California Supremes rebuff Prop. 8 proponents

By |2018-01-16T17:26:31-05:00September 16th, 2010|News|

by Rex Wockner

The forces that want to keep Proposition 8, the voter-passed constitutional amendment that re-banned same-sex marriage in California, can’t catch a break. The state Supreme Court on Sept. 7 slapped down an effort by conservative activists to force Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown to defend Prop. 8 in the federal case that was appealed to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker found in August that Prop. 8 violates the U.S. Constitution. None of the governmental entities that were sued in the federal case is interested in defending Prop. 8, so the appeal to the Ninth Circuit was filed by the activists who put Prop. 8 on the ballot. It is unlikely, however, that the activists have “standing” to mount an appeal, since it’s not their job to defend California’s constitution. Worried about such a determination, conservative forces have been trying to find some other route to assure that the Ninth Circuit hears the appeal – including pressuring defendants Brown and Schwarzenegger and pushing to add Imperial County, located in the southeast California desert, as an official defendant. The Ninth Circuit will make the call on the county’s long-shot effort, probably in December, when it also will take up the question of whether the pro-Prop. 8 activists have standing. If they do, the Ninth Circuit will then move on to hear the appeal of Walker’s actual ruling. If the activists do not have standing and Imperial County can’t become a defendant, the case is over and same-sex marriage is legal again in California, unless the activists attempt to appeal the standing question to the U.S. Supreme Court. That, too, would be a long shot, many legal experts believe. They say the Supreme Court would be unlikely to conclude that displeased citizens can step into a state government’s shoes to defend a state law that the state government itself refuses to defend and, indeed, believes violates the U.S. Constitution. In rejecting the activists’ latest move, the California Supreme Court denied review without comment.>

The forces that want to keep Proposition 8, the voter-passed constitutional amendment that re-banned same-sex marriage in California, can’t catch a break.
The state Supreme Court on Sept. 7 slapped down an effort by conservative activists to force Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown to defend Prop. 8 in the federal case that was appealed to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker found in August that Prop. 8 violates the U.S. Constitution.
None of the governmental entities that were sued in the federal case is interested in defending Prop. 8, so the appeal to the Ninth Circuit was filed by the activists who put Prop. 8 on the ballot. It is unlikely, however, that the activists have “standing” to mount an appeal, since it’s not their job to defend California’s constitution.
Worried about such a determination, conservative forces have been trying to find some other route to assure that the Ninth Circuit hears the appeal – including pressuring defendants Brown and Schwarzenegger and pushing to add Imperial County, located in the southeast California desert, as an official defendant. The Ninth Circuit will make the call on the county’s long-shot effort, probably in December, when it also will take up the question of whether the pro-Prop. 8 activists have standing. If they do, the Ninth Circuit will then move on to hear the appeal of Walker’s actual ruling.
If the activists do not have standing and Imperial County can’t become a defendant, the case is over and same-sex marriage is legal again in California, unless the activists attempt to appeal the standing question to the U.S. Supreme Court. That, too, would be a long shot, many legal experts believe. They say the Supreme Court would be unlikely to conclude that displeased citizens can step into a state government’s shoes to defend a state law that the state government itself refuses to defend and, indeed, believes violates the U.S. Constitution.
In rejecting the activists’ latest move, the California Supreme Court denied review without comment.

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