Prop 8 judge lifts stay: Gay marriages to begin next week

Prop 8 supporters wanted him to stay his decision until the Ninth Circuit and possibly the Supremes have settled the issue, but Walker says no dice — in part because the defendants at trial may no longer have standing to appeal(!). Ed Whelan is aghast:

The heart of Walker’s rationale is that Prop 8 proponents may not even have standing to appeal. But if they don’t have standing to appeal, how did they have a right to intervene as defendants to present the defense of Prop 8? Why didn’t Walker simply enter a stipulated judgment when the state defendants abandoned their duty to defend Prop 8? The obvious reason is that state law recognizes that a proposition’s proponents have authority to defend the proposition, lest government officials subvert the ultimate power that the proposition process places in the people. That authority necessarily must confer standing to appeal an adverse decision.

Here’s the (mercifully short) opinion; the part on standing begins on page 4. Because Prop 8 supporters haven’t shown that they’ll suffer any harm from gays getting married, he argues, there’s basically no “injury” here that would warrant continuing the stay or even bringing an appeal. Supposedly, the only parties who are now authorized to sue on Prop 8’s behalf are Schwarzenegger, as governor, and Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown, as attorney general, and neither one of them wants anything to do with it. Which, of course, is a disgrace: Even Arizona’s Democratic attorney general, Terry Goddard, vowed to defend the state’s immigration law in court despite his personal opposition to it because, after all, that’s what attorneys general do. (Quote from Goddard’s letter to Jan Brewer: “Attorneys General do not have the option to defend only those laws they like.” Maybe not in Arizona, pal.) So now we’re potentially looking at two appeals: First, Prop 8 supporters will try to show the Ninth Circuit that they have standing to appeal and that the stay should be reinstated, and then they’ll appeal the original ruling on the merits. Fun.

From last night’s O’Reilly, here’s Glenn Beck presaging Walker’s point today: What’s the harm in letting gays get hitched? A lot of people have started asking themselves that question lately, per this eye-popping graph by Nate Silver. As recently as six years ago, the spread between opponents and supporters of same-sex marriage was around 27 points. Today? One point.