Patterico's Pontifications

8/17/2010

Ninth Circuit Briefing Schedule Puts Gay Marriage on Front Burner for Governor’s Race

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:09 am

Republican Meg Whitman now has a wedge issue in the California governor’s race, if she chooses to use it.

She also has a more subtle but much stronger issue: the responsibility of elected officials to defend the people’s laws.

Here’s why. The Ninth Circuit’s briefing schedule calls for the last brief to be filed by Prop. 8 supporters on November 1, 2010. The court has ordered the parties to discuss whether the proposition’s defenders have standing on their own, given that the Attorney General and the Governor failed to fight for the law in court.

But here’s the thing: come November, there will be a new Attorney General in California — and perhaps more important, a new Governor. They will probably be sworn in before the appeals are decided. And the identity of the new Governor will probably decide whether California’s elected officials are going to join the appeal. (This assumes that procedural time limits don’t prevent them from joining an ongoing appeal by intervenor defendants. I don’t know the answer to this question, but my educated guess is that there would be no procedural bar, as long as the appeal is still live.)

Our current Attorney General, Jerry Brown, refused to defend Prop. 8 and would continue this path as Governor. Meg Whitman, by contrast, was a Prop. 8 supporter. Presumably she would move to join the appeal if elected.

And that could moot the whole standing issue.

The question for Whitman now is whether she wants to make an issue out of this. Prop. 8 won by a margin of 52% to 47%. And polls show increasing support for gay marriage as time passes. Who knows what a current California poll would say? (I’m sure we’ll learn soon.)

But regardless of how the polls look, Whitman should push this issue hard — and in doing so, should focus on another message: the responsibility of elected officials to uphold the laws. She could make this a broad-based issue — taking other more popular propositions as examples, and making the point that as Governor, it would be her duty to fight for the people’s laws in court, regardless of her personal views.

Jerry Brown won’t fight for your laws. Meg Whitman will.

That should be the message.

Let’s see if she delivers it.

18 Responses to “Ninth Circuit Briefing Schedule Puts Gay Marriage on Front Burner for Governor’s Race”

  1. Wouldn’t the briefing be closed and the matter be under submission by the time the new Gov and AG are sworn in (January 2011)?

    James Phillips (ac98bf)

  2. Another effective slogan would be “I am not Moonbeam Brown”

    JD (bbb18c)

  3. i’m severely tempted to help give California four more years of Jerry….but i’m fairly certain the lesson would be lost on the st00pid amongst us.

    Jerry Brown for Governor
    Because he didn’t do enough damage last time!

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  4. redc1c4

    i wonder if some people voted for obama on this slogan:

    Barrack Obama for President: Because Carter didn’t do enough damage last time!

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (e7d72e)

  5. Ah…the real question is what would she say in Spanish about upholding the law.

    in_awe (44fed5)

  6. If she doesn’t stand up for it, be prepared to call her Ahnold Whitman.

    Icy Texan (4f3a8e)

  7. Greetings:

    Several years ago, the Franchise Tax Board, California’s version if the IRS, informed me that they were sending part of my income tax refund to the Department of Motor Vehicles based on that agencies claim that I was in arrears. I was informed that I should contact the DMV if I had any questions about the FTB’s action.

    I wrote to the DMV and received no answer. I wrote to my State Assemblyman, and my State Senator, both of whom continued the pattern. Finally, I wrote to Attorney General Brown who, in a written reply, informed me that he could not help me because his office would be responsible to defend the DMV in any legal action.

    “Forget it, Jake. It’s California-town”

    11B40 (d12686)

  8. Prop. 8 won by a margin of 52% to 47%. And polls show increasing support for gay marriage as time passes. Who knows what a current California poll would say? (I’m sure we’ll learn soon.)

    I wonder if polls will be all that trustworthy at this point. For one thing, it is hard to take seriously any poll sponsored by an advocacy group and, for another, it is impossible to trust most polls coming from big media. Even if the methodology is sound and the poll conductors can overcome their natural biases, I think gay marriage is to the point where a lot of people will hide their true opinions rather than potentially being bullragged by activists.

    JVW (eccfd6)

  9. While gay marriage is not a big issue for me, the proper conduct of the law is. The gay judge played such games with this that it is a disgrace and should be an issue, not the basic question so much as the way it was handled. The rule of law will barely survive the Democrats’ rule, if at all.

    MIke K (d6b02c)

  10. Refusing to appeal could cause problems further down the road. There is another case within Ninth Circuit jurisdiction challenging the constitutionality of DOMA (Smelt v. United States). And there are other cases in other courts (In the Matter of the Marriage of J.B. and H.B., Bishop v. USA, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management)What happens if the Ninth Circuit or Supreme Court issues a ruling in those cases that undermines the legal foundation of Judge Walker’s ruling?

    Michael Ejercito (249c90)

  11. Prop. 8 won by a margin of 52% to 47%. And polls show increasing support for gay marriage as time passes. Who knows what a current California poll would say?

    A number of months before the election, the polls also indicated that Proposition 8 would easily go down to defeat. That doesn’t seem to reflect increasing support, if you ask me.

    Ken (440319)

  12. Question – I’m really not sure – aren’t the Atty. General and the Governor responsible for implementing and defending duly legislated or voter-passed laws?

    In listening to Hugh Hewitt and John Eastman, I gathered that was their job, rather than implementing their personal opinion… wouldn’t an oath of office include “protect & defend the Constitution of California”? Am I missing something?

    If not, what anybody thinks of gay marriage would be beside the point – they didn’t do their jobs. Nobody ever hired me to do X, Y, & Z, but only if I approved of it…

    jodetoad (7720fb)

  13. Meg has spent $100 million and is still only even with Moonbeam. I have half a mind (cue the jokes) to vote for him. He’s so nutty he might change and be a good governor, or at least cure CA once and for all of its pathetic liberalism.

    Patricia (358f54)

  14. Gay marriage would barely make a list of the top 1,000 serious problems facing California. Meg Whitman should quickly state her position – presumably that she would defend Prop. 8 – and then get back to discussing real issues.

    Nels (3e56d7)

  15. be prepared to call her Ahnold Whitman.

    Her platform seems to be that she’s for all the things he was for, only she would actually succeed where he failed.

    aphrael (73ebe9)

  16. Yeah, I admit that Aphrael is approximately right about Whitman. I have a hard time getting excited over that governor’s race.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  17. Meg has spent $100 million and is still only even with Moonbeam. I have half a mind (cue the jokes) to vote for him. He’s so nutty he might change and be a good governor, or at least cure CA once and for all of its pathetic liberalism.

    If one despises California and wants to see it become a cross between Spain, Mexico, Greece and Mexico — with a dash of Venezuela thrown in for good measure — pray that it votes for Jerry Brown in November and keeps its legislature as leftwing as it currently is.

    In a way if I were a conservative Midwesterner or Southerner (or Easterner) — fully aware of the competition between states and cities for business activity and its attendant prosperity — I’d secretly relish California becoming as liberal as it possibly can be.

    Mark (411533)

  18. Based on both candidates stated positions, no matter which one wins, California will lose. Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Oregon will all gain jobs that will effectively be outlawed here.

    Cement manufacturing, most forms of power generation, many manufacturing processes, etc.

    So under the Global Warming emissions reduction law, cement will not be allowed to be manufactured in CA so will be manufactured in neighboring states. Same amount of CO2 resulting from the manufacturing process, but now the end product has to be trucked in from a distance rather than local plants. Meaning more fuel used for transportation, more wear and tear on the roads, higher cost for all construction projects and an increase in world wide greenhouse gases.

    And yet both candidates have taken the stand that they will implement this law to the fullest extent.

    How about we elect someone with the slightest bit of common sense? Oh, that’s right, they could never get past the primaries in CA.

    Jay Curtis (8f6541)


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