Monday, April 13, 2009

ADF files motion to intervene in federal district court case, Smelt v. United States of America, challenging Prop. 8 under 14th Amendment

04/13/09 ADF Press Release:

Plaintiffs Arthur Smelt and Christopher Hammer lost their first 14th-amendment challenge to the federal DOMA, Smelt v. County of Orange, when "the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case in 2006." Just a few days after the November election in California, the Orange County Register reported that attorney Richard G. Gilbert "refiled their lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana." I have not checked on the status of the refiled lawsuit.

Alliance Defense Fund has filed a motion to intervene in the second of two lawsuits "filed by the same two men." According to its motion to intervene, Smelt v. United States of America (C.D.Cal. Case No. 8:2009-cv-00286), this second lawsuit alleges that Prop. 8 violates the equal protection and due process clauses of the 14th Amendment. It also raises 14th-Amendment challenges to the federal DOMA. It was initially filed in " state court" December 2008 (Orange County Superior Court, Case No. 30-2008-00116748-CU-MC-CJC), and was removed to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on March 9th.

Yes-on-8 attorney Andrew Pugno claims that ADF seeks to intervene in the lawsuit "because the defense of California’s constitutional amendment should not be entrusted to the state attorney general, who has already argued that he thinks it should be ‘invalidated.'" But Smelt v. United States of America has a plaintiff attorney who does not inspire unreserved confidence. According to the Orange Counter Register, Gilbert announced his endeavor to place an initiative on the 2010 ballot that would divide California into two states. "New California" would have a constitution that recognized the fundamental rights of all people.

No comments:

Commentators, Subjects and Cases