Judge Vaughn Walker has denied the request of several LGBT legal groups, including the ACLU, Lambda Legal and NCLR, to join Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8. He also approved the City of San Francisco's request to join the case. Ted Olson and David Boies will now be joined by San Francisco City Attorney David Herrera as the lawyers in the challenge to Proposition 8.
The judge approved the City of San Francisco's request due to "a government interest that wasn't represented by any of the current parties." He said the LGBT organizations, however, "would needlessly delay the case's resolution."
The trial has been set for January 11, 2010.
Statement from the LGBT orgs after the jump...
From the various LGBT groups asking to join in the case:
LGBT Community Groups Disappointed By Court's Denial To Join Federal Prop 8 Case
SAN FRANCISCO -- Today Judge Vaughn R. Walker of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco denied the request of Our Family Coalition; Lavender Seniors of the East Bay; and Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) to join Perry v. Schwarzenegger, a federal lawsuit challenging California's Proposition 8.
A statement by Lambda Legal, the ACLU and the National Center for Lesbian Rights:
On behalf of our clients, we are disappointed that the court did not permit organizations that represent California's diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community to participate in the case as the Court weighs the harms inflicted by Proposition 8. The significance of this case for our entire community is enormous. To exclude the people whose very freedom is at stake is troubling. Our commitment to restoring marriage for all Californians is unwavering, and we will continue to do everything within our power to secure full equality and justice for LGBT people.
And from the San Francisco City Attorney's Office:
City Attorney Herrera says his office is well-prepared to help 'put anti-gay discrimination on trial based on the facts'
SAN FRANCISCO (Aug. 19, 2009) -- U.S. District Court Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker this morning granted the City and County of San Francisco's motion to intervene in the federal challenge to Proposition 8, the state constitutional amendment that eliminated the fundamental right of marriage for gay and lesbian citizens in California. In granting the intervention, Walker held that the City demonstrated a governmental perspective and interests, and is the only party -- including the State and the Governor -- that is willing and able to present that perspective and interest. The Court directed the City Attorney to work together with the Attorney General and confer on ways to present the facts relevant to the government's interests relating to Proposition 8 in a manner that will not be duplicative and will avoid delay.
In response, City Attorney Dennis Herrera issued the following statement:
"We're gratified that San Francisco has been granted a key role in the federal challenge to Proposition 8," said Herrera. "In terms of our unique public sector perspective and the evidence we've already developed, we think the City is an extremely well-prepared co-plaintiff in the kind of trial Judge Walker envisions. We are ready to help put anti-gay discrimination on trial based on the facts, and our office has the experience and expertise to assist in aggressively doing that."
There is a lot more information coming out of California, so we'll keep you updated as we get more in from the various parties involved!
Also- Attorney Ted Olson is profiled in today's NYT.
(Big h/t to Chris Geidner at LawDork.net - Be sure to check out his blog for all things LGBT & the Law!)