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|Prop 8: Cali. Supreme Court to hear arguments on standing|
|by Ryan Watkins|
|February 16, 2011 17:42|
The California Supreme Court will weigh into the Proposition 8 battle after a three judge panel from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court said it could not rule on the on-going case until it knew whether or not the law's backers had the legal standing to defend the law in court.
A Tweet sent by American Foundation for Equal Rights late this afternoon read: “Calif. Supreme Court to hear #Prop8 case with expedited schedule. Oral arguments as soon as Sept 2011."
Supporters of the marriage ban were challenging a lower court's ruling that struck down the law last August as unconstitutional because it violated equal protection guarantees. State officials, including then Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Attorney General Jerry Brown, refused to appeal Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling. A supporters group appealed the ruling after the state refused to do so.
Attorney Ted Olsen, who represents two same-sex couples suing to overturn the law, argued before the court that the proponents of the law did not have the legal standing to defend the ban in court.
Marriage equality advocated immediately called on the California Supreme Court to find Prop 8's backers did not have standing to defend Walker's ruling.
"Because the federal appeals judges said they need clarification, we look forward to a decision by the California Supreme Court confirming that initiative proponents lack legal standing to continue the Perry case," Jennifer C. Pizer of Lambda Legal said today. "They are not law enforcers, and have the same limited rights as everyone else to litigate only when their own rights are at stake, not merely to assert their opinions about others' rights."
If the California Supreme Court rules that initiative proponents do indeed lack standing, as we believe is proper, we hope it brings a prompt end to the barrier facing lesbian and gay couples, who only wish to love and care for each other with their government's equal blessing in civil marriage," Pizer added.
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