Wednesday, August 14, 2013

California Supreme Court Denies Attempt To Revive Prop. 8

As expected, the California Supreme Court has denied requests from heterosexual supremacists to revive Proposition 8 and halt civil marriages by same-sex couples in the Golden state. In a terse order issued on Wednesday afternoon, the Court ended any last remaining legal challenge to marriage equality in California.

The Los Angeles Times explains why marriage equality is here to stay in California:
A federal judge in San Francisco declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional in 2010, and state officials refused to appeal. ProtectMarriage did appeal, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that initiative sponsors have no right to defend their measures in federal court. The decision left in place the ruling by retired Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker.
In its challenge before the state’s highest court,  ProtectMarriage argued that a single judge lacked the authority to overturn a state constitutional amendment.  The group also contended that Walker’s injunction applied to two counties at most and that state officials had overstepped their authority by ordering county clerks throughout California to issue same-sex marriage licenses.
State officials countered that the challenge was a veiled attempt to persuade a state court to interfere with a federal judge’s order in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
Same-sex couples began marrying in California in late June after a federal appeals court lifted a hold on Walker’s injunction. ProtectMarriage went back to the U.S. Supreme Court the following day, arguing the appeals court acted prematurely because the high court’s decision was not even final. The Supreme Court refused to intervene.
Then the group went to the state Supreme Court, asking the justices to halt the marriages immediately while considering the legal arguments. The seven-member court unanimously rejected the request for a “stay” or hold.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris issued a statement reacting to the news of Proposition 8's demise:
“Once again, equality and freedom triumph in California. The California Supreme Court has denied the Proposition 8 proponents’ latest attempt to deny same-sex couples their constitutional right to marry. I applaud the Court’s decision and my office will continue to defend the civil rights of all Californians.”
Hat/tip to Chris Geidner of BuzzFeed.

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