Saturday, January 17, 2009

Amicus Briefs

No, they're not tighty-whities. Nor would you share them with a friend, unless he's an attorney or she's a constitutional law junkie.

The amicus curiae briefs have been filed in the Prop 8 cases. The usual suspects have weighed in on the throw it out side: Labor, Lawyers, the National Organization for Women, even the California Council of Churches. In their amicus briefs, the various groups weigh in on separation of powers; the difference between an amendment and a revision; and how Prop 8 unconstitutionally limits a fundamental right.

The weird stuff starts with the briefs filed in support of Prop 8. There are only two of them, and they're out in cloud cuckoo land. Michael J. McDermott goes off on a 20-odd page rant on the Supremely Privileged Homosexual class, the supremacy of XX & XY, and how radical lesbians are not only out to destroy the world, but are waging a personal vendetta against the minority of truly masculine men left in this world, with himself as their chief target. His diatribe is linked on the Supreme Court site as "Supporting Declaration in Support of Prop 8."

The second amicus brief in favor of Proposition 8 is entitled "The Church of the Messiah in Support of Prop 8" and was filed by "The Most Reverend Messiah" of Marina del Rey, California. This one's really out there and includes the use of sparkly-star fonts for the 40-odd biblical quotes from Corinthians, Leviticus, Romans and Proverbs that make up the Rev's "legal" justification for supporting Proposition 8.

The Council of Churches brief in opposition to Prop 8 is particularly interesting in that it makes the point that, for churches that perform or support gay marriage, Prop 8 unconstitutionally violates the religious freedom rights of those churches. The Council also points out that if marriage rights can be swept away by a simple majority vote, so can religious rights. Which is a can of worms that no church in this country wants to open.

Which might explain why, unlike last time around with Prop 22, the LDS Church has not filed a brief in opposition to Prop 8. Neither have the fundamentalists over at the Becket Fund.

Anyway, the amicus briefs are linked here and in the title of this post. The parties in the case have until Wednesday to reply to the briefs. Shortly afterwards the California Supreme Court will schedule its hearing in the matter, and a decision will be handed down within 90 days of the hearing.

UPDATE: Thanks, Joey, for the further information.

There's a whole slew of amicus briefs still in process, and unposted to the California Supreme Court website. Here's a link to all of them, via the California Judicial Council. I'm assuming that the rest of the briefs will begin to appear on the Supreme Court site next week.

1 comment:

  1. Jim,
    Hate to burst your bubble, but there are 61 (yes, sixty-one) amicus briefs out there. See:

    They just haven't put them up online yet. Some scary, like Family Research Council, some inane.

    There are also some interesting figures with hace pro vice applications - not the least of which is Tobias Barrington Wolff - google him, and you'll see why I'm very happy to see him there.