Prop 8 Decision Could Come Next Week, Chief Justice Says

Posted by Chris Geidner
February 3, 2011 3:25 PM |

sakauye.jpgThe Los Angeles Times reports today on a Wednesday interview with the new California Supreme Court Chief Justice, in which she says the decision whether to take the Proposition 8 matter could come next week.

From the LA Times:

Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye said Wednesday that the California Supreme Court may decide "as soon as next week" whether to weigh in on the federal Proposition 8 appeal and expressed hope that a Southern California Latino would be chosen to succeed departing Justice Carlos R. Moreno. ...

The new chief justice has declined to reveal her views about gay marriage. As an appeals court judge in Sacramento, she performed a wedding for a same-sex couple "as a favor to someone else who had a family emergency," she said. Same-sex marriage was legal for six months in 2008. "I didn't have any qualms about it," she said.

As Metro Weekly reported this past week:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in considering whether the proponents of California's Proposition 8 even have the legal ability to appeal the trial court decision in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, decided on Jan. 4 to send a request to the California Supreme Court. The federal appellate panel asked the state high court how it interpreted an area of state law relating to standing, which is a constitutional requirement for cases heard by federal courts.

The federal court is looking for an answer to what is called a "certified question" asking whether California's constitution or laws give initiative proponents "either a particularized interest in the initiative's validity or the authority to assert the State's interest in the initiative's validity."

The final submissions to the court on the matter are due by today. Once all of the letters have been submitted, a majority of the court must decide to accept the question in order to take the matter.

It is that decision to which Cantil-Sakauye is referring when she says a decision could come next week.

If the court decides to take the matter, under the rules, a full briefing schedule of support and opposition to the certified question would take place, with oral argument likely to follow at the state's high court.

[Photo: Cantil-Sakauye (Photo from the California Supreme Court website.)]

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