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California Supreme Court gives standing to ballot measure sponsors

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The Judicial Update

November 17, 2011

California: In an awaited ruling, today the California Supreme Court announced its most recent decision having to do with the controversial 2008 ballot measure Proposition 8. In its ruling, the high court decided that the sponsors of ballot measures are allowed to defend the measures in court when the state refuses to do so.[1]

The decision came after the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit asked the state Supreme Court to clarify California state law. The case is expected to move forward in the federal court, since now there is a party to defend it. At the time of the first challenge, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General (now Governor) Jerry Brown refused to defend the measure in court.[2]

Now-retired judge Vaughn Walker found the proposition to be unconstitutional in August 2010. That was argued in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The next step on the appellate ladder is the Ninth Circuit, who will apparently hear the case with the sponsors of Proposition 8 as the defense team.