The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals just published its decision, kicking the case out of the federal court and directing it, at least for now, to the California Supreme Court to decide if the backers of a proposition to ban gay marriage have standing in the case. "The case is withdrawn from submission, and further proceedings in this court are stayed pending final action by the Supreme Court of California," the justices write. Since the state is not defending the law, the 9th Circuit finds there is no state precedent dictating if the initiative backers can defend the law. The state court will have to decide.

Here's the link. And here's an excerpt:

Because we cannot consider this important constitutional question unless the appellants before us have standing to raise it, and in light of Arizonans for Official English v. Arizona, 520 U.S. 43 (1997) (“Arizonans”), it is critical that we be advised of the rights under California law of the official proponents of an initiative measure to defend the constitutionality of that measure upon its adoption by the People when the state officers charged with the laws’ enforcement, including the Attorney General, refuse to provide such a defense or appeal a judgment declaring the measure unconstitutional. As we are aware of no controlling state precedent on this precise question, we respectfully ask the Supreme Court of California to exercise its discretion to accept and decide the certified question below.

More at Prop8TrialTracker.

Presumably, if the California Supremes decide that the defendants do have standing before the court, the 9th Circuit can pick up the case again and get to the central question of the Constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Lawyers, what say you?

I've updated this post since it was first published with an excerpt of the decision, links, etc.