Imperial County, the lone California jurisdiction defending Proposition 8 on appeal, announced today that it has filed its opening brief arguing its right to defend the voter-enacted same-sex marriage ban.
The county submitted its brief, which can be viewed here, with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals late Friday, the deadline for filing. That was the same day that a team of pro-Proposition 8 attorneys also filed its challenge to federal Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling that the 2008 same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.
The appeals court asked Imperial County and the team of "Yes on 8" attorneys to explain why they have legal standing to challenge Walker's ruling given that California's highest public officials chose not appeal the judge's finding.
Neither Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger nor Attorney General Jerry Brown opted to defend Proposition 8. In fact, both filed motions saying they thought same-sex marriages should go forward after Walker's ruling. The California Supreme Court turned down a bid by anti-gay marriage activists to force Schwarzenegger and Brown to defend the measure.
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Imperial County is represented, pro bono, by Advocates for Faith & Freedom, a nonprofit law firm in Murrieta whose mission is "protecting religious liberty in the courts." Nearly 70 percent of Imperial County's voters approved of Proposition 8.
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