(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Shani Lyons;Melanie Franklin
California's highest court says it will hear arguments right after Labor Day on an issue that is likely to prove decisive for the fate of the state's voter-enacted ban on same-sex marriages.
The California Supreme Court scheduled a Sept. 6 hearing to consider whether ballot initiative sponsors have authority to fight court rulings on their measures if the governor and attorney general refuse to appeal.
The question is pivotal to the future of the 2008 ban, known as Proposition 8, because former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gov. Jerry Brown, in his previous role as attorney general, refused last year to challenge a federal court ruling that struck down the law as a violation of gay Californians' civil rights.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is reviewing an appeal brought by the group that qualified Proposition 8, but said it could not reach the broader constitutional issues until it determined if the group had legal standing. The appeals court has asked the Supreme Court for its guidance in interpreting state law.