American Civil Rights Union asks U.S. Supreme Court to hear California marriage case
The American Civil Rights Union has filed a brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal of the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in Hollingsworth v. Perry striking down California’s constitutional marriage amendment.
Two members of the three-judge panel “seized for the two of themselves the power to rewrite the fundamental definition of marriage in California, which otherwise had prevailed for 162 years, since the state’s founding, consistent with the practice of thousands of years of civilization,” the brief, filed on August 31, states.
California voters in 2008 had approved Proposition 8, which amended the state constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
The ACRU brief, which was written by ACRU General Counsel Peter Ferrara, argues that a U.S. District judge and the Ninth Circuit panel ignored binding precedent in Baker v. Nelson, in which a unanimous Supreme Court in 1972 upheld Minnesota’s marriage law as constitutional.
The ACRU brief also notes that Ninth Circuit Judge Stephen R. Reinhardt, who wrote the opinion, should have recused himself. His wife, Ramona Ripston, executive director of the ACLU of Southern California (ACLU/SC), “had provided advice and counsel to the lawyers for Respondents regarding their decision to bring this suit challenging Proposition 8, and had directly participated in the case in the District Court.”
“Judge Reinhardt acknowledged that he had ‘always recused himself’ when the ACLU/SC had ‘participated in any way’ in a case before the Ninth Circuit. But he refused to recuse himself in this case,” the brief notes.
Judge Reinhardt and Judge Michael D. Hawkins ignored clear precedent and “substituted instead the preferences of the ACLU/SC,” the brief states.
“Moreover, they did so contrary to the now twice expressed preferences of the People of California, effectively depriving them of their rights to enact their preference by majority vote under state law.”
The content of this article came from a press release.