Contact: Karen England, Capitol Resource Institute, 916-212-5607, [email protected]
SACRAMENTO, Sept. 10 /Christian Newswire/ -- A group of conservative leaders led by former attorney general candidate John Eastman have asked to meet with Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado to discuss his support of an appeal in a federal court suit regarding Proposition 8.
While the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled a December hearing of a lower court's decision overturning the voter approved initiative, there is some question whether the proponents of the measure have standing to argue the case before the court. The Attorney General and the Governor clearly have authority to file the appeal. But, both Jerry Brown and Arnold Schwarzenegger have refused to do so based on their personal opposition to Proposition 8.
"But Abel Maldonado is a supporter of Proposition 8 and hopefully more willing to honor the obligations of his office than the current Attorney General has been" says Eastman. "Importantly, while the Governor is traveling outside of the State, all of the rights and responsibilities of the office of Governor rest with Mr. Maldonado."
The group made up of past and present leaders of various grass roots policy and legal organizations are asking the Lieutenant Governor Maldonado to file the appeal before a September 13th deadline.
The failure by the Attorney General and Governor to defend the measure as is required under California law has been criticized even by parties that oppose Proposition 8. A September 8 editorial in the LA Times notes the paper's opposition to the initiative but says that Brown and Schwarzenegger have an obligation to defend this law.
Kevin Snider, Chief Counsel for Pacific Justice Institute questions the Constitutional officers' failure to file the appeal. "If they truly believe their claim that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional, then they should welcome the chance to have the US Supreme Court vindicate this position. Their reluctance to allow the appeal process to proceed suggests they doubt that the court would agree with them. They just need to file the piece of paper. Others will argue the case."
The political value of the Lieutenant Governor filing the appeal has also been noted. "Proposition 8 will be an issue in Mr. Maldonado's race for Lieutenant Governor" notes Karen England, Executive Director of Capitol Resource Institute. "After all, he is running against Gavin Newsom. This is Maldonado's chance to make clear that no one individual should be able to disregard a law, as Newsom did, or fail to defend a law as Brown is doing."
Mike Spence, former President of the California Republican Assembly notes, "more than a few conservatives are still angry with the Lieutenant Governor for votes while he was in the California Legislature. The simple act of filing this appeal could wipe away many bad memories."