So I interrupt the personal finance for a little dash of politics. Or, more specifically, a legal / campaign strategy question.
For those of you unfamiliar with Prop 8 – it’s a California ballot proposition that defined marriage as a right between a man and a woman and thus limited the rights of gays to marry. (In May 2008, the California Supreme Court ruled that gays have the right to marry). Prop 8 passed in the November 4, 2008 general election.
Right now the opponents of Prop 8 (people who support gay marriage) are arguing in the California Supreme Court that because Prop 8 constitutes a “revision” instead of an amendment to the state constitution, it needs approval by 2/3 of the legislature instead of a ballot vote. Thus, the California Supreme Court should overturn Prop 8.
The supporters of Prop 8 (people who oppose gay marriage) are arguing that Prop 8 is an amendment, NOT a revision – a revision is only needed for structural changes to the government and Prop 8 does not qualify as a revision.
So here’s my question (maybe some legal eagles can chime in?):
If opponents of Prop 8 argue that the ballot measure was a revision rather than an amendment, and that it should be invalid even if it passed, would the opponents of Prop 8’s resources have been better served trying to establish the invalidity of Prop 8 before the election. Is that even possible (i.e. to say a ballot is unconstitutional before it has passed and becomes law)?
I did not see a single mention of Prop 8 might be unconstitutional before Prop 8 passed. I don’t think “separate but equal” treatments are ever equal (and I can’t imagine not being able to marry someone with whom I want to build a life with), but the whole proceeding struck me as a little, well, backwards.
*I know Prop 8 can raise heated debate. Please be civil in your comments. Thank you.