Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 37 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 10, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 37
California Supreme Court dismisses Prop 8 suit: State does not have to defend Prop 8
Section One
ALL STORIES
  next story
California Supreme Court dismisses Prop 8 suit: State does not have to defend Prop 8

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

In a victory for marriage equality advocates, the California Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by Prop 8 supporters seeking to force state officials to defend the ban on same-sex marriage.

The high court denied review on September 8 without comment. Their decision means that state officials are not obligated to defend Prop 8 in court.

Lawyers for Protect Marriage - the group that sponsored Prop 8 - sought to force California's Attorney General Jerry Brown and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to appeal federal judge Vaughn Walker's decision that Prop 8 violates the U.S. constitution.

Brown and Schwarzenegger had refused to defend Prop 8 in Walker's court, and said they would not appeal his decision.

The Pacific Justice Institute - a right-wing legal group - sued on behalf of Protect Marriage, asking the courts to order Brown and Schwarzenegger to appeal.

Their suit was rejected by California's 3rd District Court of Appeals on September 2. The state Supreme Court's action means that Prop 8 supporters have exhausted their legal options to get the state of California to appeal Walker's decision.

Supporters of Prop 8 have already filed their own appeal in the case.

Protect Marriage wanted state officials to participate in the appeal because without them, their legal standing to appeal Walker's decision is in doubt.

Attorney General Jerry Brown unquestionably has legal standing to appeal because, as the state's chief law enforcement officer, he has authority to enforce marriage laws.

Schwarzenegger was brought into the case because California's constitution says that the governor has final legal authority if he and the attorney general disagree about issues of law.

Private citizens - Prop 8 supporters, for example - may lack legal standing to appeal Walker's decision because they are not charged with enforcing state laws.

Protect Marriage was concerned, therefore, that when the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals takes up the Prop 8 case, it might dismiss their appeal on the technical grounds that they lack standing, without addressing the underlying issue of the measure's constitutionality.

NOT POTTED PLANTS
Brown flatly refused to appeal Walker's decision, saying that he agrees with the ruling and has no duty to appeal it.

"Attorneys general are not potted plants in the litigation process," Brown's staff attorneys told the court.

While the attorney general is required to represent the state, they said, Brown also took an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution and is not obliged to defend a law he considers unconstitutional.

Deputy Attorney General Tamar Pachter called it "farfetched" to say that the attorney general must appeal in order "to manufacture federal appellate jurisdiction for a private party."

Schwarzenegger's counsel Andrew Stroud said the governor, "like any litigant, has complete discretion over his own litigation strategy, including whether or not to appeal an order."

"Here, the governor exercised his discretion and decided not to file an appeal," he wrote. "Although [plaintiff] Beckley may not agree with the manner in which the governor chose to exercise his discretion, he cannot compel a different result through this action."

ACTIVISTS HAPPY, BUT NOT SURPRISED
California marriage equality activists said they were happy - but not surprised - by the Supreme Court decision.

"The court's decision was completely unsurprising,' said Shannon Minter, National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) Legal Director. "There is no precedent whatsoever for a court ordering state officials to participate in a legal case."

"In fact," he continued, "this suit was not much more than a stunt."

Minter would not speculate how the federal 9th Circuit Court might rule on the issue of Protect Marriage's standing to appeal Walker's decision.

However the 9th Circuit rules on the standing issue, Minter says, the California Supreme Court decision will be helpful.

"If the 9th Circuit rules they don't have standing, it's 'case over.' Prop 8 is struck down. California couples can marry again," Minter told SGN.

"If [the 9th Circuit] decide to rule on the merits, having the California Supreme Court confirm that only state officials can decide on marriage laws does not help the proponents of Prop 8."

"The irony is, the more conservative [U.S.] Supreme Court justices have really raised the bar on standing," Minter noted. "There are now very, very strict rules on who may appeal court decisions and why."

Asked how the eventual Prop 8 decision might affect marriage laws outside of California, Minter said he believes that the 9th Circuit may rule on very narrow grounds that will apply only to California, but have no direct implication for law in the rest of the country.

"Even so, it will be a huge victory," Minter said. "It means that marriages could start soon, that they wouldn't have to wait for [U.S.] Supreme Court action. And it would have a huge impact on the rest of the country. One out of eight people in the country live in California."

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!


------------------------------
California Supreme Court dismisses Prop 8 suit: State does not have to defend Prop 8
------------------------------
SGN exclusive Story: Republican candidate Hans Zeiger explains his homophobic blog posts
------------------------------
Rosehedge and Multifaith Works merge
------------------------------
Duke University Republicans lose funding and charter after harassing Gay member
------------------------------
Violence hits Capitol Hill Transgender woman
------------------------------

------------------------------
Young Gay men fueling HIV epidemic
------------------------------
The constitutionality of religious freedom and Gay marriage
------------------------------
CHAC throws thank-you BBQ
------------------------------
Tea Party scrambles over jokes about Matthew Shepard murder
------------------------------
Overzealous Xbox censors boot Fort Gay, WV resident
------------------------------
The Outfield: Hoosiers show their pride
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
BREAKING NEWS
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml
copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2010

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News