The California Supreme Court says sponsors of Proposition 8, banning same-sex marriage, can defend its constitutionality even without the backing of the governor or attorney general.
The controversial California Marriage Protection Act, which amends California's constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage, was passed by voters in 2008. It was subsequently overturned by U.S. district court judge Vaughn Walker, who declared it violated Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the U.S. constitution; his ruling was upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
ProtectMarriage.com, the sponsors of Prop 8, haven't given up; they've continued to petition the court to uphold the same-sex marriage ban.
What do you think of the ruling? Should sponsors of an initiative be entitled to defend their measures in state court when the governor and attorney general refuse to do so? What does this decision mean for the future of same-sex marriage in California?
Eugene Volokh, the Gary T. Schwartz Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law
Christopher D. Dusseault, co-partner in charge of the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; Mr. Dusseault served as trial counsel in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the federal constitutional challenge to the California ballot initiative that stripped gay and lesbian individuals of the right to marry.