Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, incoming President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and forty other Democratic state legislators in California signed onto a friend of the court brief, filed with the state Supreme Court on Monday in the effort to void Proposition 8 along with the will of the California voters who overwhelmingly gave it their support.
With nearly 11 million votes already counted, Proposition 8, which would prohibit same sex marriage, is considered a done deal with the support of 52.3% of the state’s voters and 47.7% voting in opposition, and despite the fact that there are still ballots left to be counted, the current 500,000 spread is unlikely to change. Ironically, the state of California had a record breaking voter turnout dominated by registered Democrats and exit polls indicated that 70% of the African American voters supported the measure as well as the majority of Hispanic voters, however, the Democratic legislators intent on overturning the will of their constituents are describing the 500,000 vote margin a “bare majority.”
The attorneys at the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, retained with money raised from the same California taxpayers who voted in favor of the proposition, were hired to draft the brief on behalf of the Democratic legislators opposed to it.
The brief filed with the California Supreme Court contends that Proposition 8 compromises “the enduring constitutional promise of equal protection under the law,” and that it, “seeks to effect a monumental revision of this foundational principle and constitutional structure by allowing a bare majority of voters to eliminate a fundamental right of a constitutionally protected minority group.” Included in the document is the warning from the legislators to the notoriously liberal justices of the state’s Supreme Court, “If Proposition 8 takes effect, this court will no longer be the final arbiter of the rights of minorities.”
Proposition 8 was drafted to correct the May 15, 2008 travesty of the state’s Supreme Court when it overturned Proposition 22 which was passed with an overwhelming 61.4% of votes back in 2000 to prevent California from recognizing same-sex marriages. By overturning Proposition 22 the state Supreme Court rejected the will of the California voters and legalized same sex marriages.
Unfortunately, the California citizens who voted to support the passage of Proposition 8 will be forced to rely on the state’s Attorney General and former Governor, Jerry (Moonbeam) Brown, to defend the initiative in court. Jerry Brown attempted to scuttle the passage of Proposition 8 earlier this year by manipulating the wording of the proposition’s description contained in the state’s ballot pamphlet. While Brown never came right out and said that he opposed the proposition, he joined San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Lt. Gov. John Garamendi at a Hollywood fundraiser for the “No on 8″ campaign held a few days prior to the election. Brown, like Newsome, Villaraigosa and Garamendi is expected to throw his hat into the ring for the office of California state governor in 2010. Another good indication of where Jerry Brown stands on the state’s prohibition of gay marriages is the fact that he has used the authority of his office to counter claims by pro-prop 8 supporters that the language of the proposition was intended to invalidate all same-sex marriages “regardless of when or where performed,” while Jerry Brown has argued that, “I believe that marriages that have been entered into subsequent to the (May 15) Supreme Court opinion will be recognized by the California Supreme Court.” Clearly, with Jerry Brown defending the will of the people of California on the issue of prohibiting gay marriages, it is safe to assume that Proposition 8, like Proposition 22 before it, will be overturned by the California Supreme Court regardless of what the people of this state want.
The essential position of the Democratic legislators and the majority of elected Democratic officials in California as succinctly and clearly expressed in the Associated Press article published in the San Jose Mercury News and elsewhere around the state, held that Proposition 8 should be tossed out by the Supreme Court because “the California voters do not have the authority to change the state’s laws.”
Admittedly, the perspective of California’s Democratic legislators as summarized in the thirteen word statement, “the California voters do not have the authority to change the state’s laws,” appears to be glaringly blunt and forthright in it’s simplicity, but is also a statement that is heavily laden with a lot of implications and it could be interpreted in a number of negative ways. The simple fact of the matter is that it would be difficult to find a way to interpret the statement in a positive light.
Oddly enough, on October 10, 1911, when the state of California became the 10th state to adopt the initiative process, it was with the understanding promoted by then Governor Hiram Johnson, that it would serve the people of this state as a tool they could use to adopt laws and constitutional amendments without the support of the Governor or the Legislature, and the package of constitutional amendments placed on the state’s ballot 97 years ago to make that tool available to the citizens of this state was purposely designed with the express intention of giving the people of California more control over what was included or excluded from the state’s constitution. Furthermore, it is a well established fact of the state’s historical record that the California initiative process was passed into law with every intention that it would give the people of this state the full authority to implement laws and constitutional amendments as they saw fit and without regard for the opposing views of California’s notoriously corrupt, manipulative and ethically challenged elected representatives.
It seems to me, given the express intention for implementing the state’s initiative process, that the people of California have the right and the authority to amend the state’s constitution as well as the right and authority to propose, pass and implement any law they deem necessary for whatever reason, and if the Democratic legislators opposing the passage of Proposition 8 do not like what the people of this state have done they would be better off in the long run concentrating their effort on abolishing the initiative process and silencing the will of the people forever than they will be by attacking the will of the people in the overly biased and extremely liberal California Supreme Court on this one issue.
Article 2, Section 1 of the California Constitution clearly states “All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for their protection, security, and benefit, and they have the right to alter or reform it when the public good may require.” However, despite the obvious intention of the law, the liberal California Supreme Court has seen fit on a number of occasions to disregard the will of the California’s voters and reject both laws and constitutional amendments submitted, approved and passed by a majority of the state’s registered voters on the flimsiest of pretenses and every time the state’s left-leaning Supreme Court justices spit in the faces of California’s citizenry they inch that much closer to the inevitable day when the Golden State’s very independent, but civic minded citizens stage a full scale revolt. It has happened before and only the extremely foolish would dismiss the possibility that it can happen again, and the only way that the politicians of this state can safely and completely ensure that a voter rebellion does not occur and never occurs at any point in the future, is to entirely abolish the constitutional right of California’s citizens to express their demands through the initiative process.
Ultimately, this whole thing begs the question, why even let the common people of this state vote in an election?” Clearly the state legislators feel that they should be the ones to control the direction of the state in all matters. They are the ones who are trusted to see the big picture so they should be trusted with the power to dictate what and when, changes will occur. The rank and file citizenry of this state have no place in the lofty determinations made by these living deities and surely our paltry attempts to influence their despotic commandments can be safely disregarded as the inconsequential mutterings of the peasant rabble far too ignorant to know what we really want or what will actually benefit us. Obviously, if the citizens of California are willing to repeatedly acquiesce to the biased Supreme Court and the smarmy state legislators who overturn the legitimate changes we enact, then we may as well just shut our mouths and keep our ideas to ourselves because we have no right to control anything and the entire concept of Democracy in California is clearly dead, and ironically enough, it was our tax money that went to hire the assassins who killed it.
Proposition 8, Gavin Newsome, Antonio Villaraigosa, Jerry Brown, Karen Bass, Don Perata, Darrell Steinberg, John Garamendi
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