Hot Case: Perry v. Schwarzenegger

January 4, 2011

Today’s Perry v. Schwarzenegger opinion is now on Westlaw: 2011 WL 9576.

The County of Imperial, its Board of Supervisors, and a Deputy Clerk for the County appeal the denial of their motion to intervene in this case concerning the constitutionality under the United States Constitution of Article I, section 7.5 of the California Constitution (“Proposition 8”). Concurrently, they assert their standing to appeal on the merits the district court order holding Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional. We affirm the denial of the intervention motion, although on different grounds from those relied upon by the district court, and correspondingly we dismiss the appeal on the merits for lack of standing. This decision, of course, does not affect the standing or the separate appeal of the official proponents of Proposition 8.

The Order Certifying a Queston to the Supreme Court of California is here: 2011 WL 9633.

Before this panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is an appeal concerning the constitutionality under the United States Constitution of Article I, § 7.5 of the California Constitution (“Proposition 8”). Because we cannot consider this important constitutional question unless the appellants before us have standing to raise it, and in light of Arizonans for Official English v. Arizona, 520 U.S. 43 (1997) ( “ Arizonans ”), it is critical that we be advised of the rights under California law of the official proponents of an initiative measure to defend the constitutionality of that measure upon its adoption by the People when the state officers charged with the laws’ enforcement, including the Attorney General, refuse to provide such a defense or appeal a judgment declaring the measure unconstitutional. As we are aware of no controlling state precedent on this precise question, we respectfully ask the Supreme Court of California to exercise its discretion to accept and decide the certified question below.