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Prop. 8 analysis: Judges must decide whether backers of same-sex marriage have legal standing to appeal, UC Irvine Law School dean says

December 6, 2010 | 10:36 am

A federal appeals court on Monday began hearing arguments on the constitutionality of Prop. 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage.

Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the UC Irvine School of Law, says the first issue that the court will address is whether backers of same-sex marriage have legal standing. Here’s an analysis he provided to The Times:

The judges asked that the lawyers spend the first hour addressing the issue of whether the supporters of Prop. 8 have standing to appeal Judge Walker’s order striking down the initiative.   If there is no standing to appeal, then Judge Walker’s decision invalidating Prop. 8 and enjoining it would stand.   The judges have focused initially on a Supreme Court decision, Arizonans for Official English, where the court unanimously dismissed a challenge to a ballot initiative making English the official language of Arizona.   Justice Ginsburg wrote that supporters of a ballot initiative have never been accorded standing to defend an initiative; defending the initiative is for the attorney general and the governor.  A key moment so far was Judge Reinhardt asking if there is any case where such standing has been allowed and Mr. Cooper, the attorney for the supporters of Prop. 8, said that there is none, but he wants this to be the case.


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