How 1997 ruling might thwart Prop. 8 appeal

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Hardly anyone noticed when the U.S. Supreme Court said in 1997 that it had “grave doubts” that the sponsors of a ballot measure – in that case, an English-only initiative for government agencies in Arizona – had the right to defend the law in federal court.

Now that case could determine the future of same-sex marriage in California.

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which will hear arguments in December on a federal judge’s ruling that overturned Proposition 8, has asked both sides to address the question of whether the campaign committee for the November 2008 initiative has legal standing – the right to represent the state’s interests in upholding one of its laws.

Full Story: How 1997 ruling might thwart Prop. 8 appeal