Calif. Supreme Court Asks for Briefs Wed. on Duty of Governor & Attorney General to Defend Prop. 8

San Francisco, CA – The California Supreme Court today ordered a swift response from Gov. Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Brown to an emergency petition filed by Pacific Justice Institute. The petition is asking the Court to order the Governor and Attorney General to fulfill their constitutional duties as the state’s chief executive and law enforcement officer, respectively, to appeal the decision of Judge Vaughn Walker striking down Prop. 8, the voter-approved affirmation of traditional marriage.

PJI first filed a writ petition late Aug. 27th in Sacramento’s Third District Court of Appeals. After the Third District rejected the suit without comment on September 1st, PJI filed a petition for review over the weekend with the California Supreme Court. Today the Court directed the governmental defendants to file a response by 9:00 am. Wednesday, with a reply from PJI due by noon the same day.

The accelerated timetable is due to the fact that the deadline for the Governor and Attorney General to appeal Judge Walker’s ruling is September 11. Thus, a decision from the California Supreme Court is expected by the end of the week.

PJI president Brad Dacus commented, “We are pleased that the California Supreme Court is weighing this case carefully. We believe that no less than the future of citizen initiatives in California is at stake. If the Governor and Attorney General can defeat any voter-approved initiative simply by failing to show up in court to perform their duties of defending state law, their powers have been vastly expanded beyond what the California Constitution sets forth.”