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Ninth Circuit Consolidates California Prop 8 Appeals

By Robyn Hagan Cain on November 23, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

ProtectMarriage has been enjoying favorable court rulings this month. Last week, the California Supreme Court ruled that the group has standing to continue its challenge to a federal court decision finding California Prop 8 unconstitutional; this week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted the group's motion to consolidate its challenges before the appellate court.

ProtectMarriage is litigating California Prop 8 on two fronts: constitutionality and judicial misconduct. After marriage equality advocates sued and won an injunction against the enforcement of Prop 8, ProtectMarriage stepped into the state's shoes to defend the ballot initiative.

In a separate appeal, the group is alleging that now-retired-Judge Vaughan Walker, who presided over the trial, committed judicial misconduct by refusing to recuse himself from the trial because he is gay.

In a departure from the status quo that is unlikely to be repeated, marriage equality proponents agreed with ProtectMarriage that consolidation best-served the interests of all parties involved. ProtectMarriage's motion to consolidate noted that the Perry plaintiffs agreed that the action would serve judicial economy and the interests of justice.

There are still tangential issues to the California Prop 8 validity determination that ProtectMarriage will continue to litigate separately. You may remember that Judge Walker videotaped the trial for personal review, and made the tapes available to the attorneys in the case. Prop 8 opponents and the media want the tapes to be released; ProtectMarriage claims that public release of the tapes could compromise the safety of witnesses in the case.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments on December 5 regarding the tapes' release.

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