Further Thoughts on Proposition 8 and Retroactivity: A Response to Choper
Courtney G. Joslin
University of California, Davis - School of Law
May 1, 2009
California Journal of Politics and Policy, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2009
In a recent article, Professor Jesse Choper argued that, if held to be valid, Proposition 8 should not be applied retroactively. This conclusion, however, does not fully answer the question posed by the Court, which is: if valid, what effect does Proposition 8 have, if any, on the 18,000 marriages that were entered into before November 5, 2008. In order to answer the retroactivity question posed by the Court, one must consider another inquiry: what does it mean to apply Proposition 8 prospectively only‘ In this article, I argue that a prospective-only application of Proposition 8 would have no effect on the existing 18,000 marriages. Further, in response to an argument made by the interveners, I also urge that the fact that the putative spouse doctrine may extend some marriage-based rights for some limited period of time to persons who had a good faith belief that they were in a valid marriage does not in any way affect this conclusion.
Keywords: same-sex marriage, retroactivity
Date posted: June 15, 2009