Calif. Supremes Decline to Order Officials to Defend Prop. 8

Posted by Ashby Jones on

"The increasingly complex Proposition 8 case on Wednesday took a rather merciful turn for the simpler.

"The California Supreme Court denied a conservative group’s request to order state officials to appeal a federal judge’s ruling striking down the voter-approved measure. Click here for the story, from the SF Chronicle.

"The development came less than a week after a lower court denied a request by the group, the Pacific Justice Institute, to force Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown to defend Prop. 8 in court. Click here for all LB coverage of the Prop. 8 battle.

"On Wednesday, the California Supreme Court delivered its review of the issue without comment.

"So now, the stage is set: the case, over whether it’s constitutional to ban the freedom to marry, is now solely and squarely in the hands of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. At issue: whether Prop. 8’s sponsors have the legal standing to defend the law. Beyond that, of course, lies the constitutional challenge.

"On Wednesday, Attorney Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, told the SF Chron that the court order was disappointing.

“'People on the left and right should both be mourning the fact that the attorney general and the governor are reneging on their oaths of office,' Dacus said, arguing that the officials have a sworn duty to defend all state laws.

"Schwarzenegger and Brown took a different view in arguments filed with the state court earlier in the day. The governor, like any other party in a court case, is entitled to decide which rulings to appeal, Schwarzenegger’s lawyers said.

"Brown’s office said he agrees with the ruling last month by Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco throwing out Prop. 8 and has no duty to appeal it."

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