By Kathleen Gilbert

SACRAMENTO, California, November 18, 2008 ( – California Attorney General Jerry Brown has filed a legal brief with the California Supreme Court requesting that the court swiftly settle three lawsuits against Proposition 8.

Brown said that the suits challenging Prop. 8, California’s amendment restricting marriage to between a man and a woman, “raise issues of statewide importance, implicating not only California’s marriage laws but also the initiative process and the Constitution itself. 

“It is appropriate for the Court to address these issues to provide certainty and finality in this matter,” wrote Brown, who was responding to the Court’s request for Brown to weigh in on the legal action.

Brown also advised the Court to recognize that the scope of the lawsuits – which claim the proposition is a constitutional revision and not an amendment – means that the Court’s review “will be limited in nature and will not have to ‘consider or weigh the social wisdom or general propriety’ of Proposition 8.’”

Brown discouraged the court from enacting a requested suspension of Proposition 8, saying it would only perpetuate confusion on the status of certain unions.

The judges could decide whether to review the suits as soon as Wednesday, when the court meets for its weekly conference.

The attorney for the five official proponents of the measure and the Yes on 8 campaign, Andrew Pugno, agreed that a swift ruling would help allay rising tension and confusion on the matter.

“The people of California are entitled to a prompt resolution of whether Proposition 8 properly amended their Constitution,” Pugno told the Court. 

Some true marriage advocates worry that Brown, however, whose office requires him to defend the amendment, may act according to his support for same-sex “marriage” rather than the sound legality of Proposition 8.

Frank Schubert, campaign manager for Proposition 8, in an LA Times article said he was confident Proposition 8 had the law on its side, but said, “We are not confident the attorney general will vigorously defend Proposition 8 in light of his strong opposition to the measure.”

This is not the first time Brown faced suspicion over the question of whether he would be able to put his personal beliefs aside in order to perform the function of his office.

When Brown ran for the office of Attorney General in 2006, some voters questioned whether the former governor of California, famous for his opposition to the death penalty, would uphold his duty as Attorney General to defend death penalty rulings.

“The people of California can count on me to follow the law,” Brown had affirmed. “It’s the law, and I will follow the law.  The voters have made it clear, the Legislature has made it clear, and the courts have made it clear.  The attorney general’s duty is to follow the law.”

Proponents of the measure have expressed confidence that Proposition 8 is fully legitimate, and noted that courts in neighboring states have uniformly rejected nearly identical challenges to measures banning same-sex “marriage.”

“Proposition 8 is simple, narrow, and targeted to a single issue,” a statement said.  “It restores the definition of marriage to what it was and always had been prior to May 15, 2008 – nothing more.”  On May 15, four Supreme Court judges imposed same-sex “marriage” on California in a ruling that dismissed voter-approved protection of authentic marriage in state law as unconstitutional.

“The people of California have spoken by affirming traditional marriage,” Mathew D. Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, told the LA Times.

“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.”

See related coverage:

California Democratic Legislators Urge Judges to Void Prop. 8

Schwarzenegger Assures Same-Sex Couples Previous “Marriages” Intact