The state Supreme Court refused to come to the aid of California’s embattled ban on same-sex marriage Wednesday, denying a conservative group’s request to order Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown to appeal a federal judge’s ruling striking down the voter-approved measure.

The state officials’ decision not to argue in support of Proposition 8 has raised questions about whether anyone is legally qualified to defend it in court. The Pacific Justice Institute filed suit last week, arguing that the California Constitution requires Brown to defend the state’s laws…

It will now be up to a federal appeals court, and possibly the U.S. Supreme Court, to decide whether Prop. 8’s sponsors have legal standing – the right to represent the state’s interests in defending one of its laws. Attorney Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, said the court order was disappointing.