Monday, November 17, 2008

Jerry Brown: Let Prop. 8 take effect - but let it go to the Supreme Court, too

Ironic, isn't it, that the man whose office is tasked with enforcing and defending measures approved by the people is the one advocating that the vox populi be reconsidered in the courts?

Of course, this is the same man who also reworded its info on the ballot from being the Marriage Protection Act to being a ban on same-sex marriage.

The L.A. Times's Maura Dolan reports:

Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown urges high court to let Prop. 8 take effect
Brown's office, which has the responsibility of defending the initiative, said it's in the 'public interest' to let the gay-marriage ban take effect while lawsuits are reviewed.

Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown today urged the California Supreme Court to review lawsuits that seek to overturn Proposition 8, but to permit the measure to take effect during that review.

Brown, whose office is supposed to defend the initiative, said the lawsuits raised issues of statewide importance that should be addressed by the state's highest court.

"But, due to the potential uncertainty that may be caused in important legal relationships by a temporary stay, the public interest would be better served by allowing Proposition 8 to remain in effect while expediting briefing," Brown's office said.

Opponents of Proposition 8 argue that it was a sweeping constitutional revision, which can be put on the ballot only by the Legislature, instead of a more limited constitutional amendment, as supporters contend.

A wide array of groups and local governments have urged the state high court in five lawsuits -- the latest filed today -- to overturn the measure. The lawsuits maintain that Proposition 8 illegally revised the constitution by altering fundamental constitutional principles.

The court voted 4-3 on May 15 to overturn a state ban on same-sex marriage, but Christian groups gathered enough signatures to place Proposition 8 on the Nov. 4 ballot. It passed with about 52% of the vote.

Liberty Counsel, which has fought same-sex marriage, also filed papers with the California Supreme Court today and urged the court to reject the lawsuits. The Christian legal group said the court should protect the democratic process.

"The people of California have spoken by affirming traditional marriage, " said Mathew D. Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel. "It is time to move on. Fourteen words that reaffirm the historic and common sense definition of marriage are not a radical revision to the Constitution."

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