I am happy to see that Jerry Brown has a spine and is supporting people’s right to form lasting committed relationships, as well as those who have already formed them.
A San Francisco Chronicle article, dated December 20, 2008 states:
Brown, who is required to defend state laws unless he cannot find reasonable legal grounds to do so, said after Prop. 8 passed Nov. 4 that he would support the initiative before the state’s high court.
But in a lengthy filing late Friday, he argued that the constitutional amendment was “inconsistent with the guarantees of individual liberty” in California’s governing charter.
“Proposition 8 must be invalidated because the amendment process cannot be used to extinguish fundamental constitutional rights without compelling justification,” Brown said.
The authors of the state Constitution, he said, did not intend “to put a group’s right to enjoy liberty to a popular vote.”
Today, the San Francisco Chronicle points out that Jerry Brown is the first Attorney General since 1964 to defend a newly enacted ballot measure:
In November 1964, an overwhelming 65 percent majority of the state’s voters approved Proposition 14, a constitutional amendment that overturned a fair-housing law and allowed racial discrimination in property sales and rentals.
Attorney General Thomas Lynch – newly appointed to succeed Stanley Mosk, a Prop. 14 opponent who had just been named to the state Supreme Court – concluded the initiative violated U.S. constitutional standards and left private lawyers representing sponsors as its sole defenders in court.
The state Supreme Court – minus Mosk, who removed himself from the case – overturned Prop. 14 in 1966, and the U.S. Supreme Court followed suit in 1967. Lynch filed written arguments urging the nation’s high court to rule the measure unconstitutional.
As I pointed out in a previous post, Brown cites that “all people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights,” which include a right to “privacy.”
Brown is being criticized, of course, and I am proud of him for having a spine and supporting those who need a voice in “high places”.
There is a poll at the San Francisco Chronicle if you are interested in seeing what their readers think.