City Attorney’s website here.

Finally, Dennis Herrera, Chief Deputy Terry Stewart and I have been around for the whole battle right from the beginning — so we’re always happy to answer questions you may have. We’ve also scheduled some advance interviews with the City Attorney; if that’s something you’re interested in, just let me know.

Press Secretary

San Francisco City Hall, Room 234
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, California 94102-4682

(415) 554-4662 Direct
(415) 554-4700 Reception
(415) 554-4715 Facsimile
(415) 554-6770 TTY