Proposition 8 Legal Battles Intensify with Briefings Filed with CA Supreme Court
California Attorney General Jerry Brown made public his opposition to Proposition 8 Friday in a brief to the California Supreme Court while "Yes on 8" forces filed a brief extending their opposition to include invalidation of the same-sex marriages already performed in there. California's Supreme Court will consider the constitutionality of Proposition 8, which eliminated same sex marriage in the state earlier this November. The proposition, which passed 52 percent to 48, overturned a May ruling of the state Supreme Court that legalized same sex marriage.
After Prop. 8's passage, Brown had initially said that he would support the measure, which bans same-sex marriage, as enacted by the voters, according to the L.A. Times. Brown revised his position in a statement that "Proposition 8 must be invalidated because the amendment process cannot be used to extinguish fundamental constitutional rights without compelling justification."
Also Friday, Prop. 8 supporters filed a brief with the state Supreme Court seeking to invalidate the 18,000 same-sex marriages performed before the ban passed in November. This brief, co-written by Kenneth Starr, known as the independent counsel who investigated Bill Clinton, states: "Proposition 8's brevity is matched by its clarity. There are no conditional clauses, exceptions, exemptions or exclusions....For this court to rule otherwise would be to tear asunder a lavish body of jurisprudence. That body of decisional law commands judges – as servants of the people – to bow to the will of those whom they serve – even if the substantive result of what people have wrought in constitution-amending is deemed unenlightened," according to the Michigan Messenger. In his statement, Attorney General Brown indicated his belief that marriages entered into during the five months same-sex marriage was legal in California are valid irregardless of whether Proposition 8 is upheld.
Media Resources: Associated Press 12/20/08; Michigan Messenger 12/22/08; LA Times 12/19/08; CA Attorney General Statement 12/19/08; Feminist Daily Newswire 11/20/08
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .