1. Mike says

    This goes WAY beyond Marriage Equality… Shannon Minter hit the nail on the head:

    “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.”

    At least now the remedy to not liking the decision of the executive branch is to vote them out next time around. But, if special interests are given access to the courts, we’re all screwed.

    Of course now the cat is out of the bag anyway so to speak and the Supremes probably know this…proponents will just start writing the proper language into their propositions.

  2. Nat says

    “But, if special interests are given access to the courts, we’re all screwed. ”

    Special interest groups already have disproportionate access to courts, because it costs money to wage lengthy legal fights.

  3. Pete n SFO says

    Does anyone seriously believe that if this weren’t a question related to “the gays” that this whole thing would have been OVER a long time ago.

    As Shannon, succinctly points out above, the very idea of elected officials stepping aside to allow the whims of a few (righteous or ridiculous) to set the agenda for the State is patently absurd.

    There are other remedies; vote people out, reintroduce other measures, etc… but increasingly, this looks like a long-term game plan for any monied majority to deny rights & impose self-will.

  4. Randy says

    The California Constitution vests executive authority in the executive branch — the governator and the attorney general. Although it provides a complex proceedure for voter initiatives, it does not specifically give initiative proponents any rights to represent the state in any capacity except for making legislation. If the Supreme Court allows standing, it will in effect be amending the Constitution to provide words and authority that are simply not there at present.

    I really don’t understand all the crybabies who worry that such a decision will be the end of democracy in California. If the court finds no standing, then it’s (apparently) a very simple matter for the voters to change the Constitution to expressly provide standing for all future initiative contests.

  5. Daniel says

    I’m not a legal expert, but I hope that the court rules in favor of those wanting to defend Prop 8. 2 Reasons: If the shoe were on the other foot and some right-wing governor and/or attorney general did not want to defend a progressive proposition, I would want MY interest group to be able to defend it. More importantly, this will allow a higher court, and possibly even the U.S. Supreme Court, to rule that a ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, thus paving the way for everyone to have marriage equality, including possibly even full federal benefits!

  6. Matt S says

    Daniel, originally, I agreed with you, but my mind has changed, and this is why. (It’s also something Olson mistakenly left out when directly questioned about it.) If the governor and AG refuse to defend a voter initiative, a random citizen or citizen group cannot step in to defend the law. HOWEVER, if a citizen can show that the repeal of the law would legally harm him (e.g., by showing that he would face discrimination or loss of property, etc.) he does have standing to defend the law. Therefore, yes, if a law can be shown to be harmful to you, you can step in and defend it, even if the governor won’t.

    And the more I thought, the better this sounded. Because, if you think about it, a law cannot even be challenged unless someone can show that the law harms them. So, if a law does not legally harm anyone, even if it is unconstitutional, it cannot be struck down by courts, because no one can sue. If we require such standing in order to strike down a law (something which inherently limits freedoms (necessary as that may be at times)), we should at least require that much for people who want to uphold the law.

  7. DN says

    I love how NOM bleated for years about keeping Prop 8 proceedings secret, but now they have the unmitigated gall to post a link to this video on their blog.