California high court refuses to order state appeal of same-sex marriage ruling

[JURIST] The California Supreme Court [official website] on Wednesday denied a request from a conservative group to order Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown [official profiles] to appeal the federal court ruling that struck down the controversial ban on same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive]. The request was brought by the Pacific Justice Institute [advocacy website] in an attempt to force a state government appeal [San Francisco Chronicle report] of last month's federal court ruling [JURIST report] that found Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage, unconstitutional. The supreme court denied the request without a hearing and offered no explanation for its decision. A judge for the 3rd District Court of Appeal [official website] declined [JURIST report] a similar request last week. The requests have raised questions of whether anyone has standing to defend Proposition 8 in court. PCJ argues [press release] that the governor and attorney general have a state constitutional duty to defend Prop 8 because it was a "voter-approved affirmation of traditional marriage." The deadline for the governor and the attorney general to appeal the reversal of Proposition 8 is September 11.

Last month, a three-judge panel for the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] issued a stay [JURIST report] of Judge Vaughn Walker's decision overturning Proposition 8 pending appeal. Earlier last month, Walker held that the same-sex marriage ban violated the guarantees of due process and equal protection under the US Constitution, but immediately stayed the ruling. Schwarzenegger, Brown and others filed motions [JURIST report] opposing the stay request, which led to Walker's refusal to issue a stay pending appeal. Schwarzenegger and Brown were originally defendants in the lawsuit against Proposition 8, and their refusal to oppose the stay request left defendant-intervenors Protect Marriage [advocacy website] and other groups to defend the law. The remaining defendant-intervenors have indicated they will, if necessary, appeal the case to the US Supreme Court.

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.