Liz Swain 4:24 p.m., May 24
Prop 8 Proponents Allowed To Defend Constitutionality
Activists that pushed for a ban on same-sex marriages are allowed to defend the constitutionality of the initiative in court. On Thursday, California Supreme court judges ruled that proponents of voter-approved measures can defend measures in court on the occasion that state officials decide not to appear.
"...because the official proponents of an initiative are the most obvious and logical persons to assert the state‘s interest in the initiative‘s validity on behalf of the voters who enacted the measure, we conclude that California law authorizes the official proponents, under such circumstances, to appear in the proceeding to assert the state‘s interest in the initiative‘s validity and to appeal a judgment invalidating the measure," read the decision.
"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. 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 in the validity of the measure or to appeal a lower court judgment invalidating the measure when those public officials decline to assert that interest or to appeal an adverse judgment."
The ruling is a setback for those looking to overturn the same-sex marriage ban. Now, Prop 8 backers can defend their appeal of U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker's decision that said that the ban violated equal rights of gays and lesbians.
The appeal returns to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.