CA County Clerks Sued: "Follow Prop 8"

Prop 8 is Still in the Constitution
Petition to CA Supreme Court Filed
Rule of Law Must Be Respected

by William B. May

SAN FRANCISCO, July 12, 2013 --The Prop 8 legal defense team is back in court defending the will of the voters. This time it is in the California Supreme Court with a petition to restore the enforcement of Proposition 8 which is still part of the state constitution after having been placed there by California voters in 2008.

As a result of a request from Governor Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris, county clerks started illegally issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Friday, June 28. (See “Prop 8, Victim of Tyranny”.)

Andy Pugno, General Council Prop 8 Legal Defense Fund

Our good friend, Andy Pugno, Prop 8 defense general council said, “The action we filed today contends that at least 56 of the 58 county clerks must continue to follow Proposition 8 because they were not parties to the recent federal lawsuit against Prop 8, and that the state’s governor and attorney general have no legal authority to order local county clerks to disregard the state constitution.”

The US Supreme Court failed to rule on the constitutionality of Prop 8 and vacated the 9th Circuit Court ruling thereby overturning it when it issued its decision on June 26, and leaving Prop 8 still in effect. Even the opponents of Prop 8 have acknowledged that Judge Walker’s federal district court decision only applied to the plaintiffs and to the counties that were parties to the case in his court.

Pugno continued, “In my opinion, today's case is remarkably similar to former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s unsuccessful attempt to order the county clerk to disregard the man-woman legal definition of marriage in 2004. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Mayor Newsom had no authority to instruct the county clerk to defy state law, and today we contend that the governor and attorney general don’t have that authority either.”

The petition asked the California Supreme Court to enjoin county officials from further violations of the Article 1 Sec. 7.5 of the California Constitution that states “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

The US Supreme Court ruled that the sponsors of Prop 8 did not have standing in federal court to defend the will of the voters embodied in the constitution. The Governor and Attorney General violated their oaths of office by refusing to do so leaving no one to defend Prop 8. However, we do have authority to defend Prop 8 in state court. Clearly, no officials at the state or county level have authority to just ignore the state constitution and our legal defense team is calling on the state supreme court to compel them to follow it.

As Pugno put it, “As you can see, this has become more than just a fight over marriage. The authority of local government officials, and the future of the initiative process itself, is put at grave risk if state officials are allowed to nullify a proposition by executive order, backed by no binding legal precedent. Now it is up to California’s highest court to breathe life back into the people’s power of initiative.”

Please continue to pray for the enforcement of Proposition 8 and for the only civil institution that is specifically geared to unite kids with their moms and dads, marriage between one man and one woman.

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