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PJI and Meese argue nonsense, sue Governor and AG

Timothy Kincaid

September 1st, 2010

Is there a polite way of saying, “dumber than a bag of hammers”? Because if so, I think that Pacific Justice Institute may deserve the title. (WaPo)

A conservative legal group is trying to force Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown to defend California’s gay marriage ban in court.

The Pacific Justice Institute petitioned the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento on Monday for an emergency order that would require the two officials to appeal a ruling that overturned Proposition 8.

And they have got former Attorney General Ed Meese to support them.

Meese, who served one term as attorney general under President Ronald Reagan and Reagan’s legal adviser when he was governor of California, said that Schwarzenegger and Brown’s positions were at odds with his own experience.

“Governor Reagan never refused or declined to defend a state law or state constitutional provision, regardless of his own opposition or dislike for a challenged provision,” he wrote. “As attorney general, I never refused or declined to defend a law on the basis that I disagreed with the law as a matter of policy.”

Okay, I’m not an attorney. But you don’t have to have studied law to know that no one has the obligation to appeal a decision.

Perhaps if there had been no defense of the proposition, they might have an argument. But Proposition 8 had its day in court and it lost. Mightily.

The Governor, and the Attorney General are not automatons who as a matter of rote appeal every court decision that comes their way but are officials elected to make decisions, including evaluating the cost and effectiveness of appeal and determining the best interest of the State.

I’ll be quite astonished if this suit (in State court, incidentally) isn’t thrown out on its ear.

Comments

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Lindoro Almaviva
September 1st, 2010 | LINK

and if it is not, that means that the 9th WILL have to hear the case and that will mean that all those Marriage Protection Acts that fall under its jurisdiction could be overturned and marriage equality could come to several states at once.

I see it as 6 one way half a dozen the other. No mater what, they are very likely to lose in the 9Th and I bet there are many, MANY anti-gay lobby groups passing a pineapple right now.

iDavid
September 1st, 2010 | LINK

I couldn’t agree with you more. Noone has to appeal if they don’t choose to. End of story.

MJC
September 1st, 2010 | LINK

Meese is mentioned in Jeff Sharlet’s _The Family_ as being heavily involved in that organization, church, secret society, or whatever it is. Need I remind readers of BTB where The Family stands on the rights of gay people? Why am I not surprised?

But this suit is a loser for them.

Regan DuCasse
September 1st, 2010 | LINK

Defend Prop. 8 with what?!
There was no evidence, no credible witnesses. How are they going to uphold any appeal on nothing?

“Because the majority says so”, against a distinct and PERPETUAL minority, isn’t saying much in the first place.
These people act like that vote was ‘fair and square’.

Lindoro Almaviva
September 1st, 2010 | LINK

Again, they are just trying to force the governor’s hand and all I have to say is: Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.

Willie Hewes
September 2nd, 2010 | LINK

This just strikes me as pointless posturing. Could they really believe their own stupid argument?

What a waste of time and money.

Grant
September 2nd, 2010 | LINK

Joe. My. God. just broke the news that the suit has been thrown out summarily by the court. Just as you predicted. ;)

Jason D
September 2nd, 2010 | LINK

I’m with Rob
http://wakingupnow.com/blog/i-dont-want-no-special-rights

I wish the gay orgs had addressed the meat of their argument, It’s a little surprising that BTB didn’t even address it which is this:

“The Attorney General shall attend the Supreme Court and prosecute or defend all causes to which the State, or any State officer is a party in his or her official capacity.”

This is from California’s Government code
http://law.justia.com/california/codes/2007/gov/12510-12530.html

I’m not saying it’s open and shut here, but I didn’t see anyone address this, and it seems a legitimate argument. Evidently not as much as PJI thought, but still it would’ve been nice to see something other than a dismissal out of our side.

Timothy Kincaid
September 2nd, 2010 | LINK

Jason,

The Attorney General did defend Proposition 8. He has no obligation to appeal the decision.

As I said, I’m not a lawyer. But I think that is the legal point to be made. And CA’s 5th appellate court agreed.

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