Thursday, June 18, 2009

CA governor won't defend Prop 8

LA Times reports that Governor Schwarzenegger has decided not to defend Prop 8 in Federal Court.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has declined to defend the constitutionality of Proposition 8, telling a San Francisco judge that the legality of the anti-gay marriage measure is for the courts to decide.

The governor's decision to remain neutral in a federal challenge to Proposition 8 means no statewide official will be defending the measure in federal court.


Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Good. Well-judged.

David |Dah • veed| said...

So does this leave it open for the Prop 8 folks to send someone like Kenneth Starr to go defend it?

James said...

The two biggest mistakes in California history were electing Ronald Reagan (we are still trying to get out of the mess he created) and electing that Austrian.

He should be defending the rights of Californians yet he is kow-towing to the religious right.

Sometimes my blood really boils.

Yes, David, that's exactly what it does mean.

Jim said...

Ordinarily, the government has an obligation to argue the constitutionality of a law (though if they lose in a lower court, they are not obligated to appeal). For example, the Obama administration was obliged to argue in favor of DOMA. (although I think they took the argument much too far -- they could have mounted a half-hearted defense or argued a limited scope).

For Schwarzenegger to sit on the sidelines in this battle is very significant -- he is making a statement that he doesn't believe that the law is defensible or worth defending.

The downside of this is, as David points out, that Ken Starr will be arguing the appeal. But that's going to cost the Mormons and their allies plenty of money--much more than if they were riding on the California AG's coattails.

Brian R said...

James I find it offensive, whatever your opinion of the Governor of California to describe him as "this Austrian". Would you say "this black" or "this gay"? I believe he is a US citizen, so his place of birth should have no bearing on the matter. My country, like the US, has huge numbers of people born overseas and many are now rising to high political positions. Their place of birth is unimportant. Unlike the USA they do not even have to be born in Australia to become Prime MInister.

IT said...

The Governor not taking a stand on 8. That's actually saying he disagrees with it. WHy is that a problem, James?

One thing I have learned from my attorney friends is that there's no middle ground. Attorneys don't play to lose. They play to win. If Schwarzeneggar decided to defend it, the state's attorneys would have to defend it to their full ability. At least eveyrone knows what arguments Ken Starr will make.

Oh, wait. The Obama DoJ has given him a few more.

Марко said...

I feel so clueless when it comes to what would be best (in terms of legal and political moves) to defeat Prop 8 and to eventually have universal protection of same-sex marriage all over the USA. In the same way I don't know if it would help our cause for the matter to go to the U.S. Supreme Court or not (although I think it might end up there at some point anyhow). Perhaps it helps us not to have the California state government fight for Prop 8 (meaning it will be more of a hardship for those groups to support that law in court). And perhaps it does show that Gov. Schwarzenegger doesn't seem too committed to Prop 8. I am American and I lived in California when I was stationed out there in the military in the 90s. It is interesting and helpful for me to read all of your opinions.