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California Supreme Court will decide key issue in same-sex-marriage legal fight

The California Supreme Court decided Wednesday to determine whether the sponsors of Proposition 8 have special authority to defend the anti-gay marriage initiative in court.

The state high court, meeting in closed session, agreed to a request by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to determine the status California law gives initiative sponsors.

The court was unanimous in deciding to accept the case. The court's order set an expedited briefing schedule to permit a hearing by "as early as September." The court must rule on a case 90 days after oral argument.

A panel of the 9th Circuit has indicated it would have to dismiss an appeal by proponents of Proposition 8 on procedural grounds unless the California court determines that the initiative's sponsors have legal standing.  A procedural ruling would not affect gay marriage outside of California.

ProtectMarriage, the group that sponsored the 2008 anti-gay-marriage initiative, appealed a federal judge’s ruling in August that found the measure unconstitutional. State officials, who under law clearly have the right to appeal such orders, refused to do so.

The state high court already has ruled twice on same-sex marriage.  In a May 2008 ruling, the court voted 4-3 to end California’s ban on gay nuptials.  Voters reinstated the ban six months later.

The state court rejected a challenge of Proposition 8 the following year, ruling 6-1 that it was not an illegal revision of the state Constitution.

Both conservative and liberal groups are expected to urge the California court to rule that backers of ballot measures have authority, or “standing,” to defend them.  Such a ruling would pave the way for a 9th Circuit decision on Proposition 8’s constitutionality, which likely would go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and have national impact.

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--Maura Dolan

 
Comments () | Archives (15)

Interesting - and appalling - how some officials in California feel free to disregard the desires of the people they're supposed to serve. First, the criminal mayor Gavin Newsom started passing out marriage licenses to gays, which was expressly against the law, and then a (gay) judge refused to stop him. Then when the people of California banned gay marriage AGAIN, Brown and Ah-nold both refused to do their duty by the people of California and defend that law.

Which proves one thing: leftists are fascists. Pure and simple. Their moral convictions are law, whether the actual law or the voters agree with them or not.

Glad I live in the Midwest.

I'm sure the writer of the article meant to say "Protect Marriage, the homophobic zealots."

Again, California state officials didn't REFUSE to appeal. They, by law, have discretion whether to appeal a case or not. In this particular case, they exercised that discretion and opted not to appeal.

At the time, I believe it was then AG Brown who explained that the resources - time and money - of the state would be better spent pursuing other, more pressing issues facing the state.

By saying they "refused to appeal" makes it sound like the state and its officials would not do something they "had to do".

Gay children are made by straight parents. So if you don't like them, then quit making them.

I forever support God ! Use my money and Christians Unite ! Yes on 8 forever Amen.

It's amazing how a proposition can be passed by the majority that specifically discriminates against a minority.

Come to think of it, single people are being discriminated against too, as there are tax breaks for married couples.

Doesn't this kind of go against the separation of church and state thing? As traditional marriages are really a product of religion.

If you find this hard to believe, substitute the title "Gay Marriage" to "Slavery". No matter how you repackage it, it is still unconstitutional!

By the time that this thing gets to the SCOTUS, at least 1 0r 2 conservative justices will be dead and moderates in their place.
Why are these courts so painfully slow? 7 months to hear the case? There's nothing "fast track" about that.

"as early as September." wow THAT early. Really!

sarcasm

Again an article on prop8? I thought the people in CA already voted AGAINST gay mariage. Do votes still count? Can we vote the presidential election again? I wanted Ron Paul or McCain. Let's overturn the NO-bama's election

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The 9th Circuit’s decision, asking the Calif. Supreme Court to rule on whether Prop. 8 defendants have standing in federal court makes no sense for a number of reasons. First with the initiative process enshrined in our State Constitution, it’s obvious that defendants have standing, since said Constitution allows them to offer an initiative in the first place. Second, for this same reason, the States office holders could nullify the will of the people by choosing not to defend it, as Brown and Schwarzennegger decided to do.

And though the Calif. Supreme Court (CSC) upheld Brown’s decision to not defend it makes his decision Constitutional (in so far as California’s concerned), it by no means makes Brown’s decision ethical, moral, or right. The reason, of course, is that Brown or others can refuse to defend an initiative approved by the people for the flimsiest of legal reasons (as Brown and Schrwarzennegger did) without having these reasons tested in court. So, under our Constitution, the initiative backers have the right to defend their initiative, if State officials refuse to do so or defend it without sufficient rigor. On this issue, the federal court is supposed to honor State law, which is why the 9th Circuit’s decision is so illogical.

More than seven months after Republican Gov. Linda Lingle vetoed a similar measure, civil-unions supporters celebrated at the state Capitol because the Senate gave final legislative approval to a bill that clears the way for same-sex couples to receive virtually all the same rights and benefits of traditional marriage.

By a vote of 18-5, the chamber approved Senate Bill 232, legalizing civil unions in Hawaii.

The measure now goes to Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who supports civil unions and has promised to sign the bill into law.

By law, the governor has 10 days from the time the bill reaches his desk to decide on the bill, putting his deadline on or about March 3.

@ semyon_suslov, First with the initiative process enshrined in our State Constitution, it’s obvious that defendants have standing, since said Constitution allows them to offer an initiative in the first place. Second, for this same reason, the States office holders could nullify the will of the people by choosing not to defend it, as Brown and Schwarzennegger decided to do.

---------
Since it's obvious that the "defendants have standing" cite the case law that support your statement. THANKS!

Every day that we wake, my husband and I give thanks for living in the great state of Massachusetts.

Femeagle we are glad you live in the midwest too!


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