Appeals Court Seeks Calif. Supreme Court’s Advice in Prop. 8 Case

A federal appeals court asked for clarification as to whether anti-gay groups have legal standing to appeal a ruling that banned Prop. 8

A federal appeals court in California is asking the state’s highest court for advice on whether anti-gay groups appealing a judge’s ruling against the ban have legal standing to do so.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit sought the input of the California Supreme Court to determine whether proponents of the ban such as ProtectMarriage have standing to pursue an appeal of a lower court’s decision to strike down Prop. 8 as unconstitutional. The legal uncertainty, according to court documents, appears mainly to revolve around the fact that former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and previous Attorney General Jerry Brown declined to defend the vote-approved marriage ban after Judge Vaugh Walker ruled against the law in August 2010.

A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit heard arguments in December concerning the constitutionality of Prop. 8 and whether proponents of the measure had legal standing to appeal Walker’s ruling.

The new court documents show that the 9th circuit will not move forward with its decision until the issue of legal standing is clarified.

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