Public Comment

Is the Prop 8 decision Good News?

By Bruce Joffe
Friday June 28, 2013 - 02:16:00 PM

I am happy the Supreme Court recognized that same-sex couples must be treated equally under the law, yet, I'm alarmed by their decision on California's Prop 8, Hollingsworth v Perry. The Court could have refused to take this case, but they chose to take it, and then they ruled that the Prop 8 proponents had no standing. This wasn't an "easy way out" of the gay-marriage controversy, it was a specific decision to limit citizens' access to the courts. It follows the American Express v Italian Colors decision a week earlier, which also limits citizens' access to the courts by banning class-action suits against corporations.  

While I disagree with Prop 8 proponents', their grievance was legitimate. They initiated and promoted a ballot measure which won, but then was not to be implemented, nor defended in court, because the Governor and state Attorney General didn't agree with the outcome. And now, the Supreme Court has ruled that Prop 8 proponents don't have standing. Who, then, could have standing? 

Imagine a similar situation with the politics reversed. Imagine a gun control measure voted by the people but unimplemented by a NRA-beholden governor. Proponents would have no judicial recourse. That's undemocratic.