AG urges Supreme Court to review Prop 8

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California Attorney General Jerry Brown has urged the California Supreme Court to accept review of the legal challenges to Proposition 8 and promptly resolve "this matter of widespread concern."

"Review by this Court is necessary to ensure uniformity of decision, finality and certainty for the citizens of California," Brown wrote in a set of briefs that were filed with the Court today.

The AG's recommendation comes on the heels of a weekend of anti-Prop. 8 protests nationwide, and less than two weeks after the City and County of San Francisco, the County of Santa Clara and the City of Los Angeles sued to invalidate Proposition 8, arguing that it“ intends to deprive gay and lesbian citizens of their fundamental right to marry in California."

The speed of the AG's response is further evidence that Prop. 8's passage has brought the state to the brink of a constitutional crisis.

Typically, such matters are brought to lower courts before the Supreme Court hears the case. But as Brown argues, a stay, "would increase uncertainty related to marriages performed in California."

"The constitutionality of the change created by Proposition 8 impacts whether same-sex marriages may issue in California and whether same-sex marriages from other states will be recognized here," Brown wrote. "There is significant public interest in prompt resolution of the legality of Proposition 8."

Brown also continues to maintain that "same-sex marriages performed between June 17 and November 4, 2008, remain valid and will be upheld by the Court," according to a press release issued by his office today.

Brown's request means the Supreme Court will consider taking up the matter at its Nov.19 closed session.

Legal insiders predict good news for same-sex marriage proponents if the Supreme Court decides to review Prop. 8, since this is the same Court that ruled on May 15, 2008 that banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

If the state Supreme Court decides not to review the case, same-sex marriage supporters could pursue the case with the U.S. Supreme Court, or head back to the ballot box.

But, for now, all eyes are focused on the State Supreme Court and SF City Attorney Dennis Herrera.

As Herrera wrote the day after the November election, "If allowed to stand, Prop 8 so devastates the principle of equal protection that it endangers the fundamental rights of any potential electoral minority -- even for protected classes based on race, religion, national origin and gender."

With only 52 percent of voters supporting Prop. 8, Herrera further argued that the state Constitution's equal protection provisions, "do not allow a bare majority of voters to use the amendment process to divest politically disfavored groups of constitutional rights."