SACRAMENTO, September 6, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - California’s embattled Proposition 8 was back in court this morning, as the state’s Supreme Court heard arguments on whether supporters of the amendment have legal standing to defend it.
The amendment, which defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman, was added to the state Constitution after a 2008 ballot initiative.
Supporters of homosexual “marriage” obtained victory last year when Chief U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that the amendment violated the equal protection and due process clauses of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Judge Walker, who has since retired, has admitted to being himself homosexual.
When California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown declined to defend the voter-backed amendment, attorneys representing the ProtectMarriage.com coalition appealed Walker’s decision to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Before the Ninth Circuit can issue a decision, however, it falls to the California Supreme Court to decide whether state law allows ProtectMarriage.com, which sponsored the original proposition, to appeal Walker’s decision.
“They are the very best suited individuals to stand in for the people who by majority vote exercised their right to pass a Constitutional amendment by initiative,” Andrew Pugno, general counsel for ProtectMarriage.com, said to NPR. “Somebody has to be authorized defend it, and who better than the official proponents?”
“Essentially the governor and attorney general would be exercising a veto over the people’s vote if they are able to essentially allow an initiative to be nullified simply by standing back and doing nothing when it’s challenged,” he added.
According to a Sacramento Press report, the court must issue a decision within 90 days of oral arguments, but is likely to rule sooner.