(CN) – The California Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to consider whether the groups that sponsored the state’s gay marriage ban have standing to defend the measure’s constitutionality.
Last month the 9th Circuit said it was unsure how to proceed with the appeal before it since former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former state Attorney General Jerry Brown, recently sworn in as California’s 39th governor, would not defend Proposition 8 or appeal a federal judge’s ruling that found the voter initiative was unconstitutional.
The federal appeals panel in San Francisco asked the state’s high court to intercede in light of California officials’ silence.
In its brief order on the matter, the justices unanimously set a shortened briefing schedule so that it may hear oral arguments by September and resolve the question promptly.
ProtectMarriage.com, the Sacramento-based conservative legal group behind Prop. 8, had previously petitioned the courts to force Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown to appeal the landmark ruling by Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker. Both the state Supreme Court in September 2010 and an appellate court rejected the bid without explanation.