The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals' decision to lift its stay blocking same-sex marriages in California was entirely lawful, even according to the group ProtectMarriage, which defended Proposition 8 in the courts. For Chapman law professor John Eastman to call this action "chaos and lawlessness" is unlawyerly.
In 2011, ProtectMarriage filed a brief against lifting the stay, which argued that it could not be lifted unless "a significant change in facts or law" warranted doing so. When that brief was filed, there had been no major change. But obviously, when the U.S. Supreme Court found last week that the Proposition 8 backers didn't have the standing to appeal lower courts' rulings, there was a monumental change. Thus, the 9th Circuit's action last week was quite within the law.
When people flock to government offices to get married and celebrate in public, only irrational anger can call that chaos.
The writer teaches constitutional law and federal civil procedure at People's College of Law in Los Angeles.
California Atty. Gen Kamala Harris played the role of an activist by calling on the 9th Circuit to lift its stay immediately, which it did.
It didn't matter to her that she herself and her predecessor, Jerry Brown, now the governor, violated their oaths of office by refusing to defend Proposition 8, which passed in 2008 with the support of more than 7 million voters.
Harris and Brown deserve to be recalled.
Worse, the Supreme Court betrayed democracy and the Constitution by saying that the sponsors of Proposition 8 did not have legal standing to appeal. This decision against the majority of voters was unconscionable.
Proposition 8's proponents did have standing. In a final appeal to stop the marriages, they were denied, as was the institution of marriage.
Daniel B. Jeffs
Even though they know they've lost, and even though neither they nor anyone else will suffer any negative impact from their loss, Proposition 8's sponsors just can't bear to see same-sex marriages begin three weeks earlier than the 25 days it normally takes for the 9th Circuit to respond.
This lays bare their true motives: This is not about "protecting marriage" or preserving "the public's confidence in the judiciary." This is pure, open animosity directed toward a group of people who only want to live — and love — with dignity and respect.
To all those who still protest gay marriage rights: Look at the faces of the jubilant new spouses published in The Times. This is love that finally can matter.
Melody M. Suppes