Bill Giving Prop. 8 Backers Standing to Appeal Fails

In a small but interesting development, a bill that would have granted supporters of the 2008 voter enacted same-sex marriage ban, Proposition 8, standing under state law to appeal a federal judge’s August 2010 ruling that Prop. 8 is unconstitutional was defeated in senate committee this week.

The Sacramento Bee reports that the Senate Judiciary Committee rejected the bill in a 3-2 party-line vote. Republican sponsor of the bill Senator Tom Harman, who introduced a similarly unsuccessful measure once before, said that the legislation was necessary to defend the will of the people: “California voters deserve to have their position defended when an initiative is challenged in court and the State refuses to defend it.”

While not specifically mentioning any one court case, the import of Senate Bill 5 was clear in that would have helped solidify the position of Proposition 8 supporters whose standing is currently at question.

LGBT rights organizations argued during committee hearings that such a law would interfere with judicial powers to decide who has standing.

Normally, the state’s administration would defend state laws before the courts, but the anit-gay group ProtectMarriage intervened in the Prop. 8 case when both then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and then-attorney general Jerry Brown declined because they believed the 2008 ballot measure was unconstitutional.

While given grace by Judge Vaughn Walker to intervene in the case, ProtectMarriage, as defendant-intervenors, were not automatically granted the right to appeal and there have been doubts raised by both Judge Walker’s original ruling and by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, with whom this case now rests, as to whether defendant-intervenors have federal standing to appeal.

As such, the issue of defendant-intervenors’ standing is now before the California Supreme Court where it is to be determined whether there is any state law that would grant them a right to appeal.

In related news, California attorney general Kamila Harris filed an amicus brief with the supreme court earlier this week in which she said that defendant-intervenors do not, and should not, have standing.

Only the state’s executive branch should be able to defend state laws, she wrote, because to allow defendant-intervenors such a right robs the electorate of its power “by taking the executive power from elected officials and placing it in the hands of a few highly motivated but politically unaccountable individuals.” Read more on that here.

Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to angela n.


Duane B.
.3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Ed Gould
Ed G.5 years ago

It seems like for the most part the whole proposition structure has been declared invaled. Probably the state can undo all the wrongs that were perpertratored by this ill-concieved and ILL thoulght out process. The state should really go back and undo anything that the proposition people have put in place. EVERYTHING.

Dan(iel) M.
Dan(iel) M.5 years ago

Glad to hear that this BILL died.

Tish L.
Tish Levee5 years ago

We have a system of checks and balances in this country. The "will of the voters" does not mean that they can vote in something that is against the constitution. Not that long ago the "will of the voters" disallowed marriage between people of different racial backgrounds. Thank God that the courts finally overruled such laws. This is not really any different. The "will of the voters" has often been one of prejudice. This is why we have courts to look at these things.

Heather G.
Heather G.5 years ago

Gun S is another one of those trolls sent here to stir up trouble. It just joined yesterday and its birthday is Jan 2, 1901. Trolls are like ducks. When you feed them they poop all over the park.

Glen P.
Glen P.5 years ago

Gun S.

You don't need a Constitutional Amendment to redefine marriage, because marriage has never been defined in the Constitution.

What *IS* defined is that ALL citizens of this nation are entitled to equal treatment of the laws. We have marriage laws. You cannot discriminate based on characteristics of a person (or persons) based on gender without some sort of compelling State interest. Laws (and exclusions to laws) must have a rational basis.

The anti marriage equality crowd has repeatedly failed to show that there is any State interest in restricting marriage law to only opposite gender couples. Every rationale they've attempted to give either applies equally well to gay couples, or does not apply to all straight couples who marry.

Kris Shanahan
Kristy Shanahan5 years ago

Shame on these people for their ignorance in persecuting people born different than themselves. They need to learn how difficult it can be having no support. They need to learn to be humble.

Kris Shanahan
Kristy Shanahan5 years ago

Shame on these people for their ignorance in persecuting people born different than themselves. They need to learn how difficult it can be having no support. They need to learn to be humble.

Kris Shanahan
Kristy Shanahan5 years ago

Good - I'm so glad the radical hateful so called "Christians" of this country (even though they don't follow Christ but rather old tribal ideas) were defeated. They need to go back and really read the new testatment. It doesn't say what they do. I read it when I was thriteen and came away with an entirely different p[erspective than the hateful shunning one they have.

Allan Yorkowitz
.5 years ago

It still amazes me, California is one of the "gayest" states in America, and yet their government is one of the most intolerant.