California Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman on Friday
told the Sacramento Bee that, if elected, she would defend Proposition 8, which prohibits
marriage equality in the state, by appealing a federal judge’s ruling that
declared the proposition unconstitutional.
Judge Vaughn Walker overturned Prop. 8 on August 4, but his
ruling is now under the consideration of the ninth circuit court of appeals,
which has scheduled oral arguments in the case for early December.
At a San Diego press conference on Friday, the Bee asked
Whitman, the former CEO of eBay, if she—unlike current California governor
Arnold Schwarzenegger and her opponent for governor, attorney general Jerry
Brown—would defend the law.
“The issue right now, as I understand is ‘Will Proposition 8
have the appropriate support to actually make an appeal to the circuit court of
appeals?’” Whitman answered. “And I think the governor, the attorney general today
has to defend the constitution and has to enable the judicial process to go
along and has to enable an appeal to go through. So if I was governor, I would
give that ruling standing to be able to appeal to the circuit court.”
Although the ninth circuit is scheduled to hear the appeal in
December, any decision by that court is likely to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme
Court, “so Whitman would have plenty of time to intervene if she wins and takes
office in January,” the Bee reported.
It's also unclear, however, if the ninth circuit will rule that the Prop. 8 supporters who defended the ballot measure have standing to appeal the lower court decision in the case. A three-judge panel that extended a stay in the case — effectively blocking marriages for same-sex couples in Calif. pending appeal —ordered Prop. 8 proponents to justify their standing to defend Prop. 8 in briefs to be submitted to the appeals court.
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