Main | Thursday, May 05, 2011

CALIFORNIA: Lawmakers Reject Bill To Give Prop 8 Backers Legal Standing

The California state Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday refused to advance a bill that would give private citizens the right to defend ballot measures in court. The bill, which was authored by Tea Party activist Sen. Tom Harman, failed 3-2 along party lines. The Sacramento Bee reports:
"California voters deserve to have their position defended when an initiative is challenged in court and the State refuses to defend it," GOP Sen. Tom Harman, author of the bill and a former primary candidate for attorney general, said in a statement. Harman introduced a similar bill in 2009 that also failed to make it through the Legislature. Opponents, including representatives from gay-rights group Equality California and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, argued during yesterday's committee hearing that the proposed change would conflict with the court's existing power to decide who can intervene in a case. They also argued that law would undermine the constitutional responsibilities delegated to the state attorney general.
RELATED: In February, Harman authored a similar bill which would force the state to defend all voter-approved ballot measures.

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