Even though I voted against Proposition 8 in 2008 and believe that voters should overturn it, I think the state Supreme Court got this one right:
The sponsors of ballot propositions can step in to defend their initiatives from legal challenges if the governor and attorney general refuse to do so, California’s highest court said Thursday in a precedent-setting ruling that could prove pivotal to the future of the state’s same-sex marriage ban and its notoriously vigorous citizens’ initiative process.
Responding to a question from a federal appeals court that is considering the constitutionality of the state’s voter-approved gay marriage ban, the California Supreme Court said the lawmaking power granted to citizens under the state constitution doesn’t end once propositions have been approved or rejected by voters.
. . . .
In the 61-page opinion, the seven justices said denying ballot proposition backers a seat at the table would effectively grant the governor and attorney general veto power over initiatives with which they disagreed, a situation the justices said would undermine the law-making powers California gave voters in 1911.
Emphasis added. Look, I think the California initiative process has been way overused over the years, but the law is on the books. And a governor’s refusal to defend a law should not prevent supporters of a popular initiative from defending it on constitutional grounds. This notion also holds for a domestic partnership law passed by the Wisconsin legislature.
“Although” Maura Dolan reports in the LA Times, “the 9th Circuit is not bound by Thursday’s ruling, the decision makes it less likely that the appeals court would decide Proposition 8’s future on narrow, standing grounds.”
More on this anon (as time allows–other things I want to blog on and working on a non-blog related tedious time-consuming project.