Press Releases

 

 

June 28, 2013

Contact: Carla Hass 916-834-9969

OFFICIAL PROP 8 PROPONENTS
COMMENT ON NINTH CIRCUIT LIFTING OF STAY

The following statement may be attributed to Andy Pugno, General Counsel for the ProtectMarriage.com Coalition, the official proponents of Proposition 8, regarding the Ninth Circuit’s surprise ruling:

“We just received word that the Ninth Circuit, without waiting for the Supreme Court’s decision to become final and depriving us of our right to ask for reconsideration, has rushed forward to order same-sex marriage licenses.

“This outrageous act tops off a chronic pattern of lawlessness, throughout this case, by judges and politicians hell-bent on thwarting the vote of the people to redefine marriage by any means, even outright corruption.

“Homosexual marriage is not happening because the people changed their mind.  It isn’t happening because the appellate courts declared a new constitutional right.  It’s happening because enemies of the people have abused their power to manipulate the system and render the people voiceless.

“The resumption of same-sex marriage this day has been obtained by illegitimate means.  If our opponents rejoice in achieving their goal in a dishonorable fashion, they should be ashamed.

“It remains to be seen whether the fight can go on, but either way, it is a disgraceful day for California.”

 

June 26, 2013

Contact: Carla Hass: (916) 834-9969

OFFICIAL PROP 8 PROPONENTS
COMMENT ON SUPREME COURT DECISION

The following statement may be attributed to Andy Pugno, General Counsel for ProtectMarriage.com, the official proponent of Proposition 8, regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to invalidate California’s constitutional amendment protecting marriage as the union of a man and a woman:

“We are pleased that the Supreme Court has reversed the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ misguided decision that sought to invalidate Proposition 8.  For the more than seven million Californians who have seen their vote stripped away from them, little by little, over the course of five years, that decision is gratifying.

“While it is unfortunate that the Court’s ruling does not directly resolve questions about the scope of the trial court’s order against Prop 8, we will continue to defend Prop 8 and seek its enforcement until such time as there is a binding statewide order that renders Prop 8 unenforceable.

“We are also especially grateful and humbled by the consistent prayers and support of traditional marriage supporters everywhere throughout this long and difficult case.”

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OFFICIAL PROP 8 SPONSORS PROPONENTS COMMENT ON SUPREME COURT HEARING

March 26, 2013
Contact: Carla Hass (916) 834-9969

The following statement regarding today’s oral argument before the United States Supreme Court in the Hollingsworth v Perry case is attributable to Andrew Pugno, general counsel for ProtectMarriage.com, the official proponents of Proposition 8:

“Today we made legal history by presenting a bold, thoughtful and compelling case to the United States Supreme Court supporting the People’s right to vote in favor of marriage being between a man and a woman.  Every effort in the past four and a half years since voters passed Prop 8– from choosing our distinguished legal team to filing numerous briefs with the California Supreme Court, the federal district court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, to participating in a week-long trial, and all points in between — has led us to today’s historic moment before our country’s highest court.

“Outnumbered by our opponents in terms of attorneys, money, Hollywood support and every other conceivable measure, we methodically pressed our case on a legal basis; the only measure that ultimately matters.

“There is simply no denying that 41 states define marriage as between a man and woman. There is no denying that every other appellate court to hear arguments such as ours have sided in favor of traditional marriage. And there is no denying that nothing in the U.S. Supreme Court’s precedents in this area support the existence of a constitutional right to same-sex ‘marriage.’

“We have every confidence that the nine justices will resist the political pressure to prematurely end the national debate about the definition of marriage. We believe they will respect the freedom of people to affirm the institution of marriage that has stood the test of time in every culture throughout the world.

“The one social institution that centers on the needs of children rather than the often-fleeting desires of adults ought not be steamrolled by activists who are trying to use the United States Supreme Court to circumvent the will of the people and write the final chapter on the definition of marriage.

“No amount of new-found political or legal firepower can replace the primary purpose of marriage, which is to increase the likelihood of children being raised by the mothers and fathers who brought them into this world. We are confident that the case we presented today will affirm that same-sex ‘marriage’ is but a social experiment that needs no special protection by or recognition from the United States Supreme Court.”

PROP 8 PROPONENTS FILE OPENING BRIEF WITH US SUPREME COURT

January 22, 2013
CONTACT: Carla Hass 916-834-9969

ProtectMarriage.com Urges Highest Court to Uphold Marriage, Protect Democratic Process
SACRAMENTO — ProtectMarriage.com, the official proponents of California’s voter-passed Proposition 8, filed its opening brief with the United States Supreme Court today in the case that will finally decide if Proposition 8 is constitutional.

Earlier this year in a 2-1 decision in the Perry v Brown case, the Ninth Circuit errantly upheld a federal district judge’s decision that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibited California from enacting Prop 8 to restore the traditional definition of marriage between a man and a woman. The Supreme Court is reviewing that decision, now known as Hollingsworth v Perry.

“The Supreme Court has made clear that defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman is constitutional as a matter of public policy,” explained ProtectMarriage.com lead counsel Charles J. Cooper with the Cooper & Kirk law firm. “The lower courts rejected all relevant Supreme Court and appellate court precedent. We are confident that the Supreme Court will uphold its precedent and affirm California’s freedom to protect marriage.”

The brief cites previous case law stating that when a state repeals a law — as California voters did when they passed Prop 8, ending 142-days of legal same-sex “marriage” — the relevant inquiry is simply whether that law was required by the Federal Constitution in the first place. There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution requiring same-sex “marriage.”

Today’s brief also argues that if it was reasonable for California to draw a line between opposite-sex couples and other types of relationships (including same-sex relationships) for 158 years before the California Supreme Court’s ruling in the Marriage Cases, it is also reasonable for California to draw the same line, for the same reasons, after the 142-day hiatus caused by that short-lived decision.  And if it is rational for Congress and 40 other States to distinguish between opposite-sex couples and other types of relationships for purposes of marriage, surely it is rational for California to do so as well.

“Simply put, defining marriage to include same-sex couples is not required by the U.S. Constitution and Prop 8 doesn’t violate it,” said Andy Pugno, general counsel for ProtectMarriage.com. “By passing Prop 8, the people of California only exercised their reserved sovereign power to amend their Constitution.”

SPONSORS OF TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE AMENDMENT RESPOND
TO ANTI-PROP 8 ARGUMENTS IN U.S. SUPREME COURT

September 5, 2012
CONTACT: Carla Hass 916-834-9969

SACRAMENTO— In a brief filed today with the United States Supreme Court, ProtectMarrige.com—the official proponents of Proposition 8—continued its strong defense of traditional marriage and reiterated the importance of the U.S. Supreme Court agreeing to finally decide this critical legal issue.

“Ever since this case started nearly four years ago, both sides have agreed we will ultimately end up in the nation’s highest court,” said Andy Pugno, general counsel for ProtectMarraige.com. “But the plaintiffs are now contradicting themselves by urging the Supreme Court to stay out of the case and deny us all a definitive answer to the question whether the U.S. Constitution requires the legalization of same-sex marriage in California.

The Prop 8 sponsors’ petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision striking down Prop 8 cites multiple examples of legal precedent—including cases decided by every other federal appellate court on the issue, as well as the Supreme Court’s own decisions—concluding that there is no constitutional right to redefine marriage.

In today’s filing, Proposition 8’s legal defense team noted:

Respondents likewise fail meaningfully to distinguish the other appellate decisions that have rejected constitutional challenges to the traditional definition of marriage. As we have demonstrated, the decision below is at odds not only with the holdings of these decisions, but also with their core rationales. Indeed, Plaintiffs highlight this conflict by arguing that Proposition 8 is irrational because infertile opposite-sex couples have always been allowed to marry–an argument repeatedly raised and rejected in these and other challenges to traditional marriage laws.

OFFICIAL PROPONENTS ASK NATION’S HIGHEST COURT
TO RESOLVE PROP 8 CASE

July 31, 2012
CONTACT: Carla Hass 916-834-9969

SACRAMENTO – ProtectMarriage.com, the official proponents of California’s voter-passed Proposition 8, petitioned the United States Supreme Court today to review the misguided decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals declaring the initiative unconstitutional.

Earlier this year in a 2-1 decision in the Perry v Brown case, the Ninth Circuit – the most frequently overturned federal appellate court in the nation – errantly upheld a federal district judge’s decision that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibited California from enacting Prop 8 to restore the traditional definition of marriage between a man and a woman.

“Marriage between a man and a woman has been the cornerstone of our society for millenniums,” said Andy Pugno, Proposition 8’s general counsel. “In fact, before the recent movement cooked up by Hollywood heavyweights and supported by activist judges to normalize homosexual marriage, it was commonly understood without a hint of controversy that the institution of marriage owed its very existence to society’s vital interest in responsible procreation and childrearing. Prop 8 simply continues what every society has known and practiced: children and society are far better off when traditional marriage is maintained.”

The petition points out that “our Constitution does not mandate the traditional definition of marriage, but neither does our Constitution condemn it. Rather, it leaves the definition of marriage in the hands of the People, to be resolved through the democratic process in each State.”

“The Supreme Court has made it very clear that the age-old definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is constitutional as a matter of state public policy,” explained lead counsel Charles J. Cooper with the Cooper & Kirk law firm. “The lower court decisions essentially rejected all relevant Supreme Court and appellate court precedent while attacking the character and judgment of millions of Californians. We are hopeful and confident that the Supreme Court will grant review and ultimately uphold its precedent and the will of the people.”

“Whether the Constitution requires California to eliminate the most longstanding, universal, and fundamental institution—marriage consisting of one man and one woman—is a question that should be settled by the Supreme Court,” said Pugno. “It is our greatest hope that the Court will once again reaffirm traditional marriage as fundamental to our very existence and survival.”

TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE SUPPORTERS PREPARE TO APPEAL TO UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT



Prop 8 remains in effect until decision by nation’s highest court
June 5, 2012
CONTACT: Carla Hass 916-293-2046

SACRAMENTO – The following statement can be attributed to Andy Pugno, general counsel for ProtectMarriage.com, the official proponents of Prop 8, regarding the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in the Perry vs Brown case.

“Today’s split decision by the Ninth Circuit denying our request to have the Perry vs Brown case heard by the full court comes as no surprise. We have anticipated for since the beginning that the case
will ultimately be decided by the United States Supreme Court.

“However, it is heartening to note that three judges described their colleague’s position as a “gross misapplication” of case law in arriving at their decision to destroy the historical definition of marriage between a man and woman. It is also worth noting that the dissenting justices referenced the fact that overturning Prop 8 overrules the will of more than seven million people, as we have argued since the start of this case.

“Perhaps the most positive news from today’s decision is that the court has stayed the decision up to and including the time that the United States Supreme Court finally decides this case. We will promptly file our appeal to the nation’s highest court and look forward to a positive outcome on behalf of the millions of Californians who believe in traditional marriage.”

OFFICIAL PROPONENTS APPEAL PROP 8 DECISION 
TO ENTIRE NINTH CIRCUIT

February 21, 2012
CONTACT: Carla Hass 916-293-2046

SACRAMENTO—Today the ProtectMarriage.com coalition, the official proponents of Proposition 8 who were designated by the California Supreme Court to represent the State’s interest in upholding Prop 8, asked the entire Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to review a smaller panel’s 2-1 ruling invalidating California’s state constitutional amendment protecting marriage as between a man and a woman.

“After careful consideration, we determined that asking for reconsideration by the full Ninth Circuit is in the best interests of defending Prop 8. This gives the entire Ninth Circuit a chance to correct this anomalous decision by just two judges overturning the vote of seven million Californians,” said Andy Pugno, general counsel for Proposition 8’s official proponents.
“The majority opinion by the smaller panel conflicts with every state and federal appellate court decision — including binding decisions of the Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit itself — that has upheld the traditional marriage laws under the federal Constitution as rationally related to the state’s interest in responsible procreation and child-rearing,” he added.

“On behalf of the seven million Californians who voted to restore marriage as between a man and a woman, we think it’s important that the full Ninth Circuit has an opportunity to consider our appeal and maintain uniformity of the court’s legal precedents,” Pugno said.
Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel Brian Raum, a member of the legal defense team for Prop 8, added:

“The people of Californians deserve to have their vote on marriage defended before the full appeals court. The panel’s ruling mischaracterized the purpose of marriage, failed to faithfully and fairly interpret the Constitution, and disregarded every relevant appellate and Supreme Court precedent in American history.”

PROP 8 PROPONENTS WIN KEY RULING: NINTH CIRCUIT FINDS LOWER COURT’S 
DECISION TO BROADCAST TRIAL RECORDINGS “IMPLAUSIBLE” AND “ILLOGICAL”

February 2, 2012
CONTACT: Carla Hass 916-834-9969

Declaring it to be an “abuse of discretion” and an “‘implausible’ and ‘illogical’ application of the law,” today the Ninth Circuit reversed a lower court’s earlier decision that would have allowed the public broadcast of courtroom trial recordings in the federal constitutional challenge against Proposition 8.

The Ninth Circuit’s decision read, in part:

“We conclude that the district court abused its discretion by ordering the unsealing of the recording of the trial notwithstanding the trial judge’s commitment to the parties that the recording would not be publicly broadcast. The trial judge on several occasions unequivocally promised that the recording of the trial would be used only in chambers and not publicly broadcast.” (See Opinion, page 4.)

Allowing the recordings to be publicly broadcast, the Ninth Circuit explained, posed “a grave threat” and would cause “serious damage” to the integrity of the judicial system. (Opn., p. 19.)

Andy Pugno, general counsel for ProtectMarriage.com, the official proponents of Proposition 8, wecomed the ruling, saying:

“The issue here was not whether federal trials should be televised. Instead, this is about a judge who became so obsessed with striking down traditional marriage that he found himself disregarding the law and turning the trial proceedings into a sham. If the Ninth Circuit had allowed this misconduct to stand, it would have even further damaged the public’s confidence in the way this case has been handled.”

Another member of the Prop 8 legal defense team, Alliance Defense Fund Senior Legal Counsel Austin R. Nimocks, said:

“The American people deserve a court system that upholds the integrity of the judicial process. The 9th Circuit correctly ruled that when a trial judge makes a solemn promise, as Judge Walker did by assuring the parties that the trial video would not be publicly released, the judiciary must not be allowed to renege on its pledge. To rule otherwise would severely undermine the public’s confidence in the federal courts by breaching the bond of trust between the people and their justice system.”

STATE SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS PROPONENTS’ 
RIGHT TO DEFEND MARRIAGE AMENDMENT

November 17, 2011
Carla Hass 916-834-9969

SACRAMENTO – ProtectMarriage.com, the official proponent in the Perry v. Brown case to uphold Prop 8, released the following statement which can be attributed to general counsel Andy Pugno:

“We are delighted that the Supreme Court has clearly reaffirmed our right, as the official proponents of Prop 8, to defend over seven million Californians who amended their own State Constitution to restore traditional marriage. This victory is an enormous boost for Proposition 8 as well as the integrity of the initiative process itself.

“This ruling is a huge disaster for the homosexual marriage extremists. The Court totally rejected their demands that their lawsuit to invalidate Proposition 8 should win by default with no defense. Their entire strategy relied on finding a biased judge and keeping the voters completely unrepresented. Today that all crumbled before their eyes.

“Today’s decision is a critical step in our three-year battle to uphold marriage between a man and a woman. Now we can return our focus to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and our appeal to reverse the lower court’s decision declaring Proposition 8 and traditional marriage itself ‘unconstitutional.’ ”

“In a postelection challenge to a voter-approved initiative measure, the official proponents of the initiative are authorized under California law to appear and assert the state’s interest in the initiative’s validity and to appeal a judgment invalidating the measure when the public officials who ordinarily defend the measure or appeal such a judgment decline to do so.” (page 5.)

“[W]e conclude that when public officials decline to defend a voter-approved initiative or assert the state’s interest in the initiative’s validity, under California law the official proponents of an initiative measure are authorized to assert the state’s interest in the validity of the initiative and to appeal a judgment invalidating the measure.” (page 23.)

Andy Pugno responds to Judge Ware’s orders regarding digital trial recordings

September 19, 2011
Contact: Carla Hass, ‪ ‪ 916-834-9969 ‬ ‬‬‬

SACRAMENTO– Andy Pugno, General Counsel to ProtectMarriage.com, the official sponsors of Prop 8, released the following statement in response to the decision and order issued by U.S. District Chief Judge James Ware in the Perry v. Brown lawsuit:

“Today’s decision is bizarre for many reasons, but mostly because it defies a direct order of the U.S. Supreme Court. We will appeal immediately to the Ninth Circuit and ask them to restore some sanity to this case.”

Brian Raum makes a statement at the California Supreme Court regarding the issue of Prop 8 Proponents’ standing.

September 06, 2011
Contact: Carla Hass, ‪ ‪ 916-834-9969 ‬ ‬‬‬

The following statement about the hearing in California Supreme Court on the Perry v. Brown case can be attributed to Brain Raum, Senior Legal Counsel, Alliance Defense Fund, co-counsel for ProtectMarriage.com.

“Proposition 8 is a duly enacted law of the State of California, having been placed rigidly within the four corners of the California Constitution by over seven million Californians. As we will recall, the vote on Proposition 8 involved an unprecedented turnout and occurred after months of public debate and an $80 million campaign. The voters of California understood well the issues and what they were doing with Proposition 8’s enactment.

“Upon its enactment in 2008, three separate lawsuits were filed in the California Supreme Court to challenge Proposition 8. When the attorney general and governor refused to defend Proposition 8, its official proponents intervened to defend it. The California Supreme Court not only embraced intervention by the official proponents, but never once questioned their right to defend the California Constitution especially when state officials’ refused to do so. In their history, neither the California Supreme Court, nor the Courts of Appeal, has ever questioned the right of official proponents to intervene and defend their enacted propositions.

“When this case was initiated in federal court, the attorney general and governor again refused to defend the California Constitution. Yet, the people deserved to have their Constitution vigorously defended. The official proponents of Proposition 8 again intervened and both the attorney general and district court acknowledged that the official proponents possessed an inexorable right to defend this initiative.

“It is neither extraordinary nor unprecedented that the 9th Circuit has asked the California Supreme Court to affirm the direct legal interests of the official proponents. At stake is the people’s fundamental right to exercise rightful control over their government through the initiative process. Politicians should not be allowed to nullify a democratic act of the people by refusing to defend it. The people of California have a right to be defended, so the official proponents must be permitted to continue to defend that law throughout the appeal process. Otherwise, state officials will succeed in indirectly invalidating a measure that they had no power to strike down directly.

“California Courts have so well understood the concept that all political power is inherent in the people that they have routinely recognized the legal interests of official proponents to defend initiatives in court. This principle and practice is so ingrained into the fabric of California’s jurisprudence that scarcely was there a need to inscribe their existence.

“We appreciate the time and attention that the California Supreme Court is obviously giving to this important matter and look forward to their opinion affirming the interests that official proponents have in defending their initiatives.”

“GAY MARRIAGE” GOVERNOR NOMINATES PROP 8 CRITIC FOR STATE SUPREME COURT

Nomination Comes Just Weeks Before High Court Decides Legal Standing of Prop 8 Proponents
July 28, 2011
Contact: Carla Hass, ‪ ‪ 916-834-9969 ‬ ‬‬‬

SACRAMENTO—Just weeks before the California Supreme Court is expected to decide whether the official proponents of Proposition 8 have legal standing to defend the measure in court, Gov. Jerry Brown has nominated Goodwin Liu, an openly anti-Prop 8 candidate, to the high court.

“Jerry Brown’s refusal as Attorney General to defend California’s majority vote for Prop 8 at the outset of the Perry vs. Schwarzenegger lawsuit was a dereliction of duty,” said Andy Pugno, legal counsel for ProtectMarriage.com, the official sponsor of Prop 8. “Now, by nominating someone who openly opposed and testified against Prop 8, to the very court which will decide our right to defend this measure, Brown is continuing his vendetta against the millions of Californians who voted to support traditional marriage.”

Prior to the voters’ passage of Proposition 8, nominee Goodwin Liu testified against the measure’s passage at a joint public hearing of the Assembly and Senate Judiciary Committees.

Then, in an opinion editorial published in The Los Angeles Times just after Prop 8 was passed, Liu, then an associate dean and law professor at UC Berkeley, continued to express his anti-Prop 8 stance:

“Changing the Constitution — the state’s paramount law — in such a momentous way arguably calls for deliberative rather than direct democracy….The more familiar we become with gay spouses and their children — as our friends, neighbors and co-workers — the more gay marriage will become an unremarkable thread of our social fabric. Proposition 8 may then come to be viewed, in the long run, not as an enduring constitutional principle but as the will of a narrow and ultimately temporary majority.”

“Liu’s statement that gay marriage will become an ‘unremarkable’ thread of our social fabric, despite the fact that it would topple a societal norm found in every population since the beginning of time, speaks volumes about his bias on this issue,” said Pugno.

Liu also joined the effort to invalidate Prop 8 after the 2008 election. In a friend-of-the-court brief filed by Liu, he argued that the traditional definition of marriage violated the equal-protection guarantees of the state constitution.
“There is no doubt Liu’s opposition to Prop 8 was well known by Governor Brown in deciding to appoint him to the Supreme Court,” said Pugno.

PROTECTMARRIAGE.COM RESPONDS TO CHIEF JUDGE JAMES WARE’S RULING ON PROP 8

‬‬‬June 14, 2011
CONTACT: Carla Hass, ‪ ‪ 916 834 9969 ‬

SACRAMENTO–ProtectMarriage.com, the official sponsors of Prop 8, released the following statement about a decision and order issued by U.S. District Chief Judge James Ware in the Perry v. Brown lawsuit before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division.

“The ProtectMarriage.com legal team obviously disagrees with today’s ruling,” said Charles J. Cooper of Cooper & Kirk, lead counsel for Protectmarriage.com. “Our legal team will appeal that decision and continue our tireless efforts to defend the will of the people of California to preserve marriage as the union of a man and a woman.”

Argument for Setting Aside Prop 8 Ruling Heard by New Chief Justice

June 13, 2011
CONTACT: Carla Hass ‪ ‪ 916-834-9969 ‬ ‬‬‬

Argument for Setting Aside Prop 8 Ruling Heard by New Chief Justice

The following statement about the hearing in United States Federal Court on the Perry v. Brown case can be attributed to Austin Nimocks, Senior Legal Counsel, Alliance Defense Fund, co-counsel for ProtectMarriage.com

“Judges have a duty not only to apply the law without bias, but also to do so in a way that avoids even the mere appearance of impropriety. This idea is a cornerstone of the judiciary. Thus, the Supreme Court has long been clear that “no man can be a judge in his own case and no man is permitted to try cases where he has an interest in the outcome.” Against the backdrop of these bedrock principles, it is clear that the ruling of Judge Walker must be vacated.

“Over 8 months after declaring unconstitutional the democratic decision of over 7 million Californians to reaffirm traditional marriage, Judge Walker publicly revealed that he has been in a committed same-sex relationship for over 10 years. Instead of revealing these facts to the parties and their counsel, Judge Walker consciously kept them to himself even though the subject matter of the case presented an issue in which Judge Walker and his partner had a direct interest. Judge Walker’s course of conduct in this case heightens the appearance of partiality. Indeed, on two separate occasions, for example, his orders in this case have already been reversed, including a dramatic intervention by the United States Supreme Court to stop his effort to televise the trial.

“While parties have the option to request that a judge recuse himself, they can only do that when they possess the information necessary to make such a request. When judges rule on cases in which they possess a direct and substantial personal interest, there can be no justice. And when judges fail to disclose all relevant facts concerning their potential personal interest in the outcome of a case and permit the appearance of partiality, the entirety of our judicial process is undermined.

“Judge Walker’s decision must be vacated and reconsidered by a neutral judge who has no direct and substantial personal interest in the outcome and whose impartiality cannot reasonably be questioned, as required by federal law. Only then can the court ensure that this case will be decided in accordance with the high standards that apply to the judicial process.”

Prop 8 Proponents Move to Throw Out Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Cite Judge’s Long-Term Gay Relationship, Failure to Disclose.

April 25, 2011
Contact: Carla Hass, ‪ ‪ 916-834-9969 ‬ ‬‬‬

SACRAMENTO – Attorneys for ProtectMarriage.com filed a motion today asking the U.S. District Court to vacate former Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision invalidating Prop 8, on the grounds that Walker failed to disclose a long-term, same-sex relationship, and should have recused himself before trial.

Federal law requires a judge to disqualify himself whenever the judge knows that he has any personal interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the case, or any other circumstances in which the judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned.

“The American people have a right to a fair judicial process, free from even the appearance of bias or prejudice,” said Andrew Pugno, general counsel for the official proponents of Prop 8. “Judge Walker’s ten-year-long same-sex relationship creates the unavoidable impression that he was not the impartial judge the law requires. He was obligated to either recuse himself or provide full disclosure of this relationship at the outset of the case. These circumstances demand setting aside his decision.”

The core issue presented in the Perry v. Brown case is whether the U.S. Constitution requires the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex relationships.

“Under governing California law Judge Walker currently cannot marry his partner. But his ruling in this case, if ultimately upheld, would give him a right to do so,” Pugno pointed out.

“We deeply regret the necessity of this motion. But if the courts are to require others to follow the law, the courts themselves must do so as well,” Pugno added.

“We are not suggesting that a gay or lesbian judge could not sit on this case,” Pugno said. “Rather, our motion is all about the fundamental principle that no judge is permitted to try a case where he has an interest in the outcome. Surely, no one would suggest that Judge Walker could order state officials to issue a marriage license to him and his partner. Yet it must be presumed that that is precisely what has occurred.”

Proposition 8 was approved by over 7 million California voters in the 2008 general election, to reaffirm marriage in the California Constitution as only between a man and a woman.

Official Proponents of Proposition 8 Request Return of Trial Video Tapes

Former judge used tapes in speech, aired nationally

April 14, 2011
Contact: Carla Hass, ‪ ‪ 916-834-9966 ‬ ‬‬‬

SACRAMENTO — The official proponents of Proposition 8, the voter approved initiative limiting marriage to a man and a woman in California, have asked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to order the now-retired trial judge in the Perry v. Brown case to return a video tape of the trial proceedings, which had been sealed in the court record, that the judge kept upon leaving office.

The following statement can be attributed to Andrew Pugno, general counsel for the Prop 8 proponents:

“The American people deserve a court system that upholds the integrity of the judicial process. Judge Walker’s public showing of the Perry trial video was prohibited by governing court rules, court orders, and the U.S. Supreme Court. His actions directly contradict his solemn commitment in open court that he would use the recording only in his private chambers to assist him in evaluating the case. This kind of behavior threatens to undermine the public’s confidence in the federal court system.”

The following is an excerpt from the motion filed by Prop 8 proponents:

What’s done is done. Judge Walker’s speech, and C-SPAN’s public dissemination of it, cannot be undone, and given that Judge Walker has recently retired from the federal bench, he cannot be disciplined. See In re Charge of Judicial Misconduct, 91 F.3d 90, 91 (9th Cir. Judicial Council 1996). But he can be ordered to cease further unlawful and improper disclosures of the trial recordings, or any portion thereof, and to return to this Court any copies of the trial recordings in his possession, custody, or control. We respectfully request that he be ordered to do so. We also request that Appellees be ordered to return their copies of the trial recordings, which were provided to them by then-Chief Judge Walker for their use in closing argument below and in the appeal to this Court. Putting aside that providing copies of the trial recordings to Appellees also violated Local Rule 77-3, the policies of the Judicial Conference and this Court’s Judicial Council, and then-Chief Judge Walker’s assurances in open court, the purpose for which they were provided has now been fulfilled, and Appellees’ continued possession of the recordings can no longer be justified.

Proponents Praise Court Decision to Keep Prop 8 in Place

March 23, 2011
Carla Hass ‪ ‪ 916-293-2046 ‬ ‬ 
 ‬‬

The following statement can be attributed to Andy Pugno, General Counsel for ProtectMarriage.com, the official proponents of Proposition 8:

SACRAMENTO — “The Ninth Circuit did the right thing by rejecting the attempt to suspend Prop 8 and allow same-sex marriage, contrary to the vote of the people, long before the legal challenge against Prop 8 reaches a final decision.

”Based on sound legal case law and precedent, we urged the Court to keep the current stay in place while we appeal the earlier District court decision. By keeping Prop 8 in effect while the case is still pending, the Ninth Circuit has avoided the unnecessary confusion that would come with another brief legalization of same-sex marriage.

”This decision is a victory both for Prop 8 supporters and for the initiative process itself. Voters must have confidence that their votes will count and not be arbitrarily thrown out simply because someone files a lawsuit.”

ProtectMarriage.com responds to President Obama’s directive to the Justice Department to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act

Plaintiff’s in the Prop 8 case request the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ stay be lifted to allow homosexual marriage in California
February 23, 2011
Contact: Carla Hass, ‪ ‪ 916-834-9969 ‬ ‬‬‬
By Andy Pugno

The following statement can be attributed to Andy Pugno, General Counsel for ProtectMarriage.com, regarding today’s decision by President Obama to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Amendment and plaintiff’s request in the Perry v Schwarzenegger case to lift the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ stay to allow homosexual marriage in California:

SACRAMENTO—“The President’s abandonment of DOMA just further shows the disconnect between the will of the people and government authorities. It also shows the enormous political power of gay rights advocates, which ironically disproves their claim to need special legal protection as a vulnerable minority.

“Regarding the plaintiff’s latest filing with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the voters’ passage of Prop 8 to reaffirm traditional marriage deserves to be honored. There is no reason to nullify the election results by allowing gay marriage while this case is still pending. This is just another attempt to impose the minority’s view of marriage on all of California by judicial fiat.”

California Supreme Court’s decision to decide the Ninth Circuit’s question of standing
Press Release

February 16, 2011
Contact: Carla Hass, ‪ ‪ 916-834-9969 ‬ ‬‬‬

The following statement can be attributed to Andy Pugno, General Counsel for ProtectMarriage.com, on the California Supreme Court’s decision to decide whether sponsors of initiatives can legally defend them.

SACRAMENTO – “ProtectMarriage.com is pleased that the California Supreme Court will decide whether the official proponents of a voter initiative have the legal right to defend it when government officials abandon their sworn duty to do so.

“We fully supported the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ directing this critical question to the California Supreme Court in hopes that it will put to rest any ambiguity of our right to defend the votes of over seven million Californians who reaffirmed marriage as only between a man and a woman.”

PROP 8 PROPONENTS TO APPEAL NINTH CIRCUIT 
RULING AGAINST TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE

February 7, 2011
CONTACT: Carla Hass 916-834-9969

Court is Deeply Divided in its Opinion

The following statement can be attributed to Andy Pugno, general counsel for the ProtectMarriage.com coalition, the official proponents of Proposition 8, in response to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision to uphold the US District Court’s ruling that declared Prop 8 unconstitutional:

“It’s no surprise that the 9th Circuit’s decision is completely out of step with every other federal appellate and Supreme Court decision in American history on the subject of marriage. Ever since the beginning of this case, we’ve known that the battle to preserve traditional marriage will ultimately be won or lost not here, but rather in the U.S. Supreme Court.

“We will immediately appeal this misguided decision that disregards the will of more than 7 million Californians who voted to restore marriage as the unique union of only a man and woman. We are confident that the rights of California voters will finally win out.

“With the sponsorship of the Hollywood elite, this lawsuit has been pushed forward as an assault on traditional marriage, with the help of a judge who failed to disclose his own long-term homosexual relationship while presiding over a case seeking the legalization of same-sex marriage.

“Although the court was deeply divided in its ruling against Proposition 8, the court also confirmed what the California Supreme Court has already concluded: that we have legal standing as representatives of the voters to assert California’s interests in the validity of Prop 8. Our path to the U.S. Supreme Court is now very clear. We are confident that the law, history, and the repeatedly expressed will of the American people will eventually gain a fair hearing, and traditional marriage will be upheld and protected.”

ProtectMarriage.com Responds to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ Order on Issue of Legal Standing

January 04, 2011
Contact: Carla Hass, ‪ ‪ 916-834-9969 ‬ ‬‬‬

SACRAMENTO – The following statement can be attributed to Andrew Pugno, general counsel of the ProtectMarriage.com coalition in the Perry v Schwarzenegger case in response to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ order for Certification to California State Supreme Court regarding the issue of standing:

“We urged the Ninth Circuit to pose this question to the California Supreme Court if they had any doubt about our standing and we are gratified that they have done so. We hope the California Supreme Court will answer the Ninth Circuit’s question affirmatively.

“This gives the state Supreme Court an opportunity to clearly reaffirm the right of official proponents to legally defend voter-passed initiatives they successfully enact, particularly when public officials abdicate their constitutional duties by refusing to enforce and defend the law.”