The California Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear arguments in the latest legal skirmish in the fight against Proposition 8, California's voter-approved gay marriage ban.

At the morning hearing, Protect Marriage, the coalition of socially conservative groups which put Proposition 8 on the 2008 ballot, will argue that it should be allowed to defend the amendment in court.

Protect Marriage last year stepped in to appeal a federal judge's ruling declaring the law unconstitutional after state officials refused to defend the law in court.

At issue is whether the group has the legal right to represent the people of California in the lawsuit.

If the high court decides proponents do not have the legal standing to intervene, then the federal court's order would likely become law, and the marriages of gay couples in California would resume. Such a resolution would have limited effect outside the state.

“I don't think it is open-and-shut either way,” Vikram Amar, a constitutional law professor at the University of California at Davis, told the Los Angeles Times. “If sponsors of initiatives don't have standing, then you have the possibility that elected officials like governors and attorneys general can essentially undo an initiative by refusing to defend it.”

The justices have 90 days to decide on the issue of standing after the scheduled hearing.