Conservative Group Sues to Force Schwarzenegger and Brown to Defend Prop 8

A conservative group called the Pacific Justice Institute petitioned the 3rd District Court of Appeal on Monday, seeking to force California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown to defend Prop 8 in court, something both have said they will not do.

Pacificjustice According to a press release from the group filing the petition:

The new lawsuit is being filed by Pacific Justice Institute on behalf of Dr. Joshua Beckley, a minister in the Los Angeles area. The lawsuit is called an extraordinary writ of mandate and was filed with the Third District Court of Appeal in Sacramento. The writ asks the court to enforce Government Code Section 12512, which states that the Attorney General "shall defend" the state and its public officials against all legal challenges. At a minimum, the suit argues, this law requires Attorney General Brown to file a one-page Notice of Appeal of Judge Walker's decision. Otherwise, the Attorney General can effectively veto ballot initiatives by simply refusing to defend them in court.

The lawsuit includes a sworn Declaration from former U.S. Attorney General and legal advisor to Governor Reagan, Edwin Meese III. Meese affirms that neither he nor Governor Reagan refused to defend duly-enacted laws based on personal disagreement with the laws. Former California Attorney General Dan Lungren has also publicly stated his belief that it is the attorney general's duty to defend all state laws, regardless of his personal feelings or beliefs.

As you may recall, Schwarzenegger and Brown both pushed for same-sex marriages to resume in the state before the Ninth Circuit court issued another stay and said they would hear an appeal.

Equality California Executive Director Geoff Kors issued a statement condemning the lawsuit:

"This is an outrageous attempt to try and force elected officials who have sworn to uphold the United States Constitution to defend a law that the Federal Court has found to be unconstitutional. It demonstrates their acknowledgement that the proponents of Proposition 8 lack standing to appeal, that the case should be dismissed and loving same-sex couples should be allowed to exercise their constitutional right to marry."    


  1. says

    We should sue the Wisconsin Attorney General for his lack of defense on the Domestic Partnerships.

    We should play hardcore. If the Wisconsin Attorney General can play games, we should be able to play games too.

  2. DireFates says

    Everything about the Prop 8 saga (from the referendum to the lawsuit to Walker to this) feels contrived and there’s no other word I can find to say it. I really hope the parties know what they’re doing.

  3. I'm Layla Miller I Know Stuff says

    The letter of the law versus the spirit of the law is an idiomatic antithesis. When one obeys the letter of the law but not the spirit, one is obeying the literal interpretation of the words (the “letter”) of the law, but not the intent of those who wrote the law. Conversely, when one obeys the spirit of the law but not the letter, one is doing what the authors of the law intended, though not adhering to the literal wording.

    “Law” originally referred to legislative statute, but in the idiom may refer to any kind of rule. Intentionally following the letter of the law but not the spirit may be accomplished through exploiting technicalities, loopholes, and ambiguous language. Following the letter of the law but not the spirit is also a tactic used by oppressive governments.

  4. Jeff says

    What a bunch of cunts. Pages and pages of factual findings and legal analysis, with which the Attorney General and Governor agree, and all of it gets reduced by these jerks to “personal feelings and beliefs.” Well, no. It’s not personal feelings. There was a trial, at which your side absolutely stunk up the joint. There was careful legal reasoning and a conclusion. Rubber-glue: the “personal feelings and beliefs” are all YOURS. There was nothing but personal feelings and beliefs offered to support Prop 8 and in a CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY that’s not a good enough reason to discriminate against a class of people.

    So sick of these fuckers.

  5. Frederick says

    I am totally disgusted by these morons… I just hope they have no real legal basis to force either the governor or the state attorney general into defending Prop.8!

  6. princely54 says

    So, by their logic, EVERY law that gets deemed ‘unconstitutional’ by the state judiciary should be appealed to the US Supreme Court. Essentially state judiciaries would be just a weigh station for every court case it sees since someone always has to lose. So, talk about states’ rights! I thought the right was all about STATES’ rights?! HAHA!! Laughable.

    Can you imagine if EVERY law that is challenged in state court has to be sent to the US Supreme Court…their docket would be miles long every year.

  7. says

    Remember when blacks and whites couldn’t get married? Could you imagine if some racist group of assholes started protesting it now? Civil Rights groups would go apeshit! What is so different about gay marriage? It is ALSO a Civil Rights issue and the fact that it’s being opposed so fervently, by narrow-minded, backwards “Christians”, many of whom have been divorced several times (and/or committed adultery) and have no fucking IDEA what the “sanctity” of marriage IS, makes me absolutely sick! They have no problem with straight celebrities, like Elizabeth Taylor, getting married EIGHT FUCKING TIMES, but a gay couple can’t get married at all? Give me a BREAK!

    The “sanctity” of marriage is between the two people involved. PERIOD. So Dear Prop 8 supporters: Mind your own business, worry about your OWN screwed up marriages and find a way to deal with the fact that you can’t make the world do what you want or believe the ignorant, hateful shit that you spew. This isn’t 1950- get on board or get the fuck out of the way.

  8. Zargon2010 says

    “Meese holds the Ronald Reagan Chair in Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation. He also is Chairman of Heritage’s Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, founded in 2001 to educate government officials, the media and the public about the Constitution, legal principles and how they affect public policy.” – from The Heritage Foundation’s website. The Heritage Foundation is a conservative think tank.

  9. bigolpoofter says

    Meese is a flaming ass, and The Heritage Foundation is part of a conservative cabal in Washington that fans the flames of “the culture war” with hopes of re-taking The White House and both chambers of Congress. Instead of puffery about defending CA laws with which he disagreed, why doesn’t Meese just admit that referendum is a ridiculous means for governing? The aftermath of Prop 13 speaks to the inability of voters to see past their own selfish personal interests.

  10. Jennifer says

    Actually, it won’t be so bad if the AG has to file an appeal. The defense from the AG would be extremely lackluster, and the prop 8 bigots would continue to make fools of themselves in the face of all the evidence all the way to the SCOTUS. Judge Walker’s ruling is so detailed, and the evidence that prop 8 is unconstitutional is really insurmountable. If it goes to SCOTUS the ripple effect will be nationwide, and all states with similar amendments would likely have to overturn them sooner rather than later.

  11. mad1026 says

    Edwin Meese? Really? Isn’t he the guy who had such a hard-on for pornography that he couldn’t stop looking at it as legal counsel to Reagan? He left office in disgrace and now he is trying to force elected officials to do his bidding? WTF?

  12. jamal49 says

    @CORRINA Well said! What bothers me (angers me, actually) in this entire debate about same-sex marriage is that gay couples are seeking CIVIL recognition for their marriages, NOT church or religious approval.

    This is a classic case of separation of Church and State. No one is seeking to force any church or religious organization to either recognize or perform same-sex marriages against their will.

    This is about applying CIVIL LAW equally to consenting adults who wish to legalize their relationship commitments and have access to all the legal benefits that civil marriage offers.

    That these religious and conservative bigots can’t quite get that difference in their mental cross-hairs says more about the intellectual vapidity and moral illegitimacy of their anti-marriage equality arguments than anything else.

  13. DanO says

    If I remember right, these people didn’t want Brown/Schwarzenegger defending Prop 8 at trial. Now that the bar for standing is set higher at appeals, they’re making a desperate attempt. Claiming now that the State must defend the law is ludicrous after it already lost. Any defendant has the right to accept a judgment and not seek appeal. There is nothing that compels the state to pursue the case any further.

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