As soon as it was reported that Prop. 8 had been approved by the voters, three lawsuits were filed seeking an immediate stay to prevent Prop. 8 from being enforced. One of the lawsuits was filed by the ACLU and Lambda. A second suit was filed by celebrity attorney Gloria Allred. A third suit was filed by the City Attorneys for San Francisco and L.A. and the County Counsel for Santa Clara County. All three cases use the same basic arguments that Prop. 8 takes rights away" and should be considered a revision, rather than an amendment, to the state constitution. Revisions must be approved by both the legislature and voters.
The official defender of Prop. 8 is California Attorney General Jerry Brown, who sought to defeat Prop. 8 before it was adopted and as of this writing had not filed any response to the lawsuits. In letter briefs filed as amicus, Pacific Justice Institute is opposing the attempts to stay implementation of Prop. 8. PJI attorneys also believe the basic arguments in all three cases are fundamentally flawed. "It is being argued that voters can never undo judicial decisions - even when the courts insert themselves into public policy debates," noted PJI Chief Counsel Kevin Snider. "If accepted, that argument will eviscerate California's initiative process."
PJI Staff Attorney Matt McReynolds added, "The lawsuit filed by San Francisco, L.A. and Santa Clara County are egregious abuses of power. More than 700,000 citizens in those locales voted in favor of Prop. 8, yet their tax dollars are being used to finance an attack against Prop. 8. This is political grandstanding at its worst."
Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, stated, "The battle to preserve marriage has taken on a whole new dimension as we fight to preserve our basic constitutional form of government. If the courts deny the people of California their inherent right to determine such a basic matter of public policy as preserving marriage, the rule of law will be upended. The stakes are incredibly high."