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California Supreme Court Rules Proponents Have Standing to Appeal Prop 8

The California Supreme Court rules that Prop 8’s proponents do have standing under California law to defend the law in court.  In its opinion, the court writes, “In response to the question submitted by the Ninth Circuit, we conclude, for the reasons discussed above, that when the public officials who ordinarily defend a challenged state law or appeal a judgment invalidating the law decline to do so, under Article II, Section 8 of the California Constitution and the relevant provisions of the Elections Code, the official proponents of a voter-approved initiative measure are authorized to assert the state’s interest in the initiative’s validity, enabling the proponents to defend the constitutionality of the initiative and to appeal a judgment invalidating the initiative.”

The case is sent back to the Ninth Circuit to be decided on the merits.  Due to a line in the Ninth Circuit’s filing asking the California Supreme Court for its opinion on standing that reads, “[W]e agree to accept and follow the Court’s decision,” legal observers anticipate that the Ninth Circuit will apply the state court’s reasoning to allow it to decide the Prop 8 case on the merits.

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