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.

FULL COVERAGE: Battle over gay marriage

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.

FOLLOW THEIR ANALYSIS: Transcript of oral arguments

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


WHAT DID THEY SAY? Filter transcript by speaker

LISTEN: Key moments in the courtroom

GRAPHIC: Gay marriage in the U.S.

PHOTOS: Supreme Court considers gay marriage


CHEAT SHEET: Gay marriage cases in front of U.S. Supreme Court