Now the California case begins. Everything else has been prologue. In this way, the California case is now behind the Virginia case (though one does wonder whether the California judges read Randy Bellows rulings in Virginia - which came out after they ruled - and thought, oops). The case hasn't actually been argued at trial yet in California - that is yet to come.
Here's an excerpt from Curmudgeon's post "Rushing to Judgement":
I explained in this earlier post what was wrong about the Court's original opinion. Briefly, the Court said it was deciding "the merits" of the case---before the defendants in the case, the individual parishes in Orange County who had each been sued first by the Diocese of Los Angeles and then by the Episcopal Church (USA), had even answered the complaints! Just like any other branch of government, courts cannot deprive people of their property without following "due process of law". One does not have to be an attorney to appreciate that if you are sued, you get a chance to answer your opponent's complaint before anything can be decided in your case "on the merits".The error must have been at least a little embarrassing for the justices and their law clerks. In their zeal to render an opinion in the case, they literally rushed to judgment by purporting to decide the case "on the merits". The latter is a legal turn of phrase meaning that the case is decided squarely on the facts presented to the court, instead of being brushed aside on procedural or technical grounds that do not resolve any of the factual or legal issues raised. Normally, therefore, one expects a decision "on the merits" at the end, and not at the beginning, of a case. For the Court to assume it could decide the merits of the Episcopal Church Cases before the churches themselves had even an opportunity to answer would make it look as though the justices were biased, or had prejudged the case to such a degree that they did not even need to hear from any of the defendants. In other words, they would be saying: "Our minds are made up---don't confuse us with the facts!"Now let us take a look at how the Court has gone about stepping back from its mistake. The modifications it made may best be understood by presenting the text of the original opinion below. Then, by using strikeouts for deletions and underlining for new language, I show just what the Court decided to change in order to avoid any appearance that it was prejudging the case.
Please, please read all of "Rushing to Judgement" here. What we see is that the case will now be tried in open court. And a lot of water has gone under the bridge since this case first started. Now it really begins.