Prop 8 Authors Ask California Supreme Court To Stop Same-Sex Marriages

First-gay-marriageProposition 8 has been dead for less than a month, and already, its advocates are trying to honor its memory by asking the California Supreme Court to order county clerks to stop issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. They contend that governor Jerry Brown lacked the authority to put an end to the enforcement of Prop 8, since a provision in the California constitution prohibits officials from refusing to enforce a law unless an appellate court has first determined that said law is unconstitutional. According to the LA Times, "there is no binding appellate ruling that says Proposition 8 is unconstitutional."

The 50-page challenge is being filed by Protect Marriage, the same group that sponsored Prop 8, and is stated as “concerning the rule of law and limitations on public officials’ authority.” They claim that the California court has a duty to intervene. If not…

“the end result will be to allow one federal district judge — empowered by state officials who openly advocated for and ceded to Proposition 8’s demise — to nullify a constitutional initiative approved by more than seven million voters.”

Prop-8-yes-noThis new challenge is a continuation of the controversy surrounding the injunction filed by now-retired Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker. Since the U.S. Supreme Court did not directly issue a ruling on the case, Walker's injunction was left in place. Thus, this new challenge would expect to put a new spin on the earlier decision, especially when it was the subject of such controversy at the time. 

The LA Times remarked that legal experts consider this move to be "an extreme long shot". UC Davis Law Professor Vikram Amar said to them that the California Supreme Court will likely see this challenge "as an invitation to intervene in a federal matter." Amar went on to explain.

“The California Supreme Court will likely stay out of this and say the scope of Judge Walker’s order is a matter for the federal courts to determine…State courts generally won’t get into the business of construing federal court orders. They leave that to the federal courts.”

The court normally meets on Wednesdays to decide on such challenges. However, they can theoretically issue a decision at any time. They could also simply refuse to intervene, or ask for additional written arguments before issuing a decision. 


  1. Michael Barber says

    Apparently they can’t read Judge Walker’s ruling stating Prop H8 was blatantly unconstitutional. Retards.

  2. says

    Calling this move “an extreme long shot” is an understatement. They know they will lose, again, so at this point it’s only a plea for donations from their shrinking band of deluded bigots.

  3. Bill says

    @Michael Barber: You are missing the point. Protect Marriage’s attorneys can’t get billable hours if they don’t do something that is billable.

    If they don’t do something, no matter how inane it may sound, they can’t keep their organization going and if it folds, they’ll all be looking for work.

  4. Chadd says

    You could get 7 million people in California to pass a law making it a felony to write a check at the grocery store. Just because a lot of people support something, doesn’t make it right. FYI, there are 38 million people in California, so 7 million is not that big of a number.

  5. Bill says

    @Rexford: they like to rack up billable hours and use their “work” as a rationale for more fundraising – that’s the really cynical interpretation.

    As they say, a quack will just take your money. A professional will make sure you come back for another visit.

  6. Rexford says

    Oh Bill, I get that part. Entirely. But courts and government attorneys (like Dennis Herrera) are then forced to respond, and it’s the citizens who pick up those “billable” (i.e. tax-supported) hours.

  7. pdxblueyes says

    So let me get this right. They asked Dad and he said NO. They asked Mom and she said – whatever Dad says. Now they’re asking grandma… Been there, done that, never won at that game either…

  8. Craig Nelson says

    If the Supreme Court are clever they will weave in lots of references from the Prop 8 and DOMA SCOTUS rulings as well as California jurisprudence (like that the proponents have sufered no particularized detriment). Meanwhile the marriage licences continue.

  9. anon says

    Actually, their proper course of action is to sue the state in state court for failing to defend the proposition. They still have standing in state court. The case was remanded to the ninth, but if there was any action it was to allow the district court injunction to remain in place.

  10. Anon2 says

    “Actually, their proper course of action is to sue the state in state court for failing to defend the proposition. They still have standing in state court.” — anon

    The state did defend the proposition, by allowing the proponents to substitute their legal team for the AG’s office at trial. That legal team was working for & paid by the state, that’s why standing was not an issue in the original trial. The proponents then sued the state trying to force the state to support an appeal of the district courts ruling. The CASC ruled the state was not require to appeal any ruling, just defend the proposition at trial – which they did by allowing proponents to sub their legal ‘dream team’

  11. Anon2 says

    Their proper course of action is to simply get over themselves. Failing that (which I’m sure they will), they need to just bury Prop H8 and start fresh with Prop 9.

    I’m sure everyone would still support them (Okay, that was sarcasm)

  12. Jim says

    Did nobody ever ask these dimwits to read the Supremacy Clause in the Constitution of the United States? States courts can’t overrule federal courts. This is what happens when you get your law training at Liberty University and Regent University.

  13. PLAINTOM says

    The last act of this theater of the absurd will be when the head of the Prop 8 group sues his own lawyer for incompetent council and puts out a donation request to pay for the cost of the lawsuit.

  14. AdamTh says

    “the Supremacy Clause in the Constitution of the United States” … What’s that all about?

    The lead attorneys for those [we don’t really] people need to be standing before the Cal Bar Association explaining why their licenses should not be revoked.

  15. Bill says

    @AdamTh: the lead attorneys for “protect marriage” have a solid defense for that: “Your honor, we were defending a client who had no case whatsoever and who wanted his/her day in court anyway.”