At least sixty amicus curiae briefs have been filed with the California Supreme Court, variously arguing for and against to the constitutionality of Proposition 8. Opponents include internet giant Google, Inc., which argues the Proposition denies employees “basic rights.”
Proposition 8 is the successful California ballot initiative which overruled a California Supreme Court decision that imposed same-sex “marriage” on the state. Three lawsuits filed by several cities, counties, and same-sex couples argue that the measure is unconstitutional because it could not be enacted simply as a voter initiative, KPIX reports.
Amicus curiae briefs, meaning “friend of the court” briefs, are filed by people who are not official parties to a case but have interests in its outcome.
A total of 60 amicus curiae briefs were filed in the Proposition 8 case, with 17 supporting the proposition and 43 arguing it should be overturned.
On Thursday Google’s official blog published an entry titled “Supporting Equality.” In that entry, Google said that many people were concerned with the impact the ballot measure could have “on the personal lives of people they work with every day, and on California's ability to attract and retain a diverse mix of employees from around the world.”
Google explained that this is the reason they filed an amicus curiae brief supporting challenges to Proposition 8. “Denying employees basic rights isn't right, and it isn't good for businesses. We are committed to preserving fundamental rights for every one of the people who work hard to make Google a success.”
Google joined other commercial groups in a brief against Proposition 8. Other amicus curiae briefs favoring and opposing the proposition were filed by religious organizations—including the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Conference—law professors, and state legislators, .
A group of present and former legislators headed by Democratic State Assembly and Senate leaders supported the plaintiffs’ claim that Proposition 8 should be considered to be a constitutional revision that would require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature before being submitted to voters.
Legislators supporting Proposition 8 argued that overturning the proposition would unconstitutionally “alter the balance of governmental powers by expanding the role of the judiciary.”
When the lawsuits were first filed in November, the General Counsel of ProtectMarriage.com – Yes on 8, Andrew Pugno called them “frivolous and regrettable” and characterized them as an attempt to “invalidate the decision of California voters to enshrine traditional marriage in California's constitution.”
“These same groups filed an identical case with the California Supreme Court months ago, which was summarily dismissed,” Pugno said. “We will vigorously defend the People's decision to enact Proposition 8.”
The panel judging the lawsuit could hold a hearing as early as March and will then issue a ruling within three months.