Thursday, November 17, 2011

Who can defend Proposition 8?

In Perry v. Brown, the California Supreme Court held today that the proponents of Proposition 8, the referendum that amended the California constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage, have standing to appeal the federal judgment that the state constitutional amendment violated the United States Constitution, where California officials including the new governor have refused to try to defend the amendment. The decision clears the way for the Ninth Circuit to decide the constitutional issue on the merits.

The amendment at issue added section 7.5 to the California constitution, which provides: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

The California decision is interesting in its contrast with the Fourth Circuit decision in the health care case, where Virginia officials were held to have no standing to challenge the federal law.

In the photograph are Governor Brown and former Mayor Newsom, both opponents of Proposition 8.