[JURIST] The California Supreme Court [official website] announced Tuesday that it will hear oral arguments [press release, PDF] on March 5 in the three cases [case filings] challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8 [materials], the ballot measure passed in November [JURIST report] that banned same-sex marriage. The court issued an order listing the three issues to be briefed and argued as follows:
(1) Is Proposition 8 invalid because it constitutes a revision of, rather than an amendment to, the California Constitution?Live broadcast of oral arguments will be available through the court-designated cable network California Channel [media website]. Sixty-three organizations have filed amicus briefs [briefs], forty-three on behalf of petitioners and twenty to uphold the ban.
(2) Does Proposition 8 violate the separation of powers doctrine under the California Constitution?
(3) If Proposition 8 is not unconstitutional, what is its effect, if any, on the marriages of same-sex couples performed before the adoption of Proposition 8?
In November, the California Supreme Court agreed [order, PDF; JURIST report] to hear the three cases [JURIST report], but denied petition to stay [text, PDF] its enforcement. Proposition 8 has become a focal point for gay rights, and during the campaign donors from across the US and several foreign countries contributed $83 million in total for both sides of the issue, setting US fundraising records [JURIST report].