Prop. 8 arguments: Audio and transcript from U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Su­preme Court heard or­al ar­gu­ments Tuesday on the con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity of Cali­for­nia’s Pro­pos­i­tion 8, which banned same-sex mar­riage. The court has provided rare same-day audio and written transcript of the proceedings.

The justices sounded closely split on gay marriage. However, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, considered the key swing vote, suggested the court should strike down California’s ban on same-sex marriage without ruling broadly on the issue.

His comments suggested that the court’s four most conservative justices voted to hear the California case. Had the justices turned down the appeal, as Kennedy suggested, Proposition 8 would have been struck down on the grounds of a narrow ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Er­win Chemer­insky, dean of the UC Irvine School of Law, Douglas Ne­Jaime, a pro­fess­or at Loy­ola Law School, and John East­man, a pro­fess­or at Chap­man Uni­versity School of Law, have agreed to break down the arguments for The Times.

In addition, the complete audio file of the hour-long session is available below.