State justices liking Prop. 8 backers’ claims?
September 7, 2011
State Supreme Court justices Tuesday appeared to be receptive to arguments by backers of California’s same-sex marriage ban that proponents of Prop. 8 should have legal authority to defend their measure in court. [SanFranciscoChronicle]
Several justices suggested during oral arguments that the high court has always, as a matter of practice, allowed sponsors of ballot questions to appear before it when challenges arise.
“Never in any recorded (case) have proponents been denied the right to advance their interests,” Associate Justice Kathryn Werdegar noted during the closely watched arguments. “The present state of California law is we allow liberal intervention.”
Both California Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala D. Harris have declined to become involved in the appeal, asserting the ban was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court is responding to a “scope of power” question posed by a 9th U.S. Circuit Court after a federal judge ruled last year the ban violates the rights of same-sex partners.
Other federal judges, however, have pushed away the controversy, saying it is a state’s right issue. The state court has 90 days in which to issue its opinion, and a decision on the ban’s constitutionality is expected to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.