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Lieff Cabraser Files Amicus Brief Seeking Affirmance that Proposition 8 is Unconstitutional
February 28, 2013
Today, Lieff Cabraser filed an amicus brief on behalf of notable professors of constitutional law and civil procedure in the Supreme Court case, Perry v. Hollingsworth, in which they support affirmance of the lower court decision declaring California’s Proposition 8 unconstitutional. Proposition 8 is the California ballot measure that stripped gay and lesbian couples of the right to civil marriage. At the Supreme Court, Lieff Cabraser is representing Amici Professors Bryan Adamson, Janet Cooper Alexander, Barbara A. Atwood, Barbara Babcock, Erwin Chemerinsky, Joshua P. Davis, David L. Faigman, Toni M. Massaro, Arthur Miller, David Oppenheimer, and Larry Yackle. A copy of the brief may be located here.
In the brief, Amici urge the Supreme Court to place significant weight on the trial court’s factfinding, which reflected “the most detailed factual record ever assembled in a lawsuit challenging legislation targeting gay and lesbian individuals.” Amici note the critical importance of evidence tested by cross-examination in constitutional disputes. “Evidentiary proceedings, and especially trials, subject bare allegations to rigorous review, expert analysis, and cross-examination. They help to avoid the danger that courts will rely on preexisting assumptions that have little factual foundation. Regardless of how one categorizes the different kinds of factual findings trial courts make, judicial resolution of constitutional issues must be informed by facts. In our system, disputes over these facts are best resolved through adversarial proceedings before a trial court judge who can oversee the proper presentation of those facts.”
Amici also review the details of the twelve-day trial, during which 19 witnesses testified and the Court received 900 exhibits into evidence. Upon considering the comprehensive evidence submitted, Amici urge the Supreme Court to adopt the findings of the trial court and affirm the judgment that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.
“Lieff Cabraser is honored to represent Amici in the constitutional challenge to Proposition 8,” stated Lieff Cabraser partner Kelly M. Dermody. “Our firm believes in the Constitution’s promise of liberty and equality for all.”
Appearing for Amici on behalf of Lieff Cabraser are Elizabeth J. Cabraser, Kelly M. Dermody, Brendan P. Glackin, Anne B. Shaver, Alison M. Stocking, and Lisa J. Cisneros, of San Francisco, and Rachel J. Geman, of New York.