Victory by Whitman and Cooley in CA could revive Proposition 8 appeal

Posted by Hank Plante on

"This weekend, Palm Springs is hosting the annual dinner and board meeting for Equality California, the primary group pushing for the freedom to marry in the state.

"It's no coincidence that the meeting comes just days before the election, since the election's outcome and the future of marriage for same-sex couples are tied together.

"Specifically, whoever wins the governor's race and the state attorney general's race could determine the future of the issue, as it winds its way through the courts.

"A new governor or attorney general could re-enter the state into the Proposition 8 case, reversing the decision by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown not to defend Proposition 8 during its appeal process.

... "Schwarzenegger and Brown made the decision not to defend Proposition 8 after U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker shot down its ban on marriage equality, calling it unconstitutional. The battle has now moved to a federal appeals court.

"But now, both Republican candidates — Meg Whitman for governor and Steve Cooley for attorney general — say the state should defend Proposition 8. They could do that if elected.

"Palm Springs resident Geoff Kors, who runs Equality California, told me, 'Yes, the election of Whitman or Cooley could have a dramatic affect on the Proposition 8 trial. Even though the deadline to appeal in the 9th Circuit has passed, a new governor or AG could request to file a brief in the case and would likely be allowed to file a brief, and the state's opinion would likely be given significant weight by the court.'

"And, Kors says, 'In addition, depending on the outcome, the case likely will be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court where the governor or AG would likely file a brief stating the state's position, and if the case is remanded back to the trial court whoever is our AG would very likely be able to re-enter the case as a defendant.' ”

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