Attorney General Brown Urges California Supreme Court to Invalidate Proposition 8

Friday, December 19, 2008
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

Sacramento – Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today called upon the California Supreme Court to invalidate Proposition 8 because it deprives people of the right to marry—an aspect of liberty that the Supreme Court has concluded is guaranteed by the California Constitution.

“Proposition 8 must be invalidated because the amendment process cannot be used to extinguish fundamental constitutional rights without compelling justification,” Attorney General Brown said.

In this case, Attorney General Brown concludes that existing case-law precedents of the Court do not invalidate Proposition 8 either as a revision or as a violation of the separation-of-powers doctrine. But this does not resolve the matter.

In the In re Marriages Cases, the Court held that article I, section 1 of the California Constitution provides a right to marry that cannot be denied to same-sex couples. Attorney General Brown argues that in order to invalidate such a fundamental right, the Court must determine that there is a compelling justification to do so. But in the In re Marriage Cases, the court found that no such compelling justification exists. Accordingly, Proposition 8 must be stricken.

Attorney General Brown believes that same-sex marriages entered into between June 16 and November 4, 2008 are valid and recognized in California regardless of whether Proposition 8 is upheld.

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