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Proposition 8 backers attack Jerry Brown's efforts to keep gay marriage

January 5, 2009 |  4:25 pm

Proponents of a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage filed legal briefs today urging the California Supreme Court to reject the novel legal argument put forth last month by state Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown and to preserve Proposition 8, the gay-marriage ban approved by voters in November.

"The people have the final word on what the California Constitution says," lawyers wrote. "The practical result of the Attorney General's theory is that the people can never amend the Constitution to overrule judicial interpretations of inalienable rights."

The legal filing comes in response to a brief two weeks ago from the attorney general in which he surprised legal experts by putting forth an unusual theory to argue that Proposition 8 should be invalidated, saying that the measure undermines fundamental liberties guaranteed by the Constitution.

His theory surprised experts because he had pledged to argue in favor of Proposition 8 — as the attorney general, it is his job to defend the state's laws. But it also advanced an unorthodox interpretation of the Constitution.

--Jessica Garrison