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Court rejects motion to force Brown, Schwarzenegger to defend Prop 8

Friday, September 3, 2010
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A California state appeals court has denied a conservative law group’s request that it force Attorney General Jerry Brown and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to defend Proposition 8 in federal court.

The denial was issued Wednesday and entered Thursday on the website of the 3rd District Court of Appeals in Sacramento. [Fresno Bee]

Without explanation, the court denied a motion filed on Monday by Pacific Justice Institute on behalf of Joshua Beckley, a senior pastor at Ecclesia Christian Fellowship in San Bernardino, that sought to force the AG and Governor to defend the anti-gay-marriage law in the federal appeals case. [Court order here (PDF).]

The group had argued that Brown and Schwarzenegger have no right to pick and choose what state laws to uphold.

Both Brown and Schwarzenegger were named as defendants in the federal trial challenging Prop 8, and refused to defend it in court; both have said they believe Proposition 8 violates the U.S. Constitution.

If upheld, the ruling could prove significant in the federal case involving Prop 8.

U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker has indicated that Prop 8 proponents may not have a legal right to appeal his decision to allow same-sex unions in California, because they cannot prove they will be harmed — as required by law — if gay and lesbian couples wed.

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