- Health, Wellness & Sports
- Equality Directory
SAN FRANCISCO – The California Supreme Court will rule on a crucial Proposition 8 issue at 10 am PT Thursday on whether private parties have legal standing to defend the state’s laws in court.
After federal district Judge Vaughn Walker ruled last year that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional, the Governor and the Attorney General of California said that they would abide by the ruling and not appeal the decision. ProtectMarriage, a group that supported Prop 8, which took away marriage equality from gay and lesbian Californians, then appealed the ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
After a hearing earlier this year, the appeals court asked the California Supreme Court to review the standing issue:
“Whether under Article II, Section 8 of the California Constitution, or otherwise under California law, the official proponents of an initiative measure possess either a particularized interest in the initiative’s validity or the authority to assert the State’s interest in the initiative’s validity, which would enable them to defend the constitutionality of the initiative upon its adoption or appeal a judgment invalidating the initiative, when the public officials charged with that duty refuse to do so.”
That opinion will be forwarded to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which will resume deliberations in the appeals case.
If California’s high court decides that ProtectMarriage has no legal standing, the appeals court most likely would dismiss the appeal and Judge Walker’s ruling would stand. Gay and lesbian couples would then be able to marry again in California.
If the high court decides that ProtectMarriage has legal standing, the appeals court could go either direction in its decision. Regardless of the outcome, all legal scholars believe that the appeals court decision will be then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court by the losing party.