SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Perhaps no one is anticipating the Supreme Court’s decision on Proposition 8 more than San Francisco City & County City Attorney Dennis Herrera.
“After nine years of a lot of ups and downs, I’m looking forward to it I think more than anybody,” Herrera said.
Elected in 2001, Herrera has initiated and participated in some of the most high-profile cases of the day including marriage equality in California, but his office has also taken aim at the marketing of high-energy drinks to kids, has been pursuing the employee spending requirement in San Francisco’s universal health care program, tenants’ rights, patient dumping, and gang injunctions are also issues being pursued by his office.
Herrera acknowledges that there are a lot of possibilities in the Prop. 8 case, including a decision on the merits that could impact all 50 states, a handful of states or just California. There could be a decision to uphold Prop. 8 or there could even be a procedural decision where the justices dismiss the case as “improvidently granted” meaning they shouldn’t have brought review of the case in the first place.
In any event or potential combination of outcomes, Herrera said that he’ll be getting to the heart of the matter no matter what.
Herrera said he thinks that that the majority of justices would not vote to uphold Prop. 8 and that would be good news, adding he thinks there will be a limited merits ruling or a procedural ruling that does allow marriages in California to go forward.
Herrera said he doesn’t foresee a sweeping 50-state ruling on this issue and that he recognizes that the states want to take it slow.
With the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Herrera said it comes down to the benefits that could be accorded to couples that in fact do get married. If struck down, DOMA would basically say that in cases where marriage is allowed to occur, those parties are entitled to the over 1,000 rights and privileges that opposite-sex married couples enjoy, according to Herrera.