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CAG Jerry Brown asks California Supreme Court to Void Prop. 8

Edmund "Jerry" Brown

Edmund "Jerry" Brown

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

State Attorney General Jerry Brown, in a surprise turnabout, asked the California Supreme Court on Friday to overturn Proposition 8, saying the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage violates basic rights guaranteed in the state Constitution.

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.”

I haven’t read his brief but I agree with his logic.  Minority rights should not be subject to the whims of the majority.  The state Constitution shouldn’t be easy to amend, especially when you consider that it requires a 2/3 vote to raise taxes here.  Taking away our civil rights should require at least as much.

Jerry Brown, aka “Governor Moonbeam,” was the last liberal governor of California.  He also served as the California Secretary of State and the Mayor of Oakland.  He and his father, Edmund “Pat” Brown, bookended Ronald Reagan’s tenure as governor.  His sister Kathleen Brown was formerly the state treasurer and ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1994 against incumbent Pete Wilson.

Sometimes dynasties aren’t such a bad thing.

19 Responses

  1. Go, Jerry, go!

    Brown can get on my nerves sometimes, but he doesn’t lack courage…

    fingers are crossed here in CA.

  2. This is great. It frame’s Prop 8 as a liberty issue which is what it is! The timing could pull the rug out from a certain inauguration participant – highlight his role perhaps.

  3. Great music to go with your politics ..

    GODDESS RADIO 10 am til 1 PM EST click my name and the big listen button

    from the WOMEN of independent music

  4. I guess all the east coasties are out shoveling snow…

  5. Sophie–we did that yesterday (over 12″ here in N. IL).

    Hurray for Jerry Brown! Agree, purplefinn, that the timing is superb re Rick Warren. I wish everyone would put their religion in a box and just keep it there.

  6. grayslady, on December 20th, 2008 at 10:33 am Said:

    I wish everyone would put their religion in a box and just keep it there.

    Unfortunately, they have — the ballot box.

  7. Chinese inventor plans Hillary fembot

    A septuagenarian Chinese man says he is planning to build a robot modelled on Barack Obama’s nominated Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

    Wang Wenrong, 78, spoke of his plans after unveiling his first two home-made robots in his home town of Jinan in the eastern province of Shandong.


  8. Grayslady .. I am with you .. I still do not understand why candidates for the presidency all HAD to sit down with ANY religious leader and explain themselves , or why and how we can have a faith based initiative that is a thin disguise for a money funnel to the church of choice of the government .

    Jerry Brown is exactly right ; that laws passed by states cannot be unconstitutional . Nice work around Jerry !

  9. ok i have a comment in moderation and have NO CLUE why

  10. Thank you !!!!!! I am still clueless LOL but that is nothing new for me 🙂

  11. I just don’t know what to comment about this.

    Deal of the Day: Hillary Clinton Nutcracker Commemorate our departing Senator — and crack your holiday nuts — with this handy gem


    Chin up, New York! We may be losing one of the most high-profile senators we’ve ever had to the transition team, but we can still have Hillary Clinton around this holiday season (and beyond) thanks to this fun little bauble. The Hillary Clinton nutcracker ($27.99) comes dressed in a snazzy — dare we say presidential – pantsuit, and boasts “stainless steel thighs” guaranteed to “crack toughest nuts.” Also great on lobster and crab claws!

    The Senator is available at Overstock.com for $27.99 plus shipping. You can order the item as a set with the Bill Clinton corkscrew for $49.99, but somehow, that’s just less fun.


  12. Is the Hillary “nutcracker” doll supposed to symbolize something else Im a bit suspicious.

  13. Jerry represents how liberal California dems feel about this issue.
    Believe me, this one is going to be a battle, especially now that Hollywood is enraged and feels cheated by Warren.


    San Fran is “Milk” territory. Jerry Brown was THERE!
    Go Sean Penn!

    ps: nevah underestimate us Californians….

    hugs to all & Gary come back!



    things would be normal again around here.

    Jerry for GOVERNOR!

    Ditch the Term & K Dynasty Inc. They are ruining our state.

  15. Well, do we have to make a Caroline nutcracker to get our point across?? Gee that would go over like a lead ballon with certain circles would it not?

  16. Imagine, just imagine, a coalition, of women and men who value women’s rights, gay rights, everyone’s rights joining together to support a candidate who, by history, embodies our values. All I remember is leading gays such as Ellen, Rosie, Hollywood, not only not supporting, but bashing Hillary Clinton. Then I remember 77% of gays voting for obama anyway. Then I remember who voted for prop 8. Maybe it is time for a re-evaluation and a reunion of all people who care for ALL rights. I truly believe that McCain/Palin would not have had a wing-nut minister for the inauguration. In any event, that was a woman running, y’all. A woman who didn’t get the gay vote. So no Hillary, no Sarah, and obama thinks he owns gays anyway so he throws them under the bus….why not show him he is wrong.

  17. It is my understanding that enacting legislation by direct ballot initiative is both legal and common in California, but is it also true that the California Constitution can be amended via the same mechanism–with a simple majority vote? If so, such a process seems like an awfully easy way for the majority to trample on the rights of minorities. Am I missing something, myiq?

    Thank goodness for the judiciary–may it always defend us from majority tyranny (although I am less optimistic about that notion than I used to be).

  18. Good for you Mr. Brown. Classy move.

  19. One of the advantages of doing your own posts is that you don’t have to allow anyone to hijack the thread.

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