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Proposition 8: A scolding for Schwarzenegger and Brown

December 6, 2010 | 12:36 pm

In Monday's editorial on the Proposition 8 hearing, The Times' editorial board argued that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown should have defended the initiative in federal court. Without them, the defenders of the initiative faced tough questioning from judges on whether they had legal standing to argue for the same-sex marriage ban before the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, possibly keeping the matter from being decided on its merits. The judges on the panel hearing the case Monday appeared to agree.

"What we have here is an attorney general and governor with no ability to nullify the acts of the people, and then, by not appealing, they do it," Judge N. Randy Smith complained. 

Judge Stephen Reinhardt called it "tossing in the towel."

"That does not seem to be consistent with the initiative process," he said.

Your thoughts? If the governor and attorney general (who's about to become governor) oppose an initiative passed by the voters, are they taking the moral high ground by refusing to defend it? Or are they reneging on the responsibilities of their jobs?

-- Karin Klein

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