The California Supreme Court’s decision Wednesday to take up a key question in the fight over Proposition 8
places the court once again at the forefront of the legal battle over same-sex marriage.
The court, meeting in closed session at its San Francisco headquarters, decided unanimously to rule on whether sponsors of ballot initiatives have special authority under state law to defend the measures in court when state officials refuse to do so.
Last month, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is considering a federal judge’s ruling that struck down Proposition 8, had asked California’s high court to decide the state legal question. The court’s answer probably will determine whether Proposition 8 is overturned on narrow, procedural grounds with limited impact or whether the case reaches the U.S. Supreme Court on constitutional questions that could affect same-sex marriage laws throughout the country.