Proposition 8 supporters' dream of
defending the measure before the Supreme Court hit a bit of a snag on
In denying a permanent stay to his
ruling against California's gay marriage ban, Chief U.S. District
Judge Vaughn Walker said defendants might not have standing to appeal
the case before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Walker declared Proposition 8
unconstitutional last Wednesday. His ruling says the ban violates
the right of gay men and lesbians to equal protection and due
On Thursday, he
put his decision on hold until August 18 at 5PM.
“[T]he court denies a stay except for
a limited time solely in order to permit the court of appeals to
consider the issue in an orderly manner,” the 11-page ruling says.
In that decision, Walker suggests that
the coalition of conservative groups that defended the law after
state officials refused might not be eligible to pursue an appeal.
“If the state defendants choose not
to appeal, proponents may have difficulty demonstrating Article III
standing,” Walker wrote.
“When proponents moved to intervene
in this action, the court did not address their standing independent
of the existing parties. … While the court determined that
proponents had a significant protectible interest … in defending
Proposition 8, that interest may well be 'plainly insufficient to
Walker suggested that defendants would
need the assistance of state officials to appeal the case because
they are the losing parties.
The named defendants in the case,
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown,
however, refused to defend the case. In separate filings, the
officials urged Walker to deny a permanent stay of Proposition 8 and
have said they would not appeal.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times
is reporting that Proposition 8 supporters filed paperwork Thursday
with the appeals court to block any gay marriages from taking place
while their appeal is heard.