California Voters Lose in Proposition 8 Ruling
Judicial activism has again trumped voters' rights. That's the assessment of attorneys reacting to Thursday's turn of events in the seemingly never-ending legal battle over California's Proposition 8.
A California judge who last week overturned Prop. 8 yesterday rejected a request to delay his decision striking down Prop. 8 from taking effect until high courts can take up an appeal lodged by its supporters. Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker gave marriage traditionalists until August 18 at 5:00 p.m. (Pacific) to obtain a ruling from the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on whether homosexual "marriages" should start before the court considers their broader appeal.
Brad Dacus of Sacramento-based Pacific Justice Institute had this reaction to the ruling handed down on Thursday by Judge Walker. "This judge's decision not to grant the full stay was irresponsible, a breach of jurisprudence, and a disappointment to the voters of California who adopted Prop. 8," he offers.
That proposition, approved by California voters in November 2008, amended the state constitution to protect traditional marriage. Dacus is hopeful the Ninth Circuit -- although it is considered by many to be the most liberal among circuit courts -- will understand how major the issue is and grant a stay.
"Without question," says Dacus, "this is just another example of judicial activism and why the American people need to be very sensitive when making decisions about who will be in positions to appoint new judges in the future."
Alliance Defense Fund has already launched the process to send the appeal to the Ninth Circuit. ADF attorney Sara Tappen tells OneNewsNow that Walker's ruling is remarkable in light of the magnitude of the issue.
"It certainly does seem [that way]," she replies. "We had a very strong case for that and we're confident that at the Ninth Circuit they will be able to review that and see how strong our case for the stay was."
Tappen argues that the case is not about the homosexual agenda, but whether California voters have the right to amend their constitution. "This case is as much about marriage as it is about whether government is of, by, and for the people," she says. "The right of California voters to affirm a commonsense historic public policy position was put on trial."
If the Ninth Circuit does not issue a stay, homosexual marriage licenses will start to be issued in The Golden State -- again -- late next week.
Ultimately the Supreme Court could be asked to decide the case. But even that option may be in jeopardy, according to a report early Friday. Judge Walker has expressed doubt that proponents of Proposition 8 have the right to challenge his ruling.