The California Supreme Court said today it won’t stop same-sex marriages in the state while considering an appeal by Proposition 8’s sponsors on whether a lower court’s decision allowing the marriages, reinstituted after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the case, applies statewide.
Prop. 8 proponents had filed a petition with the court on Friday to immediately halt same-sex marriages. From the LA Times:
ProtectMarriage, the sponsors of the 2008 ballot measure, asked the state high court to stop the weddings immediately on the grounds that Gov. Jerry Brown lacked the authority to order county clerks to issue same-sex marriage licenses. In a 50-page petition, ProtectMarriage contended that Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker’s 2010 federal injunction against Proposition 8 did not apply statewide.
ProtectMarriage is arguing that Judge Vaughn Walker’s 2010 ruling striking down the law as unconstitutional should apply only to the four plaintiffs in the case.
California’s high court has been friendlier ground for Prop. 8 supporters than the federal courts have been. In 2009 it upheld the same-sex marriage ban, and in 2011 it issued an advisory opinion to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the measure’s proponents did indeed have standing to defend it in court, a view that the U.S. Supreme Court did not agree with when it issued its June 26 ruling, which paved the way for same-sex marriages to resume in the state.
The California Supreme Court is not expected to rule on the latest petition by Prop. 8 supporters until August. Most legal observers have given the filing little chance of success.