The California Supreme Court issued a ruling November 17 clearing the way for champions of traditional marriage to continue defending Proposition 8, the state constitutional amendment passed by voters in 2008 that stipulates that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”
In August 2010 a district court overturned Prop 8, and when then-Governor Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and then-Attorney General Jerry Brown refused to take up the law’s defense in federal court, the amendment’s official sponsor, ProtectMarriage.com, stepped in to do so.
As the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals took the case in hand, it was soon faced with whether ProtectMarriage.com had legal standing to defend the amendment before the federal court. That was the question it put before the California Supreme Court, which answered in the affirmative.
“Neither the Governor, the Attorney General, nor any other executive or legislative official has the authority to veto or invalidate an initiative measure that has been approved by the voters,” Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye (pictured) wrote for the court. “It would exalt form over substance to interpret California law in a manner that would permit these public officials to indirectly achieve such a result by denying the official initiative proponents the authority to step in to assert the state’s interest….”
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