Most observers of the proceedings before the California Supreme Court this week seemed to agree that the court appears likely to rule that proponents of the state’s Prop. 8 gay-marriage ban have standing to defend the measure in court. The Los Angeles Times article reported that, in over an hour of arguments, the justices seemed reluctant to rule “that only elected state officials may defend measures passed by voters, as gay-rights lawyers claimed.” In this case, the state has chosen not to defend the measure, leaving the task to proposition-sponsor ProtectMarriage.
As we noted in January in coverage of Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the 9th Circuit punted this important question of standing to the state Supreme Court as it was weighing the appeal of the U.S. District Court finding that Prop. 8 was unconstitutional. Now, it appears as though the case will continue to move slowly towards its eventual resolution at the U.S. Supreme Court, once the 9th Circuit makes its ruling. “We would all like this to move faster,” Ted Olson, a lead attorney for opponents of the ban, was quoted in saying in the New York Times article.