Harris: Prop. 8 Backers Shouldn't Defend Law

BY Michelle Garcia

May 04 2011 1:00 PM ET

California attorney general Kamala Harris says the supporters of the state's ban on marriage equality should not have standing to represent the state in defending the law.

Harris submitted an amicus brief Monday to the state supreme court regarding the ongoing legal dispute over Proposition 8, which voters approved in 2008 to end marriage equality in California.

 

The sponsors of Proposition 8 want to intervene in the case before the ninth U.S. circuit court of appeals, but the court has asked the California supreme court to first rule on whether the sponsors have standing to defend the law.

 

Harris wrote that only the executive branch officials should exercise the right to defend state laws. She added that allowing backers of propositions would only "rob the electors' power by taking the executive power from elected officials and placing it in the hands of a few highly motivated but politically unaccountable individuals."

The proponents of the ballot initiative are defending the law because current governor Jerry Brown and former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger both declined to argue on behalf of Proposition 8. The California supreme court will likely schedule a hearing on the validity of allowing Prop. 8 sponsors to intervene in the case, as opposed to the state government. If they are not allowed to be involved in the appeal, the lower court ruling finding Proposition 8 unconstitutional will stand. 

 

Read the brief (PDF) here.

 

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