On the Effort to Have California's Lt Gov Appeal the Prop 8 Decision

Posted by Chris Geidner
September 13, 2010 2:14 PM |

On the (arguably) final day to file a notice of appeal in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger Proposition 8 case, word comes via Ian Millhiser at the Think Progress Wonk Room that the pro-Prop 8 forces are making another long-shot attempt at getting one of the state defendents to appeal. Unlike the unsuccessful attempt in the California courts, however, this attempt has no real chance of long-term success.

From the news release referenced by Millhiser:

A group of conservative leaders led by former attorney general candidate John Eastman have asked to meet with Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado to discuss his support of an appeal in a federal court suit regarding Proposition 8.

[B]oth Jerry Brown and Arnold Schwarzenegger have refused to do so based on their personal opposition to Proposition 8.

"But Abel Maldonado is a supporter of Proposition 8 and hopefully more willing to honor the obligations of his office than the current Attorney General has been," says Eastman. "Importantly, while the Governor is traveling outside of the State, all of the rights and responsibilities of the office of Governor rest with Mr. Maldonado."

The people behind this are the same folks at the Capitol Resource Institute behind the attempt to get the California courts force the governor or attorney general to appeal the August 4 trial court decision striking down Proposition 8.

Speaking with Metro Weekly this afternoon, Karen England with the Institute could not even confirm that a meeting with the lieutenant governor had been held.

"We have people that are in contact with his campaign and the lieutenant governor's office," she said. "I think that, for him, he's weighing the political options."

She declined further comment on the efforts to have Maldonado file a notice of appeal in the case.

What's more, even if a meeting is held, it's not quite clear how -- technically -- things would and could move forward if he filed a notice of appeal. Although it is true that Maldonado is acting with all the authority of the governor at this time, the governor is on the record in the filing before the Supreme Court of California that he is not appealing the case.

Moreover, upon his return, he will retain the authority to stop appealing the case -- and to withdraw the notice of appeal -- if Maldonado should act.

At the end of the day (and even, likely, by the end of the day), this move appears to be more about campaign bluster than about actual developments in the case.

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