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CA Supreme Court Rejects Prop. 8 Proponents' Appeal To Stop Same-Sex Marriages

6a00d8341c730253ef0192ac06de7f970d-800wiThe California Supreme Court has rejected the requests put forth by backers of Prop. 8 to halt same-sex marriage in California. The court had previously denied a request to at least temporarily stop same-sex marriage in California, which resumed shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court's dismissal of Hollngsworth v. Perry on the grounds of standing, while it considered the legal challenges raised by Prop. 8's proponents. The LA Times reports:

Meeting in closed session, the state high court rejected arguments by ProtectMarriage, Proposition 8’s sponsors, that only an appellate court could overturn a statewide law.

A federal judge in San Francisco declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional in 2010, and state officials refused to appeal. ProtectMarriage did appeal, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that initiative sponsors have no right to defend their measures in federal court. The decision left in place the ruling by retired Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker.

In its challenge before the state’s highest court, ProtectMarriage argued that a single judge lacked the authority to overturn a state constitutional amendment.  The group also contended that Walker’s injunction applied to two counties at most and that state officials had overstepped their authority by ordering county clerks throughout California to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

State officials countered that the challenge was a veiled attempt to persuade a state court to interfere with a federal judge’s order in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

The California Supreme Court's ruling also applies to the briefs filed by San Diego county clerk, Ernest J. Dronenburg, thus putting to an end, at least for now, his contentious attempts to stop same-sex couples from marrying in the Golden State. BuzzFeed reports that California Attorney General Kamala Harris welcomed the court's rejection of the writ of mandate:

"Once again, equality and freedom triumph in California. The California Supreme Court has denied the Proposition 8 proponents’ latest attempt to deny same-sex couples their constitutional right to marry. I applaud the Court’s decision and my office will continue to defend the civil rights of all Californians."


CA Supreme Court Rejects SD Clerk's Request To Halt Same-Sex Marriages

6a00d8341c730253ef0192ac06de7f970d-800wiOn Tuesday the California Supreme Court denied a request filed by San Diego County Clerk Ernest J. Dronenburg to halt gay marriages in California until the Court can review whether Proposition 8 is still law in all but two counties, the AP reports. The court will not consider that issue til August. In the meantime same-sex marriages are able to continue state-wide without interruption. Petitioners, primarily Dronenburg and state Attorney General Kamala Harris, have until August 8 to file additional written arguments. The news that the request was denied did not surprise many primarily because the Court recently rejected a similar request by the backers of Propisition 8 who used the same arguments put forth by Dronenburg in attempt to prevent gay couples from tieing the knot.

In addition to arguing for a more limited interpretation of Judge Vaugh Walker's 2010 ruling against Proposition 8, Dronenburg has also claimed that "county clerks aren't bound by orders from the governor, the state attorney general and the state officials who oversee marriage records." A large number of California counties, however, disagree with his interpretation of the law: "Clerks in 24 counties have submitted briefs arguing that it makes sense for their actions with regard to issuing marriage licenses to be guided by state officials so marriage laws are the same statewide."

And though Dronenburg has claimed to be only seeking clarification from the court, he has chosen as his representative, "Rancho Santa Fe lawyer Charles LiMandri, who donated $10,000 and loaned another $27,000 to the campaigns to qualify and pass Proposition 8, according to state campaign finance records," calling into question his true motives for filing in the first place.


CA Attorney General Urges Court To Deny San Diego Clerk's Petition To Halt Same-Sex Marriages: READ

Harris

Late last week, San Diego County Clerk Ernest J. Dronenburg Jr. filed a petition with the California Supreme Court to halt same-sex marriages in the state on the grounds that the 2010 federal court ruling by District Judge Vaugh Walker only applies to the two couples who petitioned the court and their respective counties (Los Angeles and Alameda). On Monday, California Attorney General Kamala Harris strongly urged the court to deny the request for a stay, according to the LA Times:

“The public interest weighs sharply against issuing a stay in this case,” Harris’ office argued. “After years of litigation, there is now a final determination that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.”

Responding to Dronenburg's notion that a more limited view of Walker's ruling should be applied, "Harris countered that [Walker's] injunction applied statewide because it also ordered [Governor] Brown and other statewide officials to stop enforcing Proposition 8, and those officials have authority over county clerks."

In briefs filed with the Court, Harris went even further in arguing against the requested stay of same-sex marriages:

"The Court should deny the stay because the petitioner has no likelihood of success on the merits. The petition is an impermissible collateral attack on the district court's final judgment. This Court is not the proper forum to litigate the scope or validity of the district court's injunction, as that question is properly presented to the federal district court. The federal injunction applies statewide, and the State Registrar's notices to the petitioner of his legal obligations under the terms of a federal injunction do not violate article III, section 3.5 of the California Constitution. Even if successful, the requested stay would not shield petitioner from proceedings to compel his compliance with the federal injunction."

Dronenburg's petition is the second in California to challenge same-sex marriage in California since the Supreme Court overturned Prop. 8 on a question of standing in June. Last week a request from the backers of Prop. 8 to halt gay marriages was denied by the California Supreme Court.

Read Harris' opposition to the stay AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "CA Attorney General Urges Court To Deny San Diego Clerk's Petition To Halt Same-Sex Marriages: READ" »


CA Attorney General Calls For Same-Sex Marriages To Resume 'Immediately': VIDEO

Harris

California Attorney General Kamala Harris, as earlier expected, spoke out today about the Supreme Court's overturning of Prop. 8 and the implications of the ruling for California.    

Though orders from the high court traditionally take 25 days to be officialliy implemented, "Harris urged the federal appeals court 'in the strongest terms' to act before the 25 days pass 'so that marriages can begin in California immediately,'" the LA Times reports.

However, according to David J. Madden, an appeals court official, the 9th circuit court has yet to receive, "any legal paperwork from Harris asking them to expedite the process."

At issue is the stay imposed by the 9th Circuit court of appeals on U.S. District Judge Vaugh R. Walker's 2010 ruling that declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional. However, Harris promised,

"As soon as [the 9th Circuit] lifts that stay, marriages are on. The wedding bells will ring...Today is a day that reaffirms our commitment as a country to giving every person equal protection and due process under the law."

Check out a video via PBS News Hour of Harris "feeling pretty good" and sharing the state's plans for bringing marriage equality back into the fold AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "CA Attorney General Calls For Same-Sex Marriages To Resume 'Immediately': VIDEO" »


Same-Sex Marriage To Resume In California Within Weeks

In the wake of today's Supreme Court ruling on Prop. 8, overturning it on the grounds of standing, Governor Jerry Brown has announced that same-sex marriage is to resume in California within weeks, the LA Times reports:

California“'I have directed the California Department of Public Health to advise the state’s counties that they must begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in California as soon as the Ninth Circuit confirms the stay is lifted,' Brown said in a statement."

Local officials in California say they're prepared to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples as soon as they get the official go-ahead:

“'We’re pretty much ready to go,' said Cathy Darling Allen, the clerk for Shasta County and the head of the California Assn. of Clerks and Election officials. 'In 2008, we had some assistance from the state Department of Public Health in making marriage license forms gender neutral. We continue to use those forms today. So the mechanics of the process are ready to go.'"

The LA Times also reports that California Attorney General Kamala Harris will be issuing a statement later today providing further details as to the state's plans for re-implementation.  Though rulings issued by the Supreme Court tend to take 25 to 30 days to take effect, there is some speculation that same-sex marriage could resume sooner given that the lower courts had already ruled against Prop. 8.


Rachel Maddow Speaks with California AG Kamala Harris About Yesterday's SCOTUS Prop. 8 Arguments: VIDEO

Maddowmore

Earlier this morning I posted a segment from last night's Rachel Maddow show about the Prop 8 arguments.

Here's another, in which she goes much further into the arguments, and is joined by California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Harris_maddow

Continue reading "Rachel Maddow Speaks with California AG Kamala Harris About Yesterday's SCOTUS Prop. 8 Arguments: VIDEO" »


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