switching sides

Does It Make Sense for AG Jerry Brown to Be Made a Prop 8 Plaintiff?


Speaking of California AG Jerry Brown, the gubernatorial hopeful is once again being attacked by Prop 8 supporters. Having already branded the marriage law unconstitutional and refused to defend it in the federal lawsuit Perry v. Schwarzenegger, lawyers for anti-gay group Protect Marriage are demanding Brown now appear as a plaintiff in the case, rather than a defendant.

While it’s Brown’s job as AG to defend the state’s laws, he’s opted not to. BECAUSE THIS ONE IS DISCRIMINATORY. The move makes him an ally with Ted Olson and David Boies, who brought the federal suit, claims the performance art group Protect Marriage. So rather than have him (along with the governor) named as defendants in the lawsuit, Yes on 8’s camp think it’s only fair to relabel Brown. (Brown’s office says the AG isn’t in bed with anyone, “[t]he attorney general’s position has been clear for a long time: He thinks Proposition 8 violates the 14th Amendment.”)

So what’s the big deal?

[Protect Marriage attorney Charles] Cooper cited Brown’s response to a document that plaintiffs routinely send in civil suits, asking their opponents to admit or deny contested legal and factual issues.

The attorney general sent his reply – which agreed with nearly all the plaintiffs’ claims that Prop. 8 violated their rights – on Sept. 23, a day before it was due, and just in time for the plaintiffs to include it in their own court filing opposing dismissal of the suit, Cooper said.

He also said Brown filed papers last month telling Walker he endorsed the plaintiffs’ view that the case should go to trial, even before the plaintiffs had filed their own arguments. Brown must have seen those arguments before the plaintiffs submitted them to Walker or to the Yes on 8 side, Cooper said, evidence that “plaintiffs and Attorney General Brown have essentially become litigation partners.”

Which is, frankly adorable! And also, slightly true. But hasn’t Perry Judge Vaughn Walker already determined who can and cannot be involved in this case?