NLGSF Joins Other Bar, Legal Organizations to Challenge Proposition 8

SAN FRANCISCO The Bar Association of San Francisco, Los Angeles County Bar Association and 38 other bar and legal organizations ("amici") in California and across America filed an amicus brief in the Marriage Cases before the California Supreme Court, announced Elizabeth J. Cabraser of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, counsel for amici. All amici have a strong interest in protecting the integrity of the core constitutional principles of equal protection and fundamental rights and opposing discrimination in all forms.

"Proposition 8 would shatter existing principles of equal protection and fundamental rights, as well as the judicial branch's role as final arbiter of these constitutional guarantees," stated Russell S. Roeca, President of the Bar Association of San Francisco. "It constitutes a revision of the Constitution. As such, it may not be enacted by a simple majority of the voters."

"The question whether a protected class may be barred from enjoying a fundamental right based on a bare majority vote is a matter of statewide importance. The implications of the question are wide-reaching; if the majority can relegate disfavored minorities to second class citizenship via the initiative process, no fundamental rights are safe," stated Los Angeles County Bar Association President Danette Meyers.

"The attorneys of the amici regularly rely on the courts to enforce the California Constitution's guarantee of equal protection and fundamental rights for their clients," stated Elizabeth J. Cabraser. "Proposition 8 creates the dangerous precedent that the legal and civil rights of minorities - indeed, of any individual or group - could be excised from the California Constitution and the courts would be powerless to reverse such discrimination."

The amici consist of the Alameda County Bar Association, Bar Association of San Francisco, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Marin County Bar Association, Santa Clara County Bar Association, AIDS Legal Referral Panel, Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, Asian American Justice Center, Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County, Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom, California Employment Lawyers Association, California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc., Central California Legal Services, Inc., Charles Houston Bar Association, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, East Bay La Raza Lawyers Association, Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, Impact Fund, Japanese American Bar Association of Greater Los Angeles, Korean American Bar Association of Northern California, Korean American Bar Association of Southern California, Latina Lawyers Bar Association, Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, Lawyer's Club of San Francisco, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, Legal Aid Society - Employment Law Center, Lesbian and Gay Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, Mexican American Bar Association, Minority Bar Coalition, National LGBT Bar Association, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, Public Justice, Queen's Bench Bar Association of the San Francisco Bay Area, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, South Asian Bar Association of Northern California, South Asian Bar Association of San Diego, Tom Homann Law Association, and the Transgender Law Center.

SOURCE: Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP