California Supreme Court to Take Up Issue of Standing in Prop 8 Case

The California Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice that they will take up the 9th Circuit’s request that they determine whether those defending Proposition 8, California’s voter-enacted ban on same-sex marriage, have standing under state law to appeal Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling overturning the ban.

From the Keen News Service

The announcement, at 5:20 p.m. EDT Wednesday, means the California court will soon hear arguments in the landmark Perry v. Schwarzenegger case. But the question will be a procedural one only: whether there is any authority under California law that would provide Yes on 8 proponents with standing to defend Proposition 8 in a federal appeals court.

The court’s brief announcement said it would hear arguments on an expedited schedule and asked that the first briefs be due March 14 and that oral argument take place as early as September.

Once the California Supreme Court decides whether state law provides any right to Yes on 8 to represent voters on appeal, the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel will then make its final determination as to whether Yes on 8 has standing to appeal. And, if the 9th Circuit says Yes on 8 does have standing, it will also rule on the constitutionality of Proposition 8.

As mentioned above, the question before the California Supreme Court is solely procedural and concerns whether the defendant-intervenors in this case, the group Protect Marriage, have legal standing under California law to appeal at the federal level.

In his original ruling Judge Vaughn Walker raised questions as to whether the defendant-intervenors have legal standing enough to even defend Proposition 8 before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The state’s administration would usually defend the law in such cases, but the anti-gay marriage group Protect Marriage intervened when both the then governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the then attorney general Jerry Brown declined to do so because they believed the 2008 ballot measure was unconstitutional.

Although Protect Marriage was allowed to intervene during the original court case, as defendant-intervenors the right to defend the law at appeal was not automatically granted them.

In accepting the case, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals stated that the defendant-intervenors would have to prove their standing in order for the appeal to go ahead.

The three-judge panel heard arguments in December of last year on both the constitutionality of Proposition 8 and the standing of the defendant-intervenors.

In January, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals asked the California Supreme Court to advise on whether the defendant-intervenors in the case have standing to appeal under state law, a critical question in determining whether those defending the gay marriage ban can proceed.

In taking up this request, the California Supreme Court said that it will hear oral arguments in September with briefs to be served and filed no later than Monday, March 14. This will likely push back the 9th Circuit’s decision well into 2012.

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


Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin6 years ago

Caring about issues is important and caring about equality is even more so. Care2 is a great place to be to find friends that share your views but also to engage in discussions with counter parts. But the latter is only possible when people actually have sensible arguments to the opinions they hold. Using religious foundations for discrimination is not one of them!
It is called Civil Rights for a reason. Marriage is a civil right not a religious one. Try to keep them apart, if you can. Marriage is a contract between two people and a reckognition from the Government that gives you certain rights and obligations. If someone wants to manifest their love, it has to be their choice to get married or not. But if the choice doesn't exist, than there are no equal rights. So whatever you believe in, do get this issue correct: It has to do with equal right, civil rights and nothing to do with disrimination against religions or its followers. I'm not denying the rights to anyone believing what they want, but only as long as those beliefs do not discriminate against anyone elses right to equality.

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin6 years ago

I'm not going to name any names here, but I do have a question to those who says they don't care: Why are you a member of the great site CARE2 if you do NOT CARE? It has to be counter productive to you, since you obviously do NOT CARE.

And a general question: Why not put every minority's equal rights on the ballot and see what comes out of it? Because that is essentially what Prop 8 is. The right for the majority to take away the rights of a minority. How about a Proposition to take away the rights of black people? Hispanics? Native Americans? Disabled? Guess no one in their right mind would do this (except maybe Arizona), but it would be and has been OK to do that against the GLBT community. Seriously, anyone with the view that it is OK to deprive any minority of equal rights, has a choice. Either accept the fact that discrimination isn't the law of the land or go live somewhere that has discrimination written into their constitution. There are plenty of those around, so it shouldn't be any problems for you to find a better place to live.

Nicholas T.
Nicholas T.6 years ago

I am a process server based out of the state of California and this topic is interesting to me since I actually serve couples on a regular basis. I would not go as far to say it is wrong or evil because I believe everyone has the right to be happy, but the amount of paperwork it takes to end relationships is outrageous. Seeing as 50 percent of all unions end in divorce maybe that should be taken into consideration. For more to blog on I suggest

William Y.
William Y7 years ago

Marvin Grantham says "God denounces same sex union as evil there fore it should one a man and woman to constitute a marriage"

Except that Laws regarding marriage aren't religious, but civil. Try getting married without a marriage license. A marriage license is a legal document, not a religious document.

Sound Mind
Ronald E7 years ago

Declaring neutrality - like who really cares?

Bob Skippy B.
Bob 'Skippy' B7 years ago

I'm putting money that Protect Marriage *doesn't* have legal standing to pursue the appeal.

Generally, establishing legal standing to challenge constitutionality of a law requires that the *plaintiff* show that harm will occur as a result of the law. The plaintiffs in this case (Kristin Perry & Sandra Steir) *did* establish that harm.

Protect Marriage came in as a 'defendant-intervenor', which means that they *weren't* the defendants, but simply *joined* with them for the purposes of this case. As such, they *haven't* established that THEY would suffer a harm as a result of the law, and thus, there's a *serious* question as to whether they'd have legitimate standing to pursue the appeal when the *actual* defendants - the state of California - declined to do so.

Quite frankly, there's *no* harm that Protect marriage *could* conceivably suffer as a result of same-sex marriage being legal!

As for the fact that it was voted on by the people? It's a non-issue. If it's unconstitutional, it's unconstitutional; the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution covers it. Period.

So Judge Walker's ruling will almost certainly stand.

Paul Elder
Paul Elder7 years ago


Drusilla P.
Drusilla P7 years ago

Crickey. I hope this results in the whole country having to accept that love is love and that all consenting adults have the right to marry.

Thanks for the post.

Suzanne B.
Sue B7 years ago

Make no mistake, it was not the GLBT community who made an issue out of this. They were given the right to marry in the state of CA. It was very simple, equal rights for equal citizens. From there we saw an onslaught of out of state organizations, people with no vested interest in this one way or another, flood Ca. with anti gay rhetoric. They gathered signatures, wrote a ballot initiative that would take away this right and spent millions on a disinformation campaign to get it passed. This is really not about the right to marry, this is about people's rights being put to a popular vote. It was clear from the start that Prop 8 violated the equal protection clause of both the CA and the US constitution which is the reason the Governor and Atty General refused to defend it. I understand why some people dont get it but the fact of the matter is marriage matters, in the legal sense. Another fact that the anti gay forces chose to ignore is this is not a religious issue, this is about the right of two consenting adults to enter into a legal contract that grants them rights under the law that no other form of contract does. Civil Unions do not come close. Either way, these out of state crusaders had no legal standing in CA to bring this or any other lawsuit. One must have a vested interest, be harmed by a law before they have standing to intervene in the legal process. Much to the dismay of many, we are a secular society and sans the religious argument, GLBT marriage harms no one.

Bon L.
Bon L7 years ago

Thanks for the info.