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Supreme Court hears oral arguments on Prop 8

The United States Supreme Court

Tensions were high at the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday as justices hammered attorneys with tough questioning on prospective rulings on the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8 — with a particular emphasis on inquiries about standing.

Within moments of the opening of the oral arguments in the Prop 8 case, known as Hollingsworth v. Perry, justices interrupted both Charles Cooper, who is arguing in favor of Prop 8, and Ted Olson, who is arguing against it on behalf of two plaintiff gay couples, with questions about standing.

Anti-gay groups, such as ProtectMarriage.com, are defending Prop 8 in court because California officials — Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris — have elected not to do so. Whether these groups have standing to defend the law is a question posed by the court.