Andy Pugno, the general counsel for ProtectMarriage, the authors of California’s Prop 8, denounced the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal’s quick rescinding of the stay on same-sex marriages in the state. Pugno whined about the fact that the decision came without warning and without giving his group the twenty-five days that they would normally have in order to ask the US Supreme Court to reconsider the case.
Pugno griped that “This outrageous act tops off a chronic pattern of
lawlessness, throughout this case, by judges and politicians hell-bent
on thwarting the vote of the people to redefine marriage by any means,
even outright corruption. The resumption of same-sex marriage this day
has been obtained by illegitimate means. If our opponents rejoice in
achieving their goal in a dishonorable fashion, they should be ashamed.”
Except, possibly not. The problem for Pugno and ProtectMarriage is
they have no standing in the case, which means that they may not even
have the right to ask the Supreme Court to hear the case again which
means that the only legitimate people who have the right to appeal the
case- Governor Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris- are not
going to do so and have already said they would not ask the Supreme
Court to reconsider the case.
ProtectMarriage had, initially, seemed poised to try and get the
ruling narrowed so that it only applied to the two plaintiff couples,
but in the end, they seemed to have abandoned it any attempt due to
legal uncertainty of their ability to do that, and the fact that Brown
and Harris had vowed to block any attempts to do so because of the
momentum pushing for an end to the ban on same-sex marriage.
Judge Vaughn Walker initially allowed ProtectMarriage to argue that
Prop 8 was constitutional. This was his prerogative. However, it became
trickier after that and while the Ninth allowed ProtectMarriage to
appeal the case, the US Supreme Court ruled that ProtectMarriage did not
have that right. They ordered the Ninth to vacate their ruling and
restore Walker’s ruling in the Perry case to the fore meaning that Prop 8
was ruled unconstitutional.