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San Diego County Clerk files official request to dismiss Prop 8 petition

Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials Prop 8 Prop 8 trial

Plaintiffs in the federal Prop 8 case. Attribution: LGBT Nation
Plaintiffs in the federal Prop 8 case. Attribution: LGBT Nation

On Friday, there were reports that San Diego’s county clerk Ernest Dronenburg was withdrawing his petition to California’s state supreme court asking them to clarify the reach of the injunction against Prop 8. Dronenburg’s petition was filed after the official proponents of Prop 8 had already asked the state supreme court to decide a similar question. The court had denied Dronenburg’s and the official proponents’ requests to stay same-sex marriages in the state while the other issues are decided.

Friday’s reports were initially based on news stories which reported Dronenburg’s press release. His office had not filed, at the time, the motion to withdraw, and the release only said it was coming because Dronenburg believed his petition is unnecessary, since the proponents’ petition covers the same legal issues.

This week, though, the request for dismissal of the petition has been filed by Dronenburg. The request doesn’t address his reasons for requesting dismissal, but the earlier press release says:

In a move to speed up the legal process and still get clarification on the three questions asked in his suit, Dronenburg v. Brown, the San Diego County Clerk, Ernie Dronenburg, announced today that he is requesting a withdrawal of his request for Writ of Mandate. “Because I am dropping my action the California Supreme Court can start tomorrow in making a decision in the lead case of Hollingsworth v. O’Connell and Brown case,” Dronenburg said. “The questions I asked are also a part of the Hollingsworth case. Now that the briefing is finished in that case and the issue of standing was not raised, I now feel certain the Court will answer the three questions. At this point my case could be considered duplicative and slow the process.”

With Dronenburg’s case removed the Court could issue a decision on the Writ as early as next week. “We need to be able to remove the uncertainty in this area as soon as possible. Given the fact the Hollingsworth is now under review, I cannot comment further,” Dronenburg concluded.

Since there are no pending filings in the latest iteration of the Hollingsworth case, the state supreme court is expected to issue a final ruling at any time.

The state argued in its briefs that only the federal courts can alter a federal injunction against state defendants. They argued that this latest effort is an attempt to circumvent a legally binding federal ruling. The state also suggests that the injunction forbidding enforcement of Prop 8 is, by its own terms, binding against the entire state and not simply the counties where the plaintiffs live.

Thanks to Kathleen Perrin for these filings, via Equality Case Files

Dronenburg press release:

Prop 8: Dronenburg News Release by EqualityCaseFiles

Dronenburg request for dismissal:

S212172 Dronenburg's Request for Dismissal of Petition by EqualityCaseFiles

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