A trial happened. This means that the judge made findings of fact. He found that there was no evidence that Prop. 8 served a legitimate government interest. This is important because the case will be appealed. The appellate court will review the judge’s legal reasoning without giving any deference to what the judge decided. (“De novo”.) However, the factual findings will remain intact unless the trial judge did a terrible job. (“Abuse of discretion.”) When the trial court found the testimony of the anti-gay-marriage expert unreliable, it will keep that “unreliable” label through appeal. And when the judge says, “the trial evidence provides no basis” for something there will continue to be no evidence unless the appellate court finds an abuse of discretion.
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