Proposition 8 Legal Defense Fund

Media Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                          CONTACT
June 29, 2013                                                Carla Hass (916) 834-9969


SACRAMENTO, CA -- Today the Proposition 8 legal team filed an emergency petition to U.S. Supreme Court to stop the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal's premature move requiring same-sex "marriage" licenses in California, weeks before the Supreme Court's decision even goes into effect.  The petition, prepared overnight, was submitted Saturday to Justice Anthony Kennedy, the associate justice who decides such motions pertaining to the Ninth Circuit.

When the Ninth Circuit originally put in place its stay to prevent same-sex marriage pending Supreme Court action, it stated clearly that “the stay shall continue until final disposition by the Supreme Court.” Under Supreme Court procedural rules, "final disposition" comes when the Supreme Court issues a "mandate" to the Ninth Circuit, at least 25 days after announcing its opinion in the case.  The 25-day waiting period is provided to allow parties such as Prop 8's proponents to petition the Supreme Court for a re-hearing of the case.

Today's petition asks the Supreme Court to find that the Ninth Circuit had no jurisdiction to order same-sex marriages on Friday, since the case had not yet come back down from the nation's highest court.

Suspiciously, the Ninth Circuit's announcement late Friday ordering same-sex marriages came as a surprise, without any warning or notice to Proposition 8's official proponents.  However, the same-sex couple plaintiffs in the case, their media teams, San Francisco City Hall, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the California Attorney General all happened to be in position to perform same-sex marriages just minutes after the Ninth Circuit's "unexpected" announcement.

The petition also reminds the Supreme Court that just last year the Ninth Circuit itself, in stopping a lower court from unsealing illegal video tapes of the Prop 8 trial, said that the "integrity of our judicial system depends in no small part on the ability of litigants and members of the public to rely on a judge’s word."  That same principle, Proposition 8 attorneys argue, applies equally to assurances given by Ninth Circuit judges as well.

Andy Pugno, General Counsel for the Coalition, the official proponents of Proposition 8, said, "People on both sides of this debate should at least agree that the courts must follow their own rules.  This kind of lawlessness just further weakens the public's confidence in the legitimacy of our legal system.  We hope the Supreme Court will step in and restore some order here."


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