California | Federal Prop 8 Trial | Gay Marriage | News | Proposition 8

Will California's Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado Appeal Prop 8 Ruling While Schwarzenegger is Out of State?

That's what Prop 8 proponents are hoping, in a last-ditch effort, Think Progress reports.

Maldonado Writes Christian Newswire:

"A group of conservative leaders led by former attorney general candidate John Eastman have asked to meet with Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado to discuss his support of an appeal in a federal court suit regarding Proposition 8.

While the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled a December hearing of a lower court’s decision overturning the voter approved initiative, there is some question whether the proponents of the measure have standing to argue the case before the court. The Attorney General and the Governor clearly have authority to file the appeal. But, both Jerry Brown and Arnold Schwarzenegger have refused to do so based on their personal opposition to Proposition 8.

'But Abel Maldonado is a supporter of Proposition 8 and hopefully more willing to honor the obligations of his office than the current Attorney General has been' says Eastman. 'Importantly, while the Governor is traveling outside of the State, all of the rights and responsibilities of the office of Governor rest with Mr. Maldonado.'"

Think Progress clarifies:

Eastman, who is best know for inventing wildly wrong theories of the Constitution supporting right-wing policy goals, is uncharacteristically correct about Lt. Gov. Maldonado’s temporary authority. Under the California Constitution, “The Lieutenant Governor shall act as Governor during the impeachment, absence from the State, or other temporary disability of the Governor or of a Governor-elect who fails to take office.” Thus, because Schwarzenegger is currently on business in China, Maldonado does have the authority to file an appeal that the governor objects to.

It’s difficult to imagine that Maldonado would actually do such a thing, however.

...

Nevertheless, the anti-gay activists offer one entirely cynical reason for Maldonado to abuse his temporary powers as acting governor: the upcoming election. As one anti-gay activist puts it, “more than a few conservatives are still angry with the Lieutenant Governor for votes while he was in the California Legislature. The simple act of filing this appeal could wipe away many bad memories.”

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Comments

  1. Does anyone remember Mike Curb? He was Lt. Governor of California under Jerry Brown and (if memory serves) overturned initiatives the Governor had enacted, only to have those overturned when the Governor returned to the state. I remember my parents, even though they were republicans, thinking he was an ass for doing that.

    Posted by: Pre-Read | Sep 13, 2010 12:59:00 PM


  2. Right, Pre-Read. I was just about to say, the second the Governor returns to the state, he can order the appeal withdrawn. Maldonado isn't the governor and can't be turned into one for the rest of Arnold's term.

    Posted by: Skeptical Cicada | Sep 13, 2010 1:05:27 PM


  3. Somebody with standing needs to appeal this ruling so that it advances

    We have everything to win and nothing really to lose. If we were to lose at SCOTUS it wouldn't put us one bit behind where we stand right now. Besides, it's likely that California voters will have repealed Prop 8 by the time SCOTUS hears the case anyway. If Prop 8 is ruled constitutional by SCOTUS it will be a moot point. It won't make marriages one bit less legal in states where they're illegal now and it won't make marriage one bit more or less legal than they are now in states where they are now legal.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Sep 13, 2010 1:12:22 PM


  4. i remember an incident back in the 70s when jerry brown was governor and his lt. governor was right winger mike curb. brown was out of state and there was some particularly contentious bit of legislation waiting to be signed-one that brown would have clearly rejected and lt. governor curb was pulled over for speeding because he was trying to get back to the state house to sign it in before governor brown could veto it.

    Posted by: alguien | Sep 13, 2010 1:23:10 PM


  5. A win is a win is a win...I'm perfectly happy if the ruling isn't appealed and allowed to stand as it is. California is a huge state; and marriage equality here would make great inroads.

    Posted by: Mike | Sep 13, 2010 1:35:50 PM


  6. Wrong, Tampazeke. A loss in the U.S. Supreme Court would be devastating to the movement. No one could argue that any state ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional or even discriminatory. The endorsement of the U.S. Supreme Court would kill all momentum for years and years.

    We've won California, and that is huge and gives significant momentum that will positively impact other states. This litigation has served its purpose: getting rid of Prop. 8. It never set out to do anything more. Let the win sink in and become the new normal, then start a new push.

    Posted by: Skeptical Cicada | Sep 13, 2010 1:37:43 PM


  7. Completely agree with "Skeptical Cicada" above.

    It basically comes down to the old "bird in the hand..." argument. Yes, an appeal to the Supreme Court could result in a huge win, but it's not without huge risks. A loss in the Supreme Court could delay marriage equality for a decade or longer.

    Better to let this decision stand in CA as is. CA can better lead by example -- once gay marriage becomes commonplace in the nation's largest state, other states are likely to follow suit.

    Posted by: D.B. | Sep 13, 2010 2:01:48 PM


  8. I wonder if the devastating fire in San Bruno is the worst possible result for the Prop 8 crowd. Moldonado is way behind Gavin Newsome (his Democratic opponent for the Governor's mansion) on name recognition. Getting behind the Prop 8 lawsuit would have certainly put his name in the public. However, with his quick and able response to the San Bruno disaster, he may not need, or feel he needs, the name recognition cred any move on Prop 8 would bring him.

    Posted by: Jonathan | Sep 13, 2010 2:07:11 PM


  9. I was thinking about Mikey Curb as well.

    Posted by: Helen Heels | Sep 13, 2010 3:19:14 PM


  10. If Meg Whitman is elected governor (and she leads in the polls) that December hearing on standing will quickly become moot.

    I agree with tampazeke that we're better off if this goes to the Supremes. They may take a pass (not hear the appeal, cite adequate state law grounds, etc.) but we have great lawyers on this who know that court and the justices inside out. We may go many many years before an equally good opportunity comes along.

    Posted by: justiceontherocks | Sep 13, 2010 3:26:19 PM


  11. Following on with what Skeptical and D.B. have said, it is not only a question of momentum or what a Supreme Court decision could mean for marriage equality. We have no way of knowing what horrible language could find its way into a majority opinion upholding Prop 8--especially if written by Scalia -- that could have far-reaching negative effects even beyond marriage equality.

    Posted by: MiloTock | Sep 13, 2010 3:36:52 PM


  12. How dishonest to label the opponents of Prop 8 as anti-gay. Why? Because they oppose same-sex marriage? By opposing some issue you become anti that person? Can't one see the elementary difference between ideas and the character of a person?

    Posted by: Oswaldo | Sep 13, 2010 4:11:06 PM


  13. Oswaldo,

    The concept of Equal Protection is quite simple:

    If you deny a citizen the same equal protections, rights, privileges and access that you enjoy just because they are different from you, you are bigoted.

    Posted by: Brains | Sep 13, 2010 4:37:32 PM


  14. Gayface.

    Posted by: MarkDC | Sep 13, 2010 5:09:05 PM


  15. I'm not a federal appellate lawyer, but I do know (from being a co-defendant!) that there is a deadline for filing appeals on federal court decisions, and the clock starts ticking when the judge hands down the decision. Does anyone know what the timeframe is in the Prop 8 case? That is, if Meg Whitman wins, will she be inaugurated in time to file?

    Posted by: Sancho | Sep 13, 2010 5:49:59 PM


  16. Even if he does file appeal they're still gonna lose. And then it gets applied to a wider area.

    Posted by: ravewulf | Sep 13, 2010 8:46:15 PM


  17. This case is chugging along very nicely. The H8ers were exposed as despicable bigots for all the world to see. They couldn't make their case, despite huge funding, their own experts helped the plaintiffs' case, and they failed to submit essential evidence. The Walker decision is comprehensive, logical, persuasive, and rock-solid constitutionally. Bigots who have no stake beyond a desire to enshrine their intolerance in law want to appeal in order to enforce their biases, but neglected to make sure they could do so before going off half-cocked. The Ninth Circuit have expedited the case, indicating its importance and the pressing judicial duty to resolve the issue of irreparable harm to an entire population of citizens. Whichever way that argument goes, the H8ers will once again be displayed to the world as malicious, narrow-minded prigs, who simply will not be dissuaded by logic, sense, or constitutional law. I'd say the case is in mighty good shape, legally and politically, with our opponents periodically shooting themselves in the foot between bouts of ranting.

    I don't know why you guys continuously want to second-guess the most brilliant brace of Constitutional lawyers who have ever taken up the gay cause. Pipe down and pay attention! This is going to be good!

    (If you need mental exercise, pretend you are Obama's press secretary on the day after the Ninth Circuit rules Prop 8 unconstitutional. What will you say? What position will Obama take? How can he be against gay marriage but in favor of gay rights? What will congressional rednecks do? Who will be the first to demand impeachment of the entire Ninth Circuit? Not Cheney. Not Beck. Not Limbaugh. Is the right running low on bigots? Egad!)

    And what if the 9th overturns Judge Walker? Will Boxer come out swinging? Will Obama push DADT repeal, while continuing to ignore DOMA? Will Scalia demand to hear the case anyhow? What will Pelosi do? And Reid? Will the NYT and LAT publish dueling editorials? Which octogenarian nimrod will the Vatican pick to issue a statement?

    Boys, there's never a dull moment in the gay rights movement! Lean back (as they say) and enjoy it!

    Posted by: wimsy | Sep 15, 2010 8:04:51 PM


  18. Mea culpa. In my enthusiasm for Ted Olson and David Boies, I meant no disrespect to Mary Bonauto of GLAD in Boston, whose brilliance won us the first constitutionally-protected, legal marriage in Massachusetts. Blessings on all of the foregoing, and on their legal teams down to the lowliest intern, and on the legal teams in Iowa and Connecticut, and on those everywhere fighting the good fight. They are heroes, all.

    Posted by: wimsy | Sep 15, 2010 8:27:16 PM


  19. "SACRAMENTO-A group of conservative leaders led by former attorney general candidate John Eastman have asked to meet with Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado to discuss his support of an appeal in a federal court suit regarding Proposition 8.

    While the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled a December hearing of a lower court’s decision overturning the voter approved initiative, there is some question whether the proponents of the measure have standing to argue the case before the court. The Attorney General and the Governor clearly have authority to file the appeal. But, both Jerry Brown and Arnold Schwarzenegger have refused to do so based on their personal opposition to Proposition 8.

    “But Abel Maldonado is a supporter of Proposition 8 and hopefully more willing to honor the obligations of his office than the current Attorney General has been” says Eastman. “Importantly, while the Governor is traveling outside of the State, all of the rights and responsibilities of the office of Governor rest with Mr. Maldonado.”"

    Posted by: bop da | Oct 20, 2011 9:42:21 PM


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