Yesterday’s Hearing on Standing in the Prop 8 Case: FULL VIDEO, REACTIONS


As promised, here is full video of yesterday's hearing before the California Supreme Court regarding 'standing' in the Proposition 8 case.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Our legal expert Ari Ezra Waldman weighed in yesterday afternoon, and lots of you had questions which Ari is planning on answering in the comments.


Lambda Legal issued the following statement from Legal Director Jon Davidson:

"It is often impossible to predict from the questions asked by appellate judges how they will rule and today was no different. All of the judges on the California Supreme Court asked probing questions and seemed concerned about the implications of any decision they might make. We continue to hope that the Court will ultimately decide that small groups of unelected individuals who are answerable to no one should not be able to act on behalf of the state.

"We also hope they will see that the proponents of Proposition 8 had no direct interest in the validity of the measure. Their only legal interest was getting it placed on the ballot. A philosophical interest based on prejudice against lesbian and gay people should not be enough to gain access to federal courts."

Shannon Minter, Legal Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights (via Rex Wockner)"

"I was concerned by the tenor of many of the justices' questions today. The court has a responsibility to enforce the California Constitution, which gives elected state officials--not private initiative sponsors--the authority to decide whether to appeal a federal court decision invalidating a state law. Both conservative and progressive elected officials have occasionally exercised that discretion in the past by choosing not to expend state resources to defend invalidated measures. Permitting special interest groups to usurp that decision-making authority would dramatically change the current law and take a giant step down the road of turning California into a mobocracy.

I was disappointed that, with some notable exceptions, too many of the court's questions today did not address the specific legal questions before them, but rather seemed to glorify the initiative process in the abstract and to abdicate a searching examination of the California Constitution in favor of emotional appeals to "the people." The initiative process is already frequently misused to target vulnerable groups, due in part to the Court's past reluctance to enforce any meaningful limits on the process, even when those limits are mandated by the California Constitution. I sincerely hope the Court does not compound that mistake by now giving initiative proponents an unprecedented new power to step outside of their proper legislative role and usurp the power that our Constitution gives only to elected state officials in the executive branch."

Cooper Equality California's Roland Palencia:

"Extremists that backed Proposition 8 want the court to grant them special authority to trump the decision of the Governor and the Attorney General. This request is not only ridiculous, it's outrageous. Anti-equality individuals and organizations are not official representatives of the State and, despite their claims, they will not experience harm if same-sex couples once again have the freedom to marry.

"In fact, it is gay and lesbian couples and their families who are harmed every day that they are denied access to the fundamental right to marry. Judge Walker recognizes this. The Governor and Attorney General recognize this and California citizens increasingly recognize it as well.

"First opponents of equality used lies and and cruel stereotypes about LGBT people being a threat to children and families to to scare voters into supporting Prop 8. They carried the same messages into the courts and now with their attempts to overturn the FAIR Education Act, which will teach factual history about the contributions of people with disabilities, LGBT people and Pacific Islanders adding to the list of often overlooked groups such as women, African Americans, and Latinos.

"We appeal to fair-minded Californians to reject this extremist anti-equality agenda once and for all. And we appeal to the California Supreme Court to apply the law fairly and accurately and reject our opponents' request for standing to appeal Judge Walker's decision."

Watch the full hearing, AFTER THE JUMP...