This just in from Lambda Legal:
Court to determine constitutionality of Prop 8
Today the California Supreme Court granted review in the legal challenges to Proposition 8, which passed by a narrow margin of 52 percent on November 4.Â In an order issued today, the Court agreed to hear the case and set an expedited briefing schedule. The Court also denied an immediate stay.
On November 5, 2008, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit challenging the validity of Proposition 8 in the California Supreme Court on behalf of six individuals and Equality California. The City of San Francisco, joined by the City of Los Angeles and Santa Clara County, filed a similar challenge, as did a private attorney in Los Angeles.
The lawsuits allege that, on its face, Proposition 8 is an improper revision rather than an amendment of the California Constitution because, in its very title, which was â€œEliminates the right to marry for same-sex
couples,â€ the initiative eliminated an existing right only for a targeted minority.Â If permitted to stand, Proposition 8 would be the first time aninitiative has successfully been used to change the California Constitutionto take way an existing right only for a particular group.Â Such a change would defeat the very purpose of a constitution and fundamentally alter the role of the courts in protecting minority rights.Â Â According to the California Constitution, such a serious revision of our state Constitution cannot be enacted through a simple majority vote, but must first be approved by two-thirds of the Legislature.
Since the three lawsuits submitted on November 5, three other lawsuits challenging Proposition 8 have been filed. In a petition filed on November 14, 2008, leading African American, Latino, and Asian American groups argued that Proposition 8 threatens the equal protection rights of all Californians.
On November 17, 2008, the California Council of Churches and other religious leaders and faith organizations representing millions of members statewide, also filed a petition asserting that Proposition 8 poses a severe threat to the guarantee of equal protection for all, and was not enacted through the constitutionally required process for such a dramatic change to the California Constitution. On the same day, prominent California womenâ€™s rights organizations filed a petition asking the Court to invalidate Proposition 8 because of its potentially disastrous implications for women and other groups that face discrimination.