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C065920 #10

C065920 #10

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Published by Equality Case Files
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Published by: Equality Case Files on Jun 16, 2011
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IC06592010
StateofCalifornia
DEPARTMENTOFJUSTICEEDMUNDG.BROWNJR.
AttorneyGeneral
455GOLDENGATEAVENUE,SUITE11000SANFRANCISCO,CA94102-7004
Public:(415)703-5500Telephone:(415)703-5970Facsimile:(415)703-1234E-Mail:Tamar.Pachter@doj.ca.gov
September8,2010HonorableFrederickK.Ohlrich,ClerkSupremeCourtofCalifornia350McAllisterStreet,FirstFloorSanFrancisco,California94102-4797
SUPREMECOURT
FILE.D
Frederlcl~K.
Ol11rich
Clerk
RE:
JoshuaBeckley
v.
ArnoldSchwarzenegger,etal.(Perry)
SupremeCourtCaseNo.S186072
.-m=c.
ifli~
.....o...
Deputy
DearMr.Ohlrich:
/
.
RespondentAttorneyGeneralEdmundG.BrownJI.submitsthisletterbriefinresponsetotheCourt'sorderandaskstheCourttodenythepetitionforreview.Petitionerhasestablishednoneofthefourpossiblegroundsforreview(seeCal.RulesofCourt,rule8.500(b)),andthereforethedecisionoftheCourtofAppealdismissingthepetitionforwritofmandateshouldstand.
j.
Inshort,thepetitionforwritofmandateistoolittle,toolate.Inthenearlytwoyears'sinceProposition8passedin2008,theAttorneyGeneralhasconsistentlyrecognizeditsconstitutionaldeficiencybecause,asthisCourtconcludedin
InreMarriageCases
(2008)43Ca1.4th757,denyingsame-sexcouplestherighttomarryviolatesfoundationalprinciplesofequalprotectionanddueprocessoflaw.TheUnitedStatesDistrictCourtreachedthesameresultapplyingthelensofthefederalConstitution.Yet,untiljustdaysbeforetheexpirationofadeadlinetoappeal,noone,includingpetitionerhere,wenttocourtwiththesuggestionthattheAttorneyGeneralwasfailingtoperformhisduty.Petitioner'slast-minuteinvocationofaconstitutionalcrisisnotwithstanding,theAttorneyGeneral'sdecisionnottoappealin
Perry
v.
Schwarzenegger
fromajudgmentheagreeswithisanordinaryandsoundexercise-ofthediscretionsecuredbylawtohisoffice.Indeed;itispetitioner'sdemandthatthejudicialbranchacttocontroltheexerciseofdiscretionbytheexecutivebranchthatmightinvitesuchacrisis.SummaryofRelevantFactsandProceedingsThispetitionarisesfromafederalcourtchallengetoProposition8.Proposition8wasaninitiativemeasureapprovedattheNovember4,2008electionthataddedsection7.5toarticleIoftheCaliforniaConstitution,providing:"OnlymarriagebetweenamanandawomanisvalidorrecognizedinCalifornia."ThemeasureoverrodethisCourt'sdecisionholdingthattheCalifomiaConstitutionprotectstherightofsame-sexcouplestomarryinCalifornia.
(SeeInreMarriageCases,supra,
43Ca1.4th757.)
In
Strauss
v.
Horton
(2009)46Cal.4th364,thisCourt
~~-------
--------
 
September8,2010Page2upheldProposition8againstastateconstitutionalchallenge,Inthatcase,theproponentsofProposition8defendedthemeasure.TheAttorneyGeneral'arguedthat,whilethemeasurewasanamendmentoftheConstitutionandnotarevision,itwasneverthelessan
ultravires
amendmentbecausetheinitiativepowerwasneverintendedtoempowervoterstostripfundamentalrightsfromtheirfellowcitizens.
(ld.
atp.390.)AfterthisCOUliissueditsdecisionin
Straussv.Horton,
adifferentsetofplaintiffsfiledasuitintheUnitedStatesDistrictCourtfortheNorthernDistrictofCaliforniastyled
Perryv..Schwarzenegger,
CaseNumber0.9-CV-2292(VRW),inwhichtheyallegedthatProposition8violatedtheDueProcessandEqualProtectionClausesoftheU.S.Constitution.The
Perry
plaintiffssuedtheGovernorandtheAttorneyGeneral,amongothers;theStateofCaliforniaisnotnamedasadefendant.TheAttomeyGeneraladmittedthematerialallegationsofthecomplaintandtookno.activepartinthetrial.BoththeGovernorandtheAttorneyGeneral,however,toldthedistrictcourtthattheywereboundbyandwouldenforceProposition8unlessthecourtorderedotherwise.TheproponentsofProposition8soughtandobtainedleavetointerveneanddefendedthemeasurethroughathree-weektrial.OnAugust4,2010theHonorableVaughnR.Walkerruledin
Perry
thatProposition8violatedbothfederalDueProcessandEqualProtection,andorderedthatapermanentinjunctionissuepreventinganyenforcementofProposition8.Theproponentsfiledanoticeofappealthesameday.OnAugust12,thedistrictcourtenteredapermanentinjunction,theeffectofwhichwassubsequentlystayedbyamotionspaneloftheNinthCircuitCourtofAppeals.
In
opposingtheproponents'requestforastaypendingappeal,theAttorneyGeneralstatedthathedidnotplantoappealthejudgment.TheGovemorhasnotindicatedifhewillappeal.ThedeadlinetofileanoticeofappealisSeptember13.
1
Indenyingtheproponents'motionforastaypendingappeal,JudgeWalkerexpresseddoubtthattheproponentswouldhavefederalappellatestandingabsentanappealbytheGovernorortheAttorneyGeneralbecausetheinjunctiondoesnotoperateagainsttheproponents.TheNinthCircuitmotionspaneldeclinedtoaddresstheappellatestandingissueinitsordergrantingthestay,butorderedthepartiestoaddressappellatestandingintheirbriefsonthemerits.
SummaryofArgument
Petitionerwaiteduntiltheeleventhhourtoseekmandanius,eventhoughtheAttorneyGeneralhasbeeninvolvedinchallengestoProposition8since2008,andhasneverdefendedthesubstanceofthemeasureinstateorfederalcourt.Petitionerdoesnotcomplainofthis;therelief
1
Assumingthatthe30-dayperiodtofileanoticeofappealbeganonthedateofentryoftheinjunction(ratherthanAugust4,2010,whenthedistrictcourtentereditsfindingsandconclusionsinthedocket),thetimetofileanoticeofappealin
Perryv.Schwarzenegger
wouldexpireonSeptember11,201O,whichisaSaturday.Therefore,thedeadlinetofileisSeptember13,whichisthenextcourtday.(SeeFed.RulesApp.Proc.,rules4(a)and26(a).)
 
September8,2010Page3heseeksismuchnarrower.PetitionerfearsthatthefederalcourtswillnilethattheproponentsofProposition8lackstandingtopursue
their
appealofthejudgmentin
Perry
v.
Schwarzenegger.
It
isthereforetoensure
proponents'
participationinthefederalappealthatpetitionerseekstocompeltheAttorneyGeneraltofileanoticeofappeal.ButtheAttorneyGeneralhasnodutytoappealatall,letalonetofileanappealhehasdeterminedislegallyunjustified,solelytomanufacturefederalappellatestandinginprivateparties;Therearemanyfaultyassumptionsunderlyingthepetition,butforpurposesofthisresponsetwoissuesstandout:NolawrequirestheAttorneyGeneraltofileanoticeofappeal,.andhisdecisionnottoappealfromajudgmentwithwhichheagreesanddidnotresistattrialcannotbeanabuseofdiscretion.AsthisCourtwellknows,suchanappealwouldbefrivolous.Thereisnobasisformandamus.
ThereisNoMandatoryDutyEnforceablebyMandamus
PetitionerinsiststhatGovernmentCodesections12511and12512requiretheAttorneyGeneraltofileanoticeofappealin
Perry.
(Petitionatpp.8-10.)HisreasoningisthatthesestatutesrequiretheAttorneyGeneraltodefendstatelaw.Heleapsfromthatpremise,whichisnotreallyinissuehere,totheconclusionthattheAttorneyGeneralmustfileanoticeofappealtoallowprivatepartiestopursueafederalappeal.Butpetitionercitesnoauthorityforthisinterpretationofthestatutes,andtheirplainlanguagedoesnotsupportit.
2.
Petitioneralsomisunderstandsthenatureofministerialdutiesthatmandamusmaybeusedtodirect.ThisCourthasruledthataministerialdutythatcanbeenforcedbymandamusisanobligationtoperformaspecificactinamannerprescribedbylawwheneveragivenstateoffactsexists,withoutregardtoanypersonaljudgmentastotheproprietyoftheact.
(Kavanaughv.WestSonomaCountyUnionHighSchoolDist.
(2003)29Cal.4th911,916.)GovernmentCodesections1:2.511and12512donotqualifyunderthisstandard,certainlynottocompelthereliefsoughthere.Inanyevent,atthislatedatepetitionerdoesnotseekanorderdirectingtheAttorneyGeneraltodefendProposition8onappeal.Instead,petitioneraskstheCourttocompeltheAttorneyGeneralfileanoticeofappealintheunsubstantiatedhopethatthemerefilingofa
2
PetitioneralsoquotesCaliforniaConstitutionArticleIII,section3.5,butdoesnotexplainhowitpertainstothisproceeding.(Petitionatp.10.)Thatprovisionhasnorelevancehere.TheAttorneyGeneralhasneverrefusedtoenforceProposition8.Tothecontrary,theAttorneyGeneralstatedinpapersfiledintheDistrictCourtthathewasboundbyProposition8andthisCourt'sdecisionin
Straussv.Horton,
andstatedthathewouldcontinuetoenforceProposition8asrequiredunlessanduntilacourtorderedotherwise.
In
anyevent,thisargumentwasnotbeforetheCourtofAppealandsoisnotproperlybeforethisCourtonapetitionforreview.(Cal.RulesofCourt,rule8.500(c)(1).)

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