Perry v. BrownAnnotate this Case
This case arose from litigation challenging the validity, under the United States Constitution, of the initiative measure (Proposition 8) that added a section to the California Constitution providing that "[o]nly marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California" (Cal. Const., art. I, section 7.5). The Ninth Circuit posed the following procedural issue to the court, "[w]hether under article II, section 8 of the California Constitution, or otherwise under California law, the official proponents of an initiative measure possess either a particularized interest in the initiative's validity or the authority to assert the State's interest in the initiative's validity, which would enable them to defend the constitutionality of the initiative upon its adoption or appeal a judgment invalidating the initiative, when the public officials charged with that duty refused to do so." In response, the court concluded that when the public officials who ordinarily defended a challenged state law or appealed a judgment invalidating the law declined to do so, under article II, section 8 of the California Constitution and the relevant provisions of the Election Code, the official proponents of a voter-approved initiative measure were authorized to assert the state's interest in the initiative's validity, enabling the proponents to defend the constitutionality of the initiative and to appeal a judgment invalidating the initiative.