Read the briefs on a stay of the Prop. 8 ruling

Today was the deadline for written arguments on whether Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker should stay his Wednesday ruling overturning Proposition 8’s ban on same-sex marriage pending appeal.

The measure’s proponents had argued even before the ruling came down that staying such a decision is “essential to averting the harms that would flow from another purported window of same-sex marriage in California.” They argue they’ll eventually win this case, and to let more people marry in the interim would “inflict harm on the affected couples and place administrative burdens on the state.” Read their brief here.

Attorney General Jerry Brown argued that’s not so, and same-sex marriages should be allowed to begin again immediately. “(W)hile there is still the potential for limited administrative burdens should future marriages of same-sex couples be later declared invalid, these potential burdens are outweighed by this Court’s conclusion, based on the overwhelming evidence, that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. Accordingly, the harm to the plaintiffs outweighs any harm to the state defendants.” Read his brief here.

And Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger made a similar argument in a separate brief. Now that a court has deemed the ban unconstitutional, to resume allowance of same-sex marriage immediately “is consistent with California’s long history of treating all people and their relationships with equal dignity and respect,” his attorney wrote. Read his brief here.

UPDATE @ 5:18 P.M.: The plaintiffs’ brief arguing against a stay says Prop. 8’s proponents can’t possibly make a “strong showing” that they’re likely to prevail on appeal, both because their appeal is without merit and because they may not even have standing to file it – remember, the proponents were defendant interveners in this case, while the governor and state were the original defendants. The plaintiffs further argue that the proponents have failed to show they’ll suffer an irreparable injury without a stay, while a stay would mean the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights would continue to be curtailed. And they say the public interest in ensuring recognition and protection of all citizens’ constitutional rights weighs against a stay. Read their brief here.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • John W

    Lift the stay. No harm done to anyone if bunches of couples marry and then decision is later reversed. Plenty of harm done to those who want to marry if decision is upheld but they had to wait two years for equal protection to take effect.

  • Ralph Hoffmann

    Lift the stay. Post menopausal same-sex senior citizens are being deprived of legal marriage rights, and the tax advantages that provides. No sex is involved, just committed companionship. This is just another example of the unconstitutionality of Prop. 8, denying equal protection.

  • State and Fed should stay out of the way, I’m tired of of the continuous encroachment into all of our lives. The real threat is the growing divorce rate, not prop 8.

  • John W

    On principle, the stay should be lifted. However, the political backlash might not be worth it.

    Agree with what John Connor said. The real threats to the “institution of marriage” are not those who seek to participate in it, but rather the growing number of couples and parents who don’t bother and people who trivialize it by marrying and divorcing as often as they trade cars.

    If and when this gets to the U.S. Supreme Court, I look forward to the oral argument jousting between Bush 43’s Chief Justice pick, John Roberts, and Bush 43’s Solicitor General, Ted Olson. Should be entertaining. I’d trade a pair of Lady GaGa tickets to be there. Also shouldn’t the openly straight members of the court, and the six Catholics, recuse themselves? Shouldn’t they delegate to a special panel of asexual, atheist robo-judges?

  • Elwood

    I want to marry my lovely sheep, Fluffy!

  • Wayne

    To Elwood; Congrats to you and Fluffy…..Best you wear name tags so we can tell you apart!

  • Elwood

    I’ve changed my mind. I want to marry my neighbors Jim and Mary and their beautiful German shepherd, King.