The California legislature appears to be whipping out the "Checks and Balances" card...
Senator Mark Leno and Assemblyman Tom Ammiano introduced resolutions today in their respective houses. The legislation deems Prop 8 a revision to the state Constitution that should have gone through the legislature first and notes the body's disapproval of the amendment.
Under California law, a Constitutional amendment is put to a popular vote, but any major revision to the Constitution has to pass both houses of the legislature by a 2/3 majority before being submitted to a vote.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has also expressed his opposition to Prop 8. The legislature has twice passed legislation to legalize same-sex marriage, but it was vetoed by the Governor both times.
In May, the California Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that denying civil marriage to one class of people violated the Constitution's promise of equal protection. The ruling invalidated a previously passed voter initiative which previously put the identical language of Proposition 8 into state statute. With the subsequent passage of Proposition 8 in November, the Supreme Court will consider several lawsuits that have since been filed.
"Proposition 8's revision to the California Constitution violates key structural checks and balances built into our legal system," Senator Leno added. "Overnight, the constitutional protections of thousands of tax paying, law abiding California citizens were stripped from them by a simple majority vote, without a prior two-thirds vote by both houses of the legislature, thereby trampling on their fundamental right to equal protection."
"Any major revision to the state Constitution should not be allowed to circumvent the legal system," said Assemblyman Ammiano. "The fact is, Proposition 8 was improperly instituted through the ballot process without legislative involvement. I am proud to author this crucial resolution urging the courts to right the social travesty of Proposition 8 and ensure any similar future measures are approached in an appropriate and legal manner."
Prop 8 opponents are using the same arguments in their case before the California Supreme Court. I'm curious what legal impact it would have on the case if the legislature passed Leno and Ammiano's resolutions. Anyone know?