Pro-Family Response to California Supreme Court Agreeing to Hear Challenges to People’s Vote on Prop. 8

Thomasson: “If the court disobeys the constitution by voiding Prop. 8, it will ignite a voter revolt.”

randy_thomasson_2.jpgSacramento, California — In response to today’s decision by the California Supreme Court to hear the challenges to Proposition 8, the California Marriage Amendment, Randy Thomasson, president of Campaign for Children and Families, a leading California-based pro-family organization, issued the following statement:

“It’s unfortunate that the judges are giving time to the mushy, subjective arguments of homosexual activists who reject the clear reading of the constitution and the clear reading of Proposition 8. If the court disobeys the constitution by voiding Prop. 8, it will ignite a voter revolt. It will also threaten the validity of all future constitutional amendments.

“The court is playing with fire by threatening to destroy the people’s vote on marriage. The California Constitution clearly says that the voters have the right to alter the highest law of the land. It’s the beauty of the American system of government. The four Supreme Court justices who unconstitutionally invented homosexual ‘marriages’ — Ron George, Joyce Kennard, Kathryn Werdegar and Carlos Moreno — seem to be ignoring the fact that the people get the last word, not the judges.

“The clear reading of the constitution, as well as California’s legal and legislative history, tells us there is a world of difference between a constitutional amendment and a constitutional revision. Proposition 8 is a single-subject, voter-initiated amendment, not a legislature-initiated, multi-issue, whole-scale revision that alters many sections of the state constitution.

“If Prop. 8 gutted the constitution, why is it only one subject in one section of the constitution? If Prop. 8 doesn’t stand, then our constitution doesn’t mean anything, the people’s vote doesn’t mean anything, marriage has been utterly disrespected, and judges lied when they swore to uphold the constitution. Prop. 8 must stand, because the constitution is above the judges, not the other way around.

“Marriage is, was, and should always remain a natural, beautiful relationship between a husband and a wife. Marriage between a man and a woman is an essential, beneficial role model for children to emulate.

“Fortunately, the California Constitution tells us ‘all political power is inherent in the people’ and that ‘they have the right to alter or reform it when the public good may require'” (California Constitution, Article II, Section 1).

Explaining the clear distinction between an amendment and a revision is University of California, Berkeley Department of Public Science Chairman Emeritus Dr. Eugene C. Lee, who, in 1991, wrote:

Specific changes to the California constitution may be proposed by amendment. Substantial changes may be proposed by a constitutional convention or by the legislature as constitutional revisions. Regardless of their origin, all changes must be approved by a majority of the electorate voting on the issue.

Legislative amendments, the method most commonly used, require a two-thirds vote in each house of the legislature. Initiative amendments may be placed on the ballot by a petition of registered voters equal in number to 8 percent of the total vote cast in the preceding gubernatorial election. By explicit language in the constitution concerning initiatives and by court interpretation with respect to measures arising in the legislature, amendments are required to be limited in scope. As far back as 1894, the California Supreme Court distinguished between a revision of the constitution and a mere amendment thereof (Livermore v. Waite, 102 Cal. 113). As reiterated in 1978, the court held that a revision referred to a “substantial alteration of the entire constitution, rather than to a less extensive change in one or more of its provisions” (Amador Valley Joint Union High School District v. State Board of Equalization, 22 Cal.3d 208).

Whether in the public and explosive setting of a constitutional convention, as in 1879, or in the relatively calm, almost academic environment of a revision commission some 90 years later, the revision process is intensely political….To be successful, revision requires gubernatorial as well as legislative leadership. Given the requirement of a two-thirds legislative vote, revision involves negotiation and compromise. The agreement implied in an extraordinary legislative vote does not guarantee popular support. Thus, an effective political campaign is essential. But even with a good campaign, success at the polls is not assured. Constitutional revision can be a high-risk endeavor and will continue to be so. These conclusions should be taken seriously in any legislative consideration of constitutional revisions. In addressing the current imperfections of the California constitution, the costs and risks of revision must be weighed carefully against the alternative of carefully targeted amendments.

— Eugene C. Lee, “The Revision of California’s Constitution,” April 1991, commissioned by the California Policy Seminar, University of California, Berkeley

— end —

CAMPAIGN FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES (CCF) is a leading West Coast pro-family organization empowering citizens to live out their values. Sign up today for CCF’s FREE Email Bulletins at

Your partnership empowers CCF’s innovative work on behalf of children and families in culture, media and government. Please support CCF by making a secure online donation or by sending your tax-deductible gift to:

Campaign for Children and Families
Randy Thomasson, President
P.O. Box 511, Sacramento, CA 95812
(916) 265-5650

This article was posted on Thursday, November 20th, 2008 at 1:27 pm and is filed under "Civil Unions" & "Gay Marriage", "Civil Unions" & "Gay Marriage", Candidates & Elected Officials, Court Decisions & Judges, Current State Law, Gay Rights vs. Others' Rights, Government Promotion, News, Pro-Family Quotes. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

Support Americans for Truth about Homosexuality

Americans For Truth
P.O. Box 340743
Columbus, OH 43234

Peter's Lifesite News Articles'

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Peter's Lifesite News Articles'

Americans for Truth Radio Hour

Americans for Truth Academy

Peter's Lifesite News Articles'