Proposition 8 Legal Battles Intensify with Briefings Filed with CA Supreme Court

California Attorney General Jerry Brown made public his opposition to Proposition 8 Friday in a brief to the California Supreme Court while “Yes on 8” forces filed a brief extending their opposition to include invalidation of the same-sex marriages already performed in there. California’s Supreme Court will consider the constitutionality of Proposition 8, which eliminated same sex marriage in the state earlier this November. The proposition, which passed 52 percent to 48, overturned a May ruling of the state Supreme Court that legalized same sex marriage.

After Prop. 8’s passage, Brown had initially said that he would support the measure, which bans same-sex marriage, as enacted by the voters, according to the L.A. Times. Brown revised his position in a statement that “Proposition 8 must be invalidated because the amendment process cannot be used to extinguish fundamental constitutional rights without compelling justification.”

Also Friday, Prop. 8 supporters filed a brief with the state Supreme Court seeking to invalidate the 18,000 same-sex marriages performed before the ban passed in November. This brief, co-written by Kenneth Starr, known as the independent counsel who investigated Bill Clinton, states: “Proposition 8’s brevity is matched by its clarity. There are no conditional clauses, exceptions, exemptions or exclusions….For this court to rule otherwise would be to tear asunder a lavish body of jurisprudence. That body of decisional law commands judges—as servants of the people—to bow to the will of those whom they serve—even if the substantive result of what people have wrought in constitution-amending is deemed unenlightened,” according to the Michigan Messenger. In his statement, Attorney General Brown indicated his belief that marriages entered into during the five months same-sex marriage was legal in California are valid irregardless of whether Proposition 8 is upheld.


Associated Press 12/20/08; Michigan Messenger 12/22/08; LA Times 12/19/08; CA Attorney General Statement 12/19/08; Feminist Daily Newswire 11/20/08

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