Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed that verdict about 15 minutes later, saying in a 5-4 decision that the petitioners who sought the reaffirm California’s Proposition 8 didn’t have the legal ability to appeal a lower court decision. Justice Antonin Scalia joined Roberts in the majority, while Justice Sonia Sotomayor was in the dissenting group (which focused on the rights of private parties to appeal the case).
“The Court does not question California’s sovereign right to maintain an initiative process, or the right of initiative proponents to defend their initiatives in California courts,” said Roberts. “But standing in federal court is a question of federal law, not state law. No matter its reasons, the fact that a State thinks a private party should have standing to seek relief for a generalized grievance cannot override this Court’s settled law to the contrary.”