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Proposition 8 Backers Have Standing to Defend It, Court Rules

Prop8Backers of Proposition 8 have standing to defend it in court, the California Supreme Court has ruled, in a unanimous decision answering a question asked of it by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Reads the ruling, in part:

Accordingly, we respond to the question posed by the Ninth Circuit in the affirmative. In a postelection challenge to a voter-approved initiative measure, the official proponents of the initiative are authorized under California law to appear and assert the state‘s interest in the initiative‘s validity and to appeal a judgment invalidating the measure when the public officials who ordinarily defend the measure or appeal such a judgment decline to do so.

We'll have analysis from our legal expert Ari Ezra Waldman coming up.

Read the full ruling, AFTER THE JUMP...

The 9th Circuit will now decide how it wishes to proceed.

AFER writes:

First, we are confident that the Court will affirm our historic District Court victory. The anti-marriage Proponents of Prop. 8 failed to present a shred of credible evidence to justify discrimination against gay and lesbian Americans. Marriage is a fundamental right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, plain and simple.

Second, a Ninth Circuit victory can set an enormous precedent. The District Court decision that affirmed the right to marry for gay and lesbian Americans has had tremendous impact on public opinion. Since we filed the Perry case, seven national polls now show that a majority of Americans support marriage equality. That support will only grow as our case progresses and Americans are able to see the truth: when you look at the facts no American should ever be denied the fundamental freedom to marry.

Third, the potential reach of our case is greatly amplified. The Ninth Circuit is the largest appeals court in the nation, stretching the entire west coast and as far east as Montana and Arizona. This is an essential and critical step to bring our case before the U.S. Supreme Court and achieve our ultimate goal: full federal marriage equality.

Here's Matt Baume with the American Foundation for Equal Rights talking about the ruling.

Here's the ruling:

S189476

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Comments

  1. oh wow. and on we go...

    Posted by: adam | Nov 17, 2011 1:10:17 PM


  2. Well... it's soon time to reveal how political the SCOTUS really is.

    Posted by: andypharmer | Nov 17, 2011 1:13:09 PM


  3. I have to say I was genuinely shocked by this ruling.

    This really seems to go against prior "standing" rulings as I, a non-lawyer, understand them.

    Posted by: badlydrawnbear | Nov 17, 2011 1:13:33 PM


  4. The CASC is bending quite far to give this group standing, which may or may not ultimately hurt the integrity of the state's initiative process for future cases. I'm confident that the 9th Circuit will also give the PropH8 supporters standing as well, as they've already indicated that with the abdication by the state's governor and AG that they can't have a "healthy" ruling with only one side present to argue its side of the case.

    Still, my prediction, as a married California resident, is that the 9th Circuit will give them standing, but rule that PropH8 is unconstitutional. It will then go on to the USSC, where they will overturn the lower court and 9th Circuit courts, and rule that PropH8 doesn't violate the US Constitution since we have domestic partnership laws here that basically give us the same "rights" as marriage (even though they know in practice such partnerships are worthless when viewed in the greater realms of business, law and society.

    Posted by: Keith | Nov 17, 2011 1:22:09 PM


  5. Actually, badlydrawnbear, it's my understanding that although the Prop 8 case is being heard in Federal Court, the 9th District Court asked the California Supreme Court to rule on whether the defendants would have standing in state court. And California has the least restricting initiative process in the country, and routinely defers to initiative proponents when it comes to issues of standing.

    I think you would be correct under federal standards, though. It's interesting that the 9th Circuit chose to defer to the California Supremes on this. But they could argue, I suppose, that since it's a state initiatives, proponents could reasonably assume that state standards would apply.

    Posted by: Kevin_BGFH | Nov 17, 2011 1:23:36 PM


  6. This isn't SCOTUS. CA Supremes. Regardless, I don't think anyone's debating that SCOTUS has (and has pretty much always had) a political agenda.

    Posted by: Paul R | Nov 17, 2011 1:24:40 PM


  7. Even more reason to vote against every Republican in office today and in the future.

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Nov 17, 2011 1:26:17 PM


  8. This is a good thing if one wants to expedite how fast the marriage issue gets to the SCOTUS. (And contrary to some thinkers, I think now is the time to strike, because Kennedy is most likely on our side and if Obama loses and Ginsburg croaks, the Court will look very different in a few years.) The 9th Circuit will now affirm Walker's decision on Prop 8 itself and then it's on to the Supremes.

    Posted by: T | Nov 17, 2011 1:33:14 PM


  9. I'm surprised people are surprised by this. I thought this was expected. But now the proponents have to appear in court again to defend themselves yet they fear the release of the tapes from the original trial. They still have a lousy case whether they have the right to defend or not.

    Posted by: Craig | Nov 17, 2011 1:33:16 PM


  10. Meh.

    Even if they have "standing", they still have no "case".

    All this means is that Yes on 8 has won the ability to have their arguments based on bigotry thrown out by the Appeals Court.

    Posted by: Dan W. | Nov 17, 2011 1:33:21 PM


  11. "fast track"?

    It's 2011, almost 2012.

    Posted by: BobN | Nov 17, 2011 1:39:09 PM


  12. I wonder how much politics influence this. If the proponents had no standing, that was the end, right? I doubt the California Supreme Court wanted Walker's ruling to be the last word on this. A Supreme Court ruling would pass the buck, as it were. In addition, I doubt the Judiciary wanted to look as if it was supplanting or overruling the voice of the people and not giving the people a chance to fight back.

    And yes, even though the Prop 8 proponents have no case, I doubt that will matter in the eyes of Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, or Alito. They will "invent" a case to justify the beliefs they already hold, in my opinion. Make no mistake, this will be 5-4, just a matter of which way.

    Posted by: Matt S | Nov 17, 2011 1:41:20 PM


  13. I find this whole ruling irrelevant. The question is not whether the initiative proponents have standing in state court, but whether they have standing in federal court. Federal standing is determined by federal law (which is quite restrictive) not state law. Other than the fact that this ruling may be "persuasive" authority (as opposed to binding authority)- I just don't see how it assists the 9th Cir. determine its federal standing question....

    Posted by: JPinWeHo | Nov 17, 2011 1:54:46 PM


  14. as i understand it, this gets a fast track kick to the US 9th on dec 8. regardless of their ruling it'll be appealed to the SCOTUS. they have already set their docket for this session so it'll be next october when SCOTUS announces whether or not to hear the case. if they decline then the 9th's verdict stands? if they choose to hear the case it'll be june 2013 before we hear it's verdict? correct me if i am wrong.

    Posted by: deedrdo | Nov 17, 2011 1:54:59 PM


  15. If it eventually turns out that they(we) lose the casein the end. What will happen to all the couples who got married? Will their marriage still be valid ( state vice)?If we lose the case then what? It will be indescribably tragic for all.

    Is there not a better way to go get equality for all? Can we run the risk that it will be 2014-2015 before we get a final verdict.

    I don`t know, but maybe it would be better to go after, by state after state to achieve equality.

    Posted by: TT | Nov 17, 2011 2:37:33 PM


  16. There is not way the US Supreme Court will rule in favor of marriage equality proponents. Not only are there are 4 certain anti-gay votes, but Kennedy is not very likely to rule for gay marriage as a constitutional right when only 5 states currently recognize it. The number of states granting a right has been very important to Kennedy's constitutional reasoning. For instance, all but 12 or 13 states still had sodomy laws when he found the right to sodomy in the Constitution. Kennedy is very cautious not to get too ahead of public and state opinion.

    Posted by: Javier | Nov 17, 2011 2:39:22 PM


  17. I guess the best way to assure a victory for us is by removing either Scalia and/or Thomas one way or another.

    Posted by: Ezam | Nov 17, 2011 3:02:51 PM


  18. While this will permit the defeat of Prop 8 to affect the whole Ninth Circuit, I think it's a shockingly bad decision for California, conflating legislative and executive powers, conflating state and federal law. One begins to wonder if any of these folks attended school.

    Posted by: Randy | Nov 17, 2011 11:38:13 PM


  19. It goes to the SCOTUS. We lose. Sad.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Nov 18, 2011 10:53:30 AM


  20. Now it's time for us to get into high gear and make sure that all Californians (and the rest of the country for that matter) understand that the principal backer of Prop 8 is the Mormon Church and the millions of $$ they squeezed from their cultists. I expect more millions will be squeezed from these lemmings for the defense of prop 8 as well.

    Posted by: cbhermey | Nov 18, 2011 12:19:48 PM



  21. ==[07FEB2012]==PLEASE,

    I will like to bring to your curiosity some recent scientific research lately published
    reflecting on this emotional subject of "Same Sex Marriage". So far, there is no scientific research for the public. The findings are in some sense, "frightening" (to me at least). These findings have not
    yet been made known to the general public:

    Same Sex Marriage violates some
    fundamental laws of the Cosmos--
    GENDER IS NOT SEX; AND CONVERSELY.
    Some humans are now promoting some
    obfuscation. The finite mind
    cannot fathom or comprehend the
    INFINITE MIND. Impossible!

    Same Sex Marriage violates Mathematical
    law of Oredered Pairs. And we may
    ask: Why teach our youngsters the
    soverign subject of SCIENCE and our
    own selves violate them in living?

    THERE IS MORE!

    Same Sex Marriage violates Mathematical
    Rules/Laws of Counting: This is new
    from the TREE STRUCTURE, a basic
    Mathematical Model Formula for
    the theory of CLASSIFICATION;
    CLASSIFICATION IS FUNDAMENTAL TO
    MEASUREMENT-- theory & Application.
    NEW even to Mathematicians!

    The census bureau is going to have
    tenacious trouble counting Married
    Families. THIS IS THE MORAL
    LESSONS FROM THIS TREE STRUCTURE
    RESULT FOR CLASSIFICATON!


    This finding is among a more comprhehensive research published in the APPENDIX [captioned:
    A.1.2 WHAT IS MARRIAGE AND WHO MARRIES
    WHOM?
    in the book:

    UCB: The Evolution Of The Comprehension
    Of Truth.

    Now available at ONLINE BOOKSTORES and others. However, I am honestly not using this medium to promote my book but, I am very concerned that humanity needs to know and embrace truth. Human errors can be devasttating. Sometimes political emotionalisms dwarf/ridicule the pure laws of the Cosmos. Science is TRUTH. And TRUTH
    has our bona fide Cosmic SECURITY within it.

    A SECOND VOLUME IS NOW BEING PREPARED ON THE SUBJECT OF THE PHENOMENON, LIFE. This precious subject is not being taught today in our sciences? Science does not know it?

    Posted by: Lem O. Ejiogu | Feb 7, 2012 11:28:56 AM


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