‘Yes on 8′ Forces Threaten Recall of Justices if Prop 8 Overturned

Talk of the possibility of a voter recall of Supreme Court Justices (similar to the recall effort that ousted Governor Gray Davis in 2003) by opponents of marriage equality should the Court overturn Prop 8 has been reported:

Supremes“With all eyes now on the court as it considers whether to hear a number of petitions asking it to invalidate the proposition, Andrew Pugno, an attorney with Prop. 8 told the Los Angeles Times that the court could face the very real possibility of a recall should the justices vote to overturn the measure. Officially, however, Pugno said the campaign is discouraging supporters from making such threats until the high court renders a decision. ‘We think the discussion of a recall at this point is premature and not helpful to the current situation,’ Pugno told the newspaper in this story. ‘The court should have a chance to do the right thing,’ Pugno said. But should it go against the measure, ‘no one would be able to stop’ a recall, he added.”

Today, Equality California Executive Director Geoff Kors reissued a statement condemning the threats. Said Kors: “It is unconscionable that the supporters of Proposition 8 would threaten to recall California’s Supreme Court justices who are simply doing their job in making sure all Californians are treated fairly and equally under the laws of our state. Once again, the proponents of Prop 8 are resorting to scare tactics in their attempts to eliminate the rights of same-sex couples in California. We are confident the justices will not be swayed by such blatant intimidation.”


  1. says

    So first you put a minorities rights up for a majority vote, then you threaten to remove the justices who don’t agree with the majority. Welcome to mob rule, California style!

  2. jon92027 says

    even if they were able to recall the justices, which I am not sure that they would be able to do in an open election, in California, the Governor gets to appoint Supre Court Justices, and by 2010, which is probably the earliest it would show up on the ballot, we will have a new governor. Probably A Villaragosa at this point, or maybe G Newsom, who would replace them with much more liberal justices. Sounds like cutting off your nose to spite you face to me

  3. Godfrey Inniss-Palmer says

    This is getting so ridiculous! Now we have undue influence by extremists against the judiciary!

    It is time for the legislative branch to get off their comfortable benches and do something about this nonsense!

  4. says

    This is asinine!

    Is there no recourse to bring civil action against these fuckheads who what to bring up these “hypothetical threats”?

  5. says


    What kind of an idiot doesn’t respond to that threat by making a statement about the 40+ million dollars it costs to hold a special election in the state of California.

    what he should have said:

    “In today’s economic climate, that the “Yes on 8″ proponents are threatening to spend $47M on a special election to recall judges for doing their job is outlandish. In fact, as any parent who had ever signed a check for a wedding ceremony knows all too well, the more weddings that take place, the greater the effect on the economy. Does Andrew Pugno really think that we should push our economy even further down the tubes so just to deny a group equal rights?”

  6. Eric says

    And this is why the framers of the government of the United States of America chose a republican democracy over direct democracy.

  7. carter says

    Godfrey – The California legislature does very little, other than cash their paychecks, and that is why Prop 11 was on the ballot, as they are elected and re-elected until term limits kicks in, then they move on to the other house, then further up the ranks. California is not a body that truly negotiates something that is fair to most.

  8. mike says

    The fundies and evangies will stop at NOTHING to make sure that gays and lesbians never achieve civil equality in America. NOTHING! If it costs them $100 million to run a recall election, they will do it. They will get the money. They are willing to do anything to ensure that “the will of the people” is not rescinded. How many people did NOT vote in California this past Nov. 4th? How many people just assumed that California voters would reject Prop. 8? With those religious wing-nuts, you cannot take anything for granted. Here in NY, we have two absolute assholes in the State Senate who have vowed to hold the Senate hostage until whoever is chosen as Senate Leader promises not to let a same-sex marriage bill be voted upon. The NY House has already enough votes for passage. And, they are Democrats! The Democrats finally have a two-vote majority in the Senate, but one of the assholes, Ruben Diaz, Sr., Democratic State Senator from the Bronx (and a so-called “born-again” christian), has vowed to hold up everything and even vote for a Republican unless Senate Democrats agree to keep the marriage bill off the Senate floor. It is time for queer people to realize one thing: we may have to fight–I mean, FIGHT!–if we want to finally get this fundamentalist filth, this evangelical effluvia off our (and America’s) back. Those assholes aren’t really leaving us any choice. And, by god, I am ready.

  9. says

    Way to keep my rage stoked with your arrogance and cynicism, assholes.

    What are the details on how such a recall would be done? Would it need a statewide vote like the Davis recall, or what?

  10. says

    You can’t pay for a special election yourself, MIKE, the taxpayers must pay. When the Governator wanted to reform teacher tenure and couldn’t get the state legislators (who depend too heavily on the teachers unions to get elected) to agree, he threatened a special election. The legislators immediately balked at how much it would cost and the public outrage forced the Governator to take the option off the table immediately.

  11. peterparker says

    Actually, the California legislature has twice passed bills allowing for marriage equality…and both times, Arnold fucking Schwarzenegger vetoed them.

  12. Robert says

    We need something to get the H8ers on the defensive. We need to get them to waste their time and money on something else so they don’t have time or money to spend on the recall.

    Initiatives to attack bigotry. Initiatives to strip them of tax privileges if they try to export their bigotry, to keep out of state interests out of California elections, to keep discriminatory organizations from using public facilities.

    No more Mr (and Ms.) Nice Gay.


  13. MLP says

    If they think this type threat will keep the Justices from voting for what is true and right in their minds, they are sorely wrong. The Justices of the CA Supreme Court have integrity and would not worry about such empty threats. Such cry babies.

  14. Jimmyboyo says

    Not a lawyer, BUT!!!!

    1- recall votes are not free and the f’cktards blew their load in this sucky economy on prop 8 with focus on the family cutting almost 1/2 of its employees and the mormons spooked a bit. Especially when retention vote is coming up 2010 anyway and the public would consider a recall prior to 2010 as a huge waste of money (see example of Governator getting his ass handed to him when he threatened a special vote and CA freaked over the money and he quickly backtracked)

    2- 2yr interval till retention vote 2010 would have CA seeing stable gay marriages that boost their local economies and 2 yrs of oldster repubs dieing off = less likely to vote in anger against judges

    3- Even if successful on the retention vote 2010 the new judges appointed (they are appointed in and the votes are only on retaining them)are not guaranteed to be conservative. Even if they get conservative judge replacements , judges by and large do not like to overturn precedence.

    Not enough money to do it pre 2010 and too many ifs 2010 and beyond

    try again wingnuts

  15. Lord says

    And they think the next appointees would be more favorably disposed towards their position? What planet do they live on? Smell that desperation.

  16. Gibletl says

    Remember people, this is the same court that said that the banning gay marriage is unconstitutional. Instead of getting angry about this, lets get the gay community united and show the judges that we will do everything we can to support them against a recall. We need to show the world that is is about love and equal rights!!

  17. BobC562 says

    The other posters are right, the fundies should be careful what they wish for, because this is not, currently, a liberal court and it could, in their view, become much worse with a Democratic governor making the replacement appointments. Second, these Justices already got the fundies all riled up back in May anyway. The court showed its integrity back then. And, now that the Marriage Cases is precedent, all 7 of them have to consider the matter built on THAT ruling. They don’t get a redo as to whether marriage is a fundamental right, that’s already been decided so even the three dissenters have to now view the writ reviews under that finding.

    Finally, who knows if these Justices will even want to stay on the bench much longer? Any one of them could retire, sign up with an alternative dispute resolution provider and make gazillions more than what they make now (around $200k per year). Or, they could sign on for a big law firm and collect a huge sum just for bestowing their presence. They’ll have no problem paying the mortgage, and won’t have to work nearly as hard, if they were to leave the bench.

  18. Philbert says

    Shameful! These people have such a vapid and hollow lives that they feel they must make up for it by trying to deny equality to everyone. How pathetic is that?

  19. yoshi says

    This is what you get when you take the marriage fight to courts instead of the people. Listen the wingnuts are a bunch of hypocrites but this strategy was fraught with risk to begin with. The supreme court of california should uphold Prop 8 and everyone here should get back on the street and get the issue back on the ballot for the next election.

    And do some frak’n outreach this time around …

  20. alguien says

    this exemplifies why it’s so important to keep the supreme court immune from the electoral process. if some special interest group doesn’t like the way justice is interpreted then it’s bye bye judges via expensive recall elections.

    rose bird was thrown under the bus back in 1986 because right wingers were able to successfully able to convince californians that she was weak on crime when she trying to grant due process to criminals who had been sentenced to death.

  21. duane harrison says


  22. duane harrison says


  23. GregV says

    I`m sure there were a few blacks who thought Rosa Parks should just be glad they had started to let black folks on the bus at all, which would have been better than paying the same transit taxes as white folks and having no access to transit at all. But as long as there is a sign telling us we have to sit in the torn up seats in the back, it won`t be full equality. I`ll be satisfied when I can board the bus and take a seat of my choice and no one will ask me to justify my seat over sex or race.

  24. Garst says

    WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH CALIFORNIA LAWS? You don’t like what the courts decide you threaten the judges and get away with it?

    But seriously, supporters of Prop 8 have cross the line into being terrorists.

  25. angrycitizen says

    Whatever it takes, whatever sacrifice we need to make, we must fight these bastards now and win. We can never go back…nor should we want too.


    The defeat on 8 has given us a larger, better organized, more attentive and more active community, one that could have won the contest had we had it earlier. all at the expense of our opponents, thank you.
    It’s not true that their options and resources are unlimited. As its not true that we have done all we can in our defense.
    Frankly, the more outrageous they become to us, the more apparent they are a threat to others. As a community, we have a learning curve in front of us. We’re not doing so badly, actually. And we’re gettin’ better every day.

  27. paul says

    well, I think that the right-wingers are afraid that Prop 8 will not be upheld by the courts, so they are pulling out all of the stops.
    I think since the courts have already ruled that gay marriage should be legal, nothing stops them from invalidating Prop 8 and continuing to let gay people marry.
    and YES it should be called MARRIAGE. IT is a loophole if is called Civil Union, because any company can write it into their contract that only MARRIGAGE is reconized. Seperate but equal is bullshit!!

  28. Cody says

    I dare them to try this shit. Listen, if this continues we need somebody who is well educated, informed, and pissed off to lead a movement that will end this shit once and for all. Sure we can write about it on blogs and comment on it – but what does that do?

    I read some very amazing stuff on these blogs – both from the authors and from the people that read and comment on the pieces – but we need to put all of this information together and really do something about it as visible entities. We need to stop preaching to the choir.

    Any ideas?

    We obviously can’t rely on the leaders that we have right now…

    This shit is getting old!


  29. Phil M. says

    So let me see if I understood Mr. Pugno correctly — First you make a threat, then you say that you would discourage everyone from making those threats, and you end it with making the threat again?? Sorry dude, but you’re a douchebag!