June 26, 2013 Thomas Lifson
The 35 page decision in Hollingsworth et al v Perry is here. In essence, the Court held that the parties bringing the case had no right to do so, therefore leaving standing the original court decision that invalidated California’s Proposition 8. The backstory is that when a federal judge invalidated the voter-approved proposition, the state of California declined its constitutional obligation to appeal the decision. In its place, private citizens stepped up to appeal. The Court held that they had no standing to do so. Chief Justice Roberts joined the liberal bloc and writes:
We have never before upheld the standing of a private party to defend the constitutionality of a state statute when state officials have chosen not to. We decline to do so for the first time here.
In essence, the Court is saying that if elected officials decline to carry out their legal duties, citizens only have access to the ballot box, not to the courts, as a remedy.