Monday, January 26, 2009

Brown's Prop. 8 challenge may backfire

1/23/09 Sacramento Bee: This opinion article is by Peter Scheer, a lawyer and journalist, is the executive director of the California First Amendment Coalition. He contends that by reversing his position on Prop. 8, California Attorney General Jerry Brown has failed a fundamental (and quite objectionable) test of the Attorney General's duty. Brown has a duty "to defend California's laws unless they are so plainly invalid that no plausible defense can be offered." But Prop. 8 "is not legally indefensible." In fact, Brown's argument against Prop. 8 represents a "political gambit" that "creates doubts about the fairness of the [California] Supreme Court proceeding, and provides an opening for Proposition 8 supporters to argue that the case has been transformed from a legal to a political contest in which victory goes to the most powerful interest groups." Scheer believes that, under the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause, the Court may overturn Prop. 8 "without compromising its legitimacy."

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