SAN FRANCISCO — Proposition 8 backers have filed a legal brief saying that the ballot measure defining marriage as a union of a man and a woman still has legal force in California, alleging that state officials acted incorrectly in response to the recent Supreme Court decision on it.
“The U.S. Supreme Court did not rule on the constitutionality of Proposition 8, and the district court’s injunction does not apply statewide; therefore, county clerks should abide by the state Constitution,” said Austin Nimocks, senior counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom, on July 15.
The group said that the registrar does not have the authority to make such orders to county clerks and California Attorney General Kamala Harris was therefore wrong to threaten legal action against clerks who decline to follow the order.
On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed the lawsuit against Prop. 8, Hollingsworth v. Perry, on the grounds that defenders of the voter-approved initiative did not have legal standing to challenge the 2010 ruling of U.S. district court Judge Vaughn R. Walker, which declared the ballot measure unconstitutional.
Alliance Defending Freedom’s legal petition to the California Supreme Court argues that the Supreme Court decision in Hollingsworth v. Perry vacated the Ninth Circuit Court’s decision that declared Prop. 8 to be unconstitutional. This means that the constitutionality of Prop. 8 has not been sufficiently determined.
The petition asks for a legal mandate requiring state officials to comply with state law, which recognizes marriage as a union of a man and a woman.
“Everyone on all sides of the marriage debate should agree that the legal process must be followed,” Nimrocks said. “Public officials should enforce the marriage amendment because they are not bound by the district court’s injunction.”