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California Supreme Court to hear Proposition 8 case Sept. 6

July 28, 2011 |  6:45 pm

The  legal battle over Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that reinstated a ban on same-sex marriage, will go before the California Supreme Court on Sept. 6, when the justices will hear arguments on whether initiative proponents are entitled to defend measures they sponsored.

The state high court scheduled the hearing for 10 a.m. at its San Francisco courtroom. The justices will then have 90 days to decide whether state law gives proponents of ballot measures like Proposition 8 legal standing to defend them in court when state officials refuse to do so.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has postponed a decision on the marriage ban's constitutionality pending clarification of state law by the California court. If the federal appeals court determines the opponents of gay marriage lack the right to appeal last August's ruling against Proposition 8, that ruling would likely become law.

California's top court has traditionally given wide latitude to initiative sponsors but has never before ruled on whether they can take the place of state officials in appealing court decisions. State officials have refused to defend Proposition 8.

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-- Maura Dolan

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