Brown on Prop 8 and Schwarzenegger on the Budget

Here is some California news:

California Attorney General Jerry Brown Urges Overturning Prop 8

California's Attorney General Jerry Brown has filed a brief to the California Supreme Court which is reviewing the anti-gay marriage Proposition 8 arguing that  the measure is constitutionally indefensible and should be overturned. Brown wrote in the brief that "Proposition 8 must be invalidated because the amendment process cannot be used to extinguish fundamental constitutional rights without compelling justification." In essence, the Attorney General is arguing that minority rights should not be subject to the whims of the majority. More from the New York Times. Jerry Brown is expected to run for Governor in 2010.

Governor Schwarzenegger Orders Unpaid Furloughs for All California State Employees

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued an executive order to all California state employees mandating two unpaid days of leave per month beginning in February 2009 and lasting through June 2010. The executive order is the latest salvo in California's budget battle. The state faces a $41.8 billion dollar deficit.

More on the Schwarzenegger move from Bloomberg News:

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today ordered all state workers to take two days of unpaid leave each month to conserve money amid a record budget deficit and a legislative impasse over how to fix it.

The furloughs will begin in February and will last through June 2010, Schwarzenegger said in an executive order. He also ordered all departments to cut 10 percent of their workforce costs, through firings if necessary.

"Every California family and business has been forced to cut back during these difficult economic times, and state government cannot be exempt from similar belt tightening," Schwarzenegger said in a letter to state workers.

The furloughs came after Schwarzenegger vowed to veto a package of tax increases and spending cuts approved yesterday. Democrats had attempted to find a way around a two-thirds supermajority normally needed for passage of a tax measure as they considered ways to close the $42 billion shortfall that has depressed California bond prices and forced officials to halt $3.8 billion of public-works projects. The deficit also threatens to leave the most-populous U.S. state without enough cash to pay bills by February.

The furloughs would amount to a 10 percent pay cut, Chris Voight, executive director of the California Association of Professional Scientists, a group that represents about 3,000 scientists working for the state. The association and the Service Employees International Union announced they will sue to block the furloughs and any layoffs, which they said would violate collective-bargaining deals.

On a personal note, I am so tired of Schwarzenegger's antics on the budget. Every July, California ends up having a budget crisis. This year, the state was without a budget until October. This is a failure of government.

Tags: Arnold Schwarzenegger, California Budget Impasse, California politics, Jerry Brown, Proposition 8 (all tags)

Comments

3 Comments

Irresponsible of Brown

While I opposed prop 8 strongly and so did Jerry Brown, he is required to defend the law, or if he cannot, appoint someone else who will defend it.  His behavior here is irresponsible.  The AG office is required to defend referendums that have been passed.

by ClintoniteNoLonger4McCain 2008-12-20 11:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Irresponsible of Brown

Your post is incorrect. His duty is to uphold the Ca Constitution. If he believes that Prop 8 violates that Constitution, he is obligated by his ethical duty to request that the California S. Ct. overturn the Proposition.

Basically, as I wrote last night after finally reading the brief, his analysis in a nutshell is the following:

"Brown is arguing the the Yes on 8 and No on 8 wrong. Yes on 8 has said this is amendment. No on 8 has said its a Revision, and thus the wrong process was used.

Brown is arguing- no as a fundamenal right and EPC are neither subject  to amendment or revision. That as a fundamental right and as EPC it  can not be subject to either process.

He's both arguing a bigger argument rather than arging both ends against the middle (although this could be his political reason). He's saying that the there are two sections of the California Constitution in conflict. the question before the court is how to resolve those now conflicting sections.

That In Re Marriage sets up a fundamental right that's valid as to its section of the CA con law, but that Prop 8 under another section of California 's Con Law is also valid.

One is then left trying to  "harmonze" to conflicting provisions that are equally valid when standing alone, but in conflict when contrasted with each other.

This is how he frames it in the brief:

"The Court Can Harmonize the Constitutional Guarantees under Article I with the Intiative - Amendment Power by evaluating whether a proposed amendment abrogating fundamental rights serves a compelling state interest. Prop 8 does not serve satisfy this test."

Page 87

Thus the strict scrutiny argument. It's the way the court can balance the interest of the majority to amendment/revise, but also harmonize that right with the conflict it has with the minority's rights under EPC and its fundamental rights as guaranteed by the CA Constitution. By requiring strict scrutiny, the majority is still protect, but so is the minority and the fundamental rights.

He adds that to find other wise is to strip Article 1 of the California Constitution of all meaning.  P. 89"

He believes that there are conflicting parts of the CA Constitution here. The question then becomes, not, whether he is upholding the law, but what is the law since either way- if he would be violative of what the Constitution says as his argument goes because the two sections are not harmonized, but here directly conflicting.

He is asking the Court to find invalidate the effect of Prop 8 because he says that fundamental rights can only be abridge for compelling state interests. this is his way of responding to how to address the conflicting interests found in the CA Constitution.

Having read what he wrote and other briefs, I have realized there is no easy answer to this. this is a case of first impression for the CA S. Ct. Because of this conflicting provision, he is in a rare place where you are wrong because the question has no right answer yet.

by bruh3 2008-12-20 11:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Irresponsible of Brown

By the way- his argument is not perfect becauase it raises additional questions that he does not answer, but it is also not wrong entirely wrong either because he is correct as to the now conflicting sections of the Constitution.

by bruh3 2008-12-20 11:44AM | 0 recs

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