Talk:California Proposition 8 (2008)

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Former good article nomineeCalifornia Proposition 8 (2008) was a Social sciences and society good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
DateProcessResult
November 16, 2008Good article nomineeNot listed
May 17, 2009Good article nomineeNot listed
Current status: Former good article nominee

Purpose of this page[edit]

Note: The purpose of this page is to discuss how the article is to be written and/or formatted, not to the actual content per se. For example, questions about whether a particular phrasing is neutral vs. supporting either side are appropriate to discuss om this page. Questions about whether the subject it covers is a good idea or a bad one are not — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rfc1394 (talkcontribs) 17:03, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

Is Prop 8 actually currently invalid?[edit]

A district court ruled against it, but I've understood that an appellate court ruling is ultimately necessary in California to actually invalidate the ballot initiative. JayHubie (talk) 03:14, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

That's incorrect. The federal district court ruling from Judge Vaughn Walker that found Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional is final. However, there is a hold on that ruling that needs to be removed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling takes effect in 25 days and the Ninth Circuit must remove the stay. After that, the laws will be completely in effect. It's possible that California may issue preliminary marriage licenses earlier than that, but that is something the Attorney General and Governor must look at. Teammm talk
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03:23, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

The hold has been removed. [1] — Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.119.159.125 (talk) 22:52, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

It sure has. Teammm talk
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03:56, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

But the U.S. Supreme Court never ruled on the actual merits of Prop 8, only on the standing of those who appealed the lower court striking it down. If the USSC has not directly ruled on Prop 8, how can it be permanently dead? JayHubie (talk) 06:10, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

Okay, technically you're correct but here's how it works. The highest federal appellate court serving California, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the finding that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. The only way that would change is that (1) someone who has standing to litigate the issues and appeal the issue (2) were to file a new lawsuit in Federal Court raising new issues not raised in the previous trial, (raising the same issues already litigated would have the new case dismissed for collateral estoppel I believe. Yeah, I got it right and I'm not even a lawyer!) (3) arguing on new grounds that the statute were constitutional, and the court either agreeing or disagreeing this to be true, (4) that decision being appealed back to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, (5) that case being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, (6) the Supremes agreeing to the petition for certiorari, (7) the U.S. Supreme Court deciding that the petitioner filing the appeal does have standing to appeal, (8) the appeal has merit, that there is a federal question to be answered, and (9) that the ruling of the 9th Circuit was wrong, and thus finding that Proposition 8 is constitutional. Unless all 9 of those things happen, the provisions of Prop 8 are essentially dead. Hope this answers your question. Paul Robinson (Rfc1394) (talk) 01:33, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
As far as I know, the only finding that Prop 8 is unconstitutional is the district court's. The Ninth Circuit's findings no longer exist as the appeal to the Ninth Circuit was dismissed after the U.S. Supreme Court's decision.--Bbb23 (talk) 01:51, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
Okay, well, in any event, they still have to get past #2 in my prior item, someone would have to have a new argument to make that wasn't decided in the original district court case to get past collateral estoppel and even be heard. Then all the other points would apply, but they still would have to have some new issue to be able to litigate it anyway. Absent a new issue not litigated in the previous trial, that someone is successfully able to litigate in Federal Court, and then (if that court does not then uphold the provisions instead of overtturning them) and the losing party has standing to appeal, Sec. 7.5 of the California Constitution is a dead letter. Paul Robinson (Rfc1394) (talk) 02:04, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
Because the judgment of the appellate court was vacated, it's as if there was no trial at all. There is no estoppel if the right parties with standing (ie. the Governor of California) bring the case before the Ninth Circuit again. That said, it's highly unlikely that a panel of the Ninth Circuit will come to a different conclusion than the one that ruled before. Teammm talk
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03:38, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
I think you mean "it's as if there was no appeal at all."--Bbb23 (talk) 23:11, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
I meant to say "hearing". Teammm talk
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06:13, 14 September 2013 (UTC)

Past tense[edit]

I've noticed this in a few areas, but primary the summary of the text.

Proposition 8 consisted of two sections. Its full text was... The text itself is still in the California Constitution, despite it being 'stricken down'. All that really happened was the federal court made CA unable to enforce it. It is still technically there. When a court 'strikes down' a law, it still exists. 68.110.28.104 (talk) 02:54, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

Yes, but the text in the state constitution is not the proposition; the proposition was the suggestion to have the text change. It's the difference between a bill and a law. --Nat Gertler (talk) 03:06, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

Actually that is not accurate. You see, I have a copy of the California Constitution before proposition 8 which is now the actual constitution of the state. After the stay was lifted the constitution reverted back to before that was added. Just those copies that were printed have that in it. Now, those are no longer valid copies of the California Constitution. This wasn't a law. prop 22 was. This was an attempt to alter the constitution. Since that was found unconstitutional...it is now technically gone. New printing is all that is required from what I understand.--Amadscientist (talk) 18:45, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

No, you're incorrect. Proposition 8 created a new section (7.5) to the California Constitution, it did, in fact, alter the State Constition to add a new section. That section was found unconstitutional, but finding it unconstitutional does not actually strike the text, it simply makes it unenforceable. I'll explain this in the next paragraph.

Referring to a law as being 'struck down' is short hand for 'being found unenforceable by a court'. Proposition 8 remains part of the California Constitution but is unenforceable. A court does not actually strike the text of a law and delete it, that requires the legislature or the voters to actually make an affirmative act to remove it unless the state's constitution specifically says that the declaration of a statute or portion of the constitution being found to be unconstitutional repeals it. (Which is not the case anywhere that I know of.) The text will forever be a part of California's constitution until removed either by a constitutional amendment or the voters deciding by initiative to remove or repeal it. Some printers might choose to drop the provision for convenience or not to confuse people, but the text itself technically was not deleted from the State Constitution, it simply is ineffective and cannot be enforced. Paul Robinson (Rfc1394) (talk) 01:55, 13 September 2013 (UTC)

Moved from article space for talk page discussion[edit]

Some commentators expressed concern about the implications of the Supreme Court ruling, noting that voter initiatives existed precisely for when voters felt the State was insufficiently responsive to their concerns or as a way for the people to assert their rights, and that elected officials should not have the ability to nullify such laws simply by choosing not to defend them.[2][3]

First, what commentators? Second...when reading over this summary of the sources, it appears to have taken what is there and expanded with original research. Are there any issues with this? Thoughts?--Amadscientist (talk) 18:39, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

Well, the first source says "The initiative process was intended to grant ordinary citizens the ability to draft and pass laws without having to rely on the Legislature, a right that can be especially important at times when the government is not following the will of voters. Although the state officials shouldn't be required to defend a law that they find indefensible, it also should not be possible for a few government officials to negate ballot measures they disagree with simply by refusing to defend them." I think that what was in the article is almost a verbatim summary of that. But in case you disagree, Mr. Chemerinsky continues, "Above all, the initiative process exists to ensure that the voters can adopt laws when elected government officials are not sufficiently responsive to them. Allowing a few officials to nullify an initiative by not defending it is inconsistent with the very reason for allowing initiatives in the first place," which is even closer.
The second article says, "Many in the state, regardless of their views on same-sex unions, shared Kennedy's sentiment, fearing that elected officials now have permission to scuttle initiatives they dislike by simply deciding not to defend them in federal court. 'The initiative process, by its nature, is designed to bypass elected officials," said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn.,...'"
Could you explain why you think that these sources are unfairly summarized by saying "Some commentators expressed concern about the implications of the Supreme Court ruling, noting that voter initiatives existed precisely for when voters felt the State was insufficiently responsive to their concerns or as a way for the people to assert their rights, and that elected officials should not have the ability to nullify such laws simply by choosing not to defend them."? I feel like that is a totally fair summary and while it would be better to specify the source instead of requiring the reader to ferret them out of the citations I think that the text should be restored. Absent further explanation, I am inclined to revert your edit.AgnosticAphid talk 23:37, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

Added reflist so references are visible. --Javaweb (talk)Javaweb

References

It's been a little while and I don't see any reasonable basis to exclude this discussion. I'm going to revert this edit. AgnosticAphid talk 18:19, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
Except you don't address the reason it was brought here. The weasel words of "Some commentators". What commentators? The actual wording also seems rather biased in assuming what should and should not happen or be. It has no encyclopedic value as it is pure opinion being stated in the voice of authority within the narrative voice of Wikipedia. These statements require attribution as opinion because they are not based on facts but individual or group interpretations of what an outcome should be or an interpretation of how government officials should act. No...this wasn't about deleting the information, bit addressing the issues it has as encyclopedic value. You have failed to do anything above but discuss the subject and not address the problems with the way the information is being summarized per Wikipedia policy. I am not going to edit war by reverting your revert myself in this situation as you have made a bold edit and there is nothing wrong with that, in itself. But since all you did really was wait out some small amount of time and then revert based entirely on your not seeing a reasonable basis for exclusion. You may not feel that our Wikipedia:Words to watch]] guidelines are reasonable, but you must at least demonstrate how ignoring them and our edit summary guidelines as well as NPOV guidelines is an improvement to the article. I would support another uninvolved editor reverting you. I will await further discussion, but without some changes to that text it simply does not seem to hold encyclopedic value.--Amadscientist (talk) 20:34, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
Well, maybe you overlooked where I said above, "I feel like that is a totally fair summary and while it would be better to specify the source instead of requiring the reader to ferret them out of the citations I think that the text should be restored." If you head over to WP:WEASAL, it says "A common form of weasel wording is through vague attribution, where a statement is dressed with authority with no substantial basis....However, views which are properly attributed to a reliable source may use similar expressions if they accurately represent the opinions of the source." It seems to me that since the whole point of the two articles in question is to say that "some people with experience in California law and initiatives think that the Supreme Court's ruling raises concerns about the legal defense of initiatives" that this stuff falls within "views which are properly attributed to a reliable source" that "accurately represent the opinions of the source."
Plus, if you think that the only problem is that it doesn't say "Mr. Chemerinsky and the head of Howard Jarvis say this" then isn't the answer to add that text to the sentence and not to revert it on the basis that the "Summary of sources seems exagerrated"? At any rate, this discussion is kind of moot now that another editor added this text. AgnosticAphid talk 22:09, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
Not if all we have is our own interpretation of the overall source. IF the source uses some similar language or directly puts forth the same view, then it may be used. So, if the source says something along the lines of: "Commentators have varying views with some...". We are assuming what the whole point is, but we would not be assuming such if the author of the reliable source is already expressing that sentiment and we can summarize it without copyright infractions. Right now and attempt has been made to add some attribution which is great as it also expands a bit, however we can't just add on top of the original vague statement with attribution from separate sources to qualify the statement that some commentators feel a certain way. The actual statement has to have been previously published in a reliable source...which I would say doesn't sound too difficult but might be a tad challenging.--Amadscientist (talk) 23:11, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

Some commentators, such as law professor Erwin Chemerinsky,[1] and Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association[2] expressed concern about the implications of the Supreme Court ruling, noting that voter initiatives existed precisely for when voters felt the State was insufficiently responsive to their concerns or as a way for the people to assert their rights, and that elected officials should not have the ability to nullify such laws simply by choosing not to defend them.[1][2][3]

I think this is becoming a bit of a coatrack and there are some serious NPOV issues with the way this is written verses the sources. The original source for the statement about some commentators is actually referring to "Activists on both sides..." yet the section is used to hang the opinion and names of people and groups that all seem to be from one side. The attributed section was not done properly. If you are using an opinion piece you attribute a quote or the idea presented in the opinion piece directly. Opinion can not be used to reference facts and the should be no undue weight to that opinion so it seems a bit rash to make that source formatted to be used multiple times.--Amadscientist (talk) 00:37, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ a b Prop. 8 deserved a defense: The state shouldn't abandon measures passed by voters - L.A. Times, by Erwin Chemerinsky, June 28, 2013
  2. ^ a b Prop. 8 ruling raises fears about effects on other initiatives - L.A. Times, by Chris Megerian/Anthony York, June 27, 2013
  3. ^ The Economist (6 July 2013). "Ballot measures in California:Power from the people". The Economist. Retrieved 11 July 2013. Many who applaud that result are worried about how it was reached. They fear the court has in effect granted a veto to officials in California (and the 26 other states that have similar ballot-initiative systems) over democratically passed laws that they dislike....Given that the whole point of ballot initiatives is to let voters bypass politicians, that seems perverse. 

"affirming that in accordance with numerous precedents"[edit]

Right now, the article says this:

On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its ruling on the appeal in the case Hollingsworth v. Perry, affirming that in accordance with numerous precedents, proponents of initiatives such as Proposition 8 did not possess legal standing in their own right to defend the resulting law in federal court, either to the Supreme Court or (previously) to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

I feel like the "affirming that in accordance with numerous precedents" part of this is original research that someone made up and that has no citation at all. The link is just to the WP article on the general Article III case and controversy requirement. There's no reference to somewhere in the ruling where they claimed that their opinion was "in accordance with numerous precedents" and I don't think there are very many precedents on this point at all. (There's Arizonans for Official English v. Arizona, but they never actually decided this issue.) In fact, my understanding is that the court only said, "we've never before recognized standing in this circumstance and we won't do so now," which is completely different than saying "based on all these previous decisions standing can't be recognized here." Even if the opinion did say that it was "in accordance with numerous precedents," the appropriate article text would be "the Court stated that its precedents required it to find that the official proponents lack standing," or something. The way it's written now it suggests that it is actually true that the ruling is "in accordance with numerous precedents", rather than that the Court portrayed its opinion as consistent with numerous precedents, which is a crucial difference.

At any rate, the (de)merits of the sentence itself are kind of beside the point, because unsourced original research is just not appropriate for this article (or any article). Does anyone have any thoughts about this? Am I overlooking something? Or should this text be revised? (I suggested changing it simply remove "in accordance with numerous precedents," from the sentence, but I was reverted without much of an explanation.) AgnosticAphid talk 22:34, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

That does seem to be splitting hairs just a bit, to say that precedence is a decision based on case law alone and not just what has been the previous decisions to hear or not hear a case especially since such precedence is not that far from reach to discuss and ask if this satisfies such an question? The case: Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow is at least one precedence I can demonstrate. The wording is based on accurate (almost without question) information. If you are challenging the information as OR, can you demonstrate that this is indeed unverifiable content?--Amadscientist (talk) 23:18, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I don't totally understand your comment. The Newdow case just says that non-custodial parents can't bring lawsuits about their kids' upbringing. It doesn't have anything to do with whether or not official proponents have standing to defend their own ballot initiative when nobody else will. Basically I think it is misleading to say that the decision is "in accordance with numerous precedents" when there are only a few precedents that support it, tangentially at best. Also, I don't think that the burden is on me to demonstrate that it's "unverifiable." I think that it is the job of whoever supports the current text to show that it's referenced and not original research. AgnosticAphid talk 23:48, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
I see you missed the part about not hearing the case because Newdow did not have standing. Its about the precedence of standing that you question and whether or not there is such. If you want the information deleted based on there being no source, I have to fulfill the burden of evidence with a source, but you still have to demonstrate that the material is inaccurate and/or needs sourcing per "[I]t is advisable to communicate clearly that you have a considered reason to believe that the material in question cannot be verified."--Amadscientist (talk) 00:09, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

From page 7 of the Hollingsworth opinion:

"We have repeatedly held that such a 'generalized grievance,' no matter how sincere, is insufficient to confer standing. A litigant 'raising only a generally available grievance about government—claiming only harm to his and every citizen's interest in proper application of the Constitution and laws, and seeking relief that no more directly and tangibly benefits him than it does the public at large—does not state an Article III case or controversy.'"

This portion supports the phrase "affirming that in accordance with numerous precedents" and should be used as a reference for keeping it. Teammm talk
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19:09, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

Well, I still think this is some unholy combination of OR, POV, and the improper use of WP:PRIMARY sources. Like I noted above, the fact that a majority of the court says its opinion follows from a long line of standing cases is not the same as us saying that it's true that the opinion follows from a long line of standing cases, which is what the article implies right now. Of course the court is going to say that its conclusion is a natural one. That's doesn't make that objectively true. What is needed to support the sentence as is is some law professor or something saying, "yes, this really does follow from a long line of precedents!" Otherwise we are adopting the court's representation of its own opinion -- a primary source -- as fact without any supporting secondary sources. Us coming up with cases like Newdown or whatever other standing cases is original research. Plus, the dissenting judges certainly didn't think that the decision followed from a long line of precedents, but this fact is omitted, so it's also POV because it doesn't present both sides of the issue. AgnosticAphid talk 23:56, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
"Well, I still think this is some unholy combination of OR, POV, and the improper use of WP:PRIMARY sources."
Fine. Now demonstrate it.
"[T]he fact that a majority of the court says its opinion follows from a long line of standing cases is not the same as us saying that it's true that the opinion follows from a long line of standing cases, which is what the article implies right now."
It doesn't say "A long line" of anything. It says numerous. That does not imply a "long" line, just that there were, at the very least, several. I believe that is accurate. "We have repeatedly held" is saying "in accordance with numerous precedents".
"Us coming up with cases like Newdown or whatever other standing cases is original research".
Of course and it was in regards to what another editor was asking on the talk page. Look it up, we can use original research in discussions on the talk pages. That is how you "speculate" and discover other sources or the best sources. I don't think it matters who the representative is supposed to be standing for, but that they have no standing before the court.--Amadscientist (talk) 03:51, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
  • I'm afraid we seem to be speaking past each other because you don't really seem to respond to my statements. I feel like the article as currently phrased adopts our armchair summary of the court's "repeatedly held" statement as true, when that's really not appropriate because 1) it's improperly using a WP:PRIMARY source (because it's supported by our armchair analysis of the meaning of the wording of the decision itself rather than some scholar's assessment of the decision); and 2) it's POV because it doesn't reflect the fact that there's disagreement about the extent to which the decision was compelled by the court's prior decisions on standing. AgnosticAphid talk 17:41, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

Chemerinsky paragraph[edit]

I'm restoring the Chemerinsky paragraph that was just deleted. It represents an important viewpoint, indeed, it is pretty much what the four dissenting justices said. If it needs improvement, improve it or make suggestions here, but eliminating it from the article suppresses an opinion that people on both sides of the Prop 8 issue have expressed. --agr (talk) 13:30, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

But it's not an opinion about Prop 8, it's an opinion about Hollingsworth v. Perry, so if this material is to be covered, it's best covered on that page. --Nat Gertler (talk) 15:53, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
Its also edit warring to add material back in when a discussion is taking place and nothing was addressed but to place it back into the article because you like it Arnold. But then I guess it is more important to you to get your bias into the article in a non neutral manner than to even be accurate with the way the summaries are written. That needs to be removed. This should go to the NPOV noticeboard at this point.--Amadscientist (talk) 16:57, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
I agree. This material gives WP:UNDUE emphasis to a minority viewpoint. Amadscientist's arguments two sections up reflect my own concerns. I specifically think that two people opining in the LA Times fails to meet the threshold of notability for inclusion in this article.- MrX 17:33, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
The quashing of the view that this decision fucked the initiative process is inane. The premise that it's not notable is laughable - Have you read the dissenting opinion in this case? I have. You need to, Amadscientist (talk · contribs) and MrX (talk · contribs) 4 of the 9 SCOTUS justices agree and explain that this decision overruled the SCOTCA decision - which was sound and itself was based on lots of precedent. BTW, it's a pretty safe bet that exactly half of these 4 support gay marriage itself. This topic is essentially tangential to the gay marriage issue. I wonder if there are any notable opinions out there (other than the court's) that argue that only allowing the state to defend initiatives has not undermined the ballot initiative system. "The very object of the initiative system is to establish a lawmaking process that does not depend upon state officials." - Justice Kennedy
So, for example, since the SCOTUS decision is BOTH (regarding (per the majority) in accordance with numerous precedents and (per the dissent) in opposition to numerous precedents. Saying one and not the other is not NPOV. Here's the other: "The Supreme Court of California explained that its holding was consistent with recent decisions from other States. Id., at 1161–1165, 265 P. 3d, at 1031–1033. … the Montana Supreme Court unanimously held that because initiative sponsors “may be in the best position to defend their interpretation” of the initiative and had a “direct, substantial, legally protecta- ble interest in” the lawsuit challenging that interpreta- tion, they were “entitled to intervene as a matter of right. …" Same re. Alaska and California itself, repeated "unanimous holding more than a half-dozen times and in no uncertain terms." -from the dissent --Elvey (talk) 19:19, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I have read the dissent, and the LA Times and Economist articles. This article already mentions the SCOTUS dissent. If we wish to state why they dissented, then I think that would be fine, as long as it comes from a secondary source. However, I don't think we should give the article over to "commentators" as a soapbox for advancing their legal theories about direct democracy, ballot initiatives, justiciability and the California legal system. It simply is not the topic of this article, and anything more than a brief summary is WP:UNDUE. Also, as Amadscientist mentioned, if we are going to include this content in some form, then we need make sure it is presented neutrally. For example...
Justin Levitt, a constitutional law professor at Loyola Marymount University, said California's penchant for initiatives can withstand the Proposition 8 decision, even as it might tweak the balance of power between voters and elected officials.
"It provides for one more check on the initiative process," Levitt said, "and that is to have a state official ... decide how vigorously to defend on appeal. That still leaves a pretty powerful initiative process." - LA Times, June 27, 2013
...should be factored into our wording of this material. - MrX 20:57, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
Levitt: Good find; we can include that as well as the disputed commentary. (w/o the 'penchant for' editorializing.) I think quotes from the court, as requoted by secondary sources, would be the ideal way to cover this topic. But, I see little reason not to cite or quote from the courts rulings; this is SCOTUS, after all. Plus, policy (IIRC) lets us, and we routinely cite company staff and websites in articles on a company. I guess I see the views you label as soapbox as closely matching ones I heard expressed in the dissent. Ah, you meant a minority of the court, not of the population. I think the strident criticism by the minority (of 4) mandates we discuss the dissent and not doing so violates NPOV. And as I noted before - This topic (criticism of the court's gutting the power of initiatives to check the power of the state) is essentially tangential to the gay marriage issue. But it IS an essential topic for this article, which is about an initiative, after all. And thanks for the cleanup. --Elvey (talk) 23:08, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
"It belongs in the Hollingsworth article instead" is not convincing. First of all, the entire Hollingsworth article is closely related enough to Prop 8 to be part of this article. It's not part of this article because WP encourages summary style, not because the legal case is unrelated to the proposition. An "aftermath" section of the Prop 8 article is totally appropriate. It's also totally appropriate to include the fact that certain experts think that the result of the passage of Prop 8, and the legal challenge it spawned, will lead to a weaker initiative system. In fact, I think that it is more appropriate to discuss Prop 8's future implications for the initiative system in the article on the proposition rather than loading up the article about the supreme court case with an extended discussion of the purpose of california's initiative system and how the ruling may or may not thwart it. It's kind of cute that people want to defend the majority opinion from any criticism, but really the goal here is to have a well-balanced article, not a fawning one, and this exact topic is a significant subject of current commentary about Prop 8. AgnosticAphid talk 00:04, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
Saying that something is not convincing is not convincing. You are talking about the effect of the ruling on the Hollingsworth case, a ruling that was not dependent at all on the content of Prop 8 but is tied solely to the specifics of that court case. Speculation on the impact of a ruling on a question of standing in a case that had something to do with the change in the law that was put in place by the passage of prop 8 is simply too many steps away from the topic. If we keep putting things in more distant topics, then we could put the same discussion in same-sex marriage in California, then in same-sex marriage in the United States, then in same-sex marriage, then in the main marriage article. It's clearly most relevant to Hollingsworth v. Perry, and does not seem to have enough relevancy for prop 8 to make it in the proper summary of that article. --Nat Gertler (talk) 00:37, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't know. Your comment is excessively hostile. It's not "speculation," it's the primary thing that unfavorable coverage of the case in reputable sources is focused upon. There's a whole section about the court case here, and this article is more about Prop 8 as an initiative than the WP article about the case itself. So it makes sense to discuss the effect on future initiatives here. I think you're right that perhaps the general "aftermath" section isn't the best place for a statement about the effects of the legal challenge on future initiatives, but I don't see why we can't have a sentence about Mr Chemerinsky et al. in the section of this article that's about the court case. It's not an either/or question. Excluding well-sourced critical commentary of the article topic on the basis that you think it's marginally more appropriate in a different article is, well, not convincing. AgnosticAphid talk 17:22, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
"There's a whole section about the court case here" - and it should be kept down to a summary, specifically regarding how it applies to Prop 8. Since we haven't seen the effect of the legal challenge on future initiatives, then to talk about that effect is speculation. This isn't well-sourced critical commentary about Prop 8 itself; it's tertiary to the topic. --Nat Gertler (talk) 17:36, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

"Having overruled the California Supreme Court's ruling that the proponents did have standing, the US Supreme Court"[edit]

Re. the objection to my addition, "Having overruled the California Supreme Court's ruling that the proponents did have standing, the US Supreme Court":

SCOTUS "Held: Petitioners did not have standing to appeal the District Court’s order."

SCOTCA was formally asked to rule on "the rights under California law of the official proponents of an initiative measure to defend the constitutionality of that measure upon its adoption by the People when the state officers charged with the laws' enforcement, including the Attorney General, refuse to provide such a defense or appeal a judgment declaring the measure unconstitutional."
The majority saw itself as correcting the California Supreme Court, claiming that "standing in federal court is a question of federal law, not state law. … States cannot [give] private parties who otherwise lack standing a ticket to the federal courthouse."

ISTCM that the minority did feel that SCOTCA had been overruled, stating,

"But the State Supreme Court’s definition of proponents’ powers is binding on this Court. And that definition is fully sufficient to establish the standing and adversity that are requisites for justiciability under Article III of the United States Constitution. …

It is for California, not this Court, to determine whether and to what extent the Elections Code provisions are instructive and relevant in determining the authority of proponents to assert the State’s interest in postenactment judicial proceedings. … There is no basis for this Court to set aside the California Supreme Court’s determination of state law. …
The Court’s opinion disrespects and disparages both the political process in California and the well-stated opinion of the California Supreme Court in this case.
The California Supreme Court, not this Court, expresses concern for vigorous representation;
the California Supreme Court, not this Court, recognizes the necessity to avoid conflicts of interest;
the California Supreme Court, not this Court, comprehends the real interest at stake in this litigation and identifies the most proper party to defend that interest.
The California Supreme Court’s opinion reflects a better understanding of the dynamics and principles of Article III than does this Court’s opinion."


No? --Elvey (talk) 20:21, 13 July 2013 (UTC)

What?--Amadscientist (talk) 23:24, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
Supreme Court of California is a state-level court. Article III standing applies to federal courts. The U.S. Supreme Court didn't rule on anything dealing with the Supreme Court of California. Teammm talk
email
04:16, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
The Ninth Circuit asked the California Supreme Court to decide whether the Prop 8 proponents had standing under the California constitution "or otherwise under California law" to defend the constitutionality of Prop 8. The California Supreme Court began its decision with the following sentence: "At the request of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, we agreed to decide a question of California law that is relevant to the underlying lawsuit in this matter now pending in that federal appellate court." There is a long complicated section in the California Supreme Court decision on "the federal decisions that discuss the role that state law plays in determining whether, under federal law, an individual or entity possesses standing to participate as a party in a federal proceeding." At the same time, the court stated that it was not deciding an issue of federal law and that the issue of federal standing would "ultimately ... be decided by the federal courts." Although state court opinions can be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, that is generally done only when there is a federal question that the state court supposedly wrongly decided. Here, the correctness of the California Supreme Court opinion was not before the U.S. Supreme Court. The court discusssed the opinion, but it never "overruled" it. For example: "All that the California Supreme Court decision stands for is that, so far as California is concerned, petitioners may argue in defense of Proposition 8." "[T]he fact that a State thinks a private party should have standing to seek relief for a generalized grievance cannot override our settled law to the contrary." Thus, to say that the U.S. Supreme Court overruled or reversed the California Supreme Court is not true.--Bbb23 (talk) 14:04, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
Agreed. The CA Supreme Court said that under state law the official proponents were entitled to represent the state's interest in the continued enforcement of Prop 8. The US Supreme Court said, essentially, "that's not a good enough interest for Article III." Since the two decisions are on slightly different topics one couldn't overrule the other. AgnosticAphid talk 17:29, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
Ok so you can make the same argument the majority made, and we should present that opinion AS OPINION. Not as fact. Still, the quote shows that the minority did feel that SCOTCA had been overruled. The article should say that. Let's come up with some wording we can agree on that says that. I'll try.--Elvey (talk) 08:37, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

We should not be trying to reduce a complex legal question to sound bites. The US Supreme Court did not "overrule" the California Supreme Court. It overruled the US Court of Appeals. The US Court of Appeals had asked the California Supreme Court for an advisory opinion on whether the Prop 8 opponents should have standing to sue under California law. The California Supreme Court issued an opinion, not a ruling, as a state court has no authority to grant standing in federal court. It was the US Court of Appeals that granted standing and their decision was what the US Supreme Court overruled. The minority's concern was about the impact the US Supreme Court's opinion would have on the initiative process and they felt the arguments in California court's opinion were persuasive in that regard, but the majority concluded that giving a citizens group with no specific injury federal standing violated numerous precedents.--agr (talk) 14:09, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

If you find my way of explaining the minority judges' view unacceptable, then you need to suggest another way of expressing it. Simply deleting my attempt to share their view is not a reasonable solution. Agreed? Feel free to replace what I've done with something you feel is better way of doing that (or explain why the minority view doesn't deserve to be mentioned if you actually want to make that claim.) Do not simply remove the attempt and provide no alternative. Mr X's accusation of OR is unfounded; what he removed expresses what the minority said. -- Elvey (talk) 04:29, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

The minority views do deserve to be included, just not the way you're writing it in. Maybe you should propose your edits here and others can help you. Teammm talk
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06:11, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
I added a short paragraph on the dissent.--agr (talk) 12:27, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
I have removed it. We can not synthesize a conclusion based on an editor's interpretation of a primary source, especially when the entire 14 page dissenting opinion is cited. Surely there is a reliable secondary (non-opinion) source that has properly summarized the dissent. Failing that, then someone should propose a direct quote from the dissent and seek consensus here. - MrX 15:05, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
I've added a secondary source, a New York Times article already cited, along with a direct quote from the dissent that the Times also quoted. --agr (talk) 18:52, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Your edit: "Justice Kennedy, in his dissenting opinion, said the views of the California Supreme Court on the proponents' standing should have been respected." seems to be based on: "The Court’s opinion disrespects and disparages both the political process in California and the well-stated opinion of the California Supreme Court in this case." and "In this dissent, Justice Kennedy argues that the California Supreme Court was qualified to assign a third party to defend voter initiatives like Proposition 8, even if the activists did not have a "formal agency relationship" with the state." There may still be a bit of a synth issue, but it's close enough that can live with it. I can't speak for anyone else though. - MrX 19:41, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 1 August 2013[edit]

Repair Dead link (footnote #103):

http://www.noonprop8.com/about/who-opposes-prop-8

New Live link: http://digital.library.ucla.edu/websites/2008_993_109/about/who-opposes-prop-8/index.htm. Accessed: 2013-08-01. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6IYfFxwAo)

Tktim9 (talk) 23:56, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

 Done. Teammm talk
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00:25, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

why did SCOTUS allow the ruling by Walker to stand?[edit]

Editor Elvey asked, "If there's no right to defend a challenged law in federal court, why did SCOTUS allow the ruling by Walker to stand?"

If you challenge a state law in Federal Court,

  • If you win the case, the law is invalidated.
  • If the people elect candidates for both a Governor and Attorney General that said the law violates the US Constitution and then do as they said they would, there is no one with standing in Federal Court to dispute the case. With no one with standing contesting you, you win the case as well.

Either way, the outcome is the same: that state law is invalidated. Was that the logic in the decision? --Javaweb (talk) 01:17, 6 August 2013 (UTC)Javaweb

Is there a specific improvement to the article you had in mind? Otherwise, see WP:NOTAFORUM and feel free to remove your talk page entry and my reply. Binksternet (talk) 01:36, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
I found it non-obvious why the district Federal court was treated differently from the superior Federal Courts. I wanted to make sure the article was correct and if there are enough readers that would have a similar question, it should be answered in the article. Another editor also found it non-obvious. --Javaweb (talk) 04:14, 6 August 2013 (UTC)Javaweb
Before (if) you remove this topic, I'll try to address your question, which, forgive me, is a bit odd. First, Prop 8 did not enact a law. It amended the California constitution. Second, the S. Ct. said only that the proponents did not have standing to appeal. They were allowed to intervene in the district court. Obviously, if the district court had found that the U.S. Constitution was not violated by Prop 8, the outcome would not be "the same".--Bbb23 (talk) 01:46, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes, if the district court had upheld Prop 8, that would have been different. I'm still not clear why the 2 lower federal courts were not treated the same in terms of standing in the case versus the appeal. Was it because the first court only covered the State of California and so state standing rules have more weight? --Javaweb (talk)Javaweb
It just doesn't really make that much sense if you think about it too much. In the lowest court, the district court, the governor and attorney general were parties to the case and though they didn't actually offer a defense of Prop 8 they still sort of sat there in court. Since they were in the lowest court, they were a proper defendant, and nobody disputes their standing, the district court's injunction was issued when the right kind of party was in the case. Later, the governor and attorney general didn't appeal the case, after the district court issued the injunction, because they basically agreed with the district court judge. So, the official proponents tried to appeal the case; the Supreme Court said that the official proponents didn't have standing to appeal because they didn't have a sufficiently concrete stake in the matter. Since there weren't any other parties to the appeal, it was dismissed. That just left the district court injunction. The reason it doesn't make that much sense is, why were the governor and attorney general the "OK" parties that made the district court's injunction legitimate, if they didn't even do anything in the district court? I suggest not thinking about it too much. I hope that cleared things up a little. Maybe we should try to make this part of the article more straightforward. AgnosticAphid talk 04:48, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
Certainly any lack of clarity in the article should be identified and corrected if at all possible. Our readers should not be scratching their heads, wondering what happened. Binksternet (talk) 04:53, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
Agnosticaphid, so the name change from Perry v Brown to the separate appeal Hollingsworth v Perry was a clue. My fellow editors, thanks. Your explanations have clarified things. All these facts are in the article but your explanations are clearer. --Javaweb (talk) 14:34, 6 August 2013 (UTC)Javaweb
To the extent that any of this rather abstruse legal information belongs anywhere, it would be in the case article, not in this article. For those who care, though, a plaintiff or appellant has to have standing. A defendant or respondent (to an appeal) does not. Thus, the proponents had to have standing to appeal to the Ninth Circuit and again to the Supreme Court, but standing wasn't an issue at the district court level, because Perry and Stier were the plaintiffs. The proponents had to make a motion to intervene. From the district court opinion: "Defendant-intervenors, the official proponents of Proposition 8 under California election law ("proponents"), were granted leave in July 2009 to intervene to defend the constitutionality of Proposition 8." The standard for a motion to intervene is complicated and would be of no value to the Hollingsworth article (it's not even mentioned).--Bbb23 (talk) 01:22, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Agreed:More suitable for a law journal than in an article for non-lawyers. ––Javaweb (talk) 04:08, 7 August 2013 (UTC)Javaweb

That makes sense. Thanks.--Elvey (talk) 01:51, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 6 September 2013[edit]

The statments reguarding the vote by African Americans is highly misleading. First the Miltofsky numbers polled a realtively small number of African American voters as a part of a larger survey. Minority voting estimates in exit polls are suspect since by definition they are held to a small percentage of a larger poll to avoid other biases. Thus a very valid surve of n=2000, may survery fewer than 200 black or hispanic voters. Since polls are not conducted at all sites, but a limited crossection there is always risk that minority voters actually surveyed are not representative of that sub-group.

Futher the article suggests that the survey was backed up by 2 others by AP and CNN when in fact all 3 were one and the same poll. Worse, The 75% claim is not what the results said.

The Analysis by NYU funded by the Haas foundation for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute is dismissed as having only sampled a few counties. In fact it was a much more comprehensive review of survery data that included several surveys both before and after the election. A subset of their data was conducted in the 5 counties that included over 2/3 of African American voters in the state and bye itself contacted more black voters than Mitofsky. but the research goes beyond that reviewing other surveys of African Americans in California and Nationwide. The data showed African Americans support gay marriage at rates between 41 and 58%, again suggesting that the Mitofsky data was well outside expectaions.

In addition it perpetuates the illusion that African Americans swung the decision. In fact, even using the inflated estimates of 70% for prop 8 and 10% of voters (NYU says more like 7%), the math dictates that if no Black person had voted in the election, the bill would have passed.

Dymondog (talk) 23:14, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

Not done: An edit request must be in the form of "please change X to Y". Please say exactly what you want to change and provide sources which support any factual changes. Thanks, Celestra (talk) 19:32, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

Restored correct article name California Proposition 8 (2008)[edit]

On 20 September 2011 NuclearWarfare moved "California Proposition 8 (2008)" to "California Proposition 8": per WP:PRECISE). The name "California Proposition 8 (2008)" had prevailed for many years. There was no discussion at the time of the move. I do not agree that WP:Precise calls for this name change, and I am reversing the change, because it is inconsistent with Wikipedia conventions for California proposition names. Starting with Category:California ballot propositions, 2012 and working backwards to 2006, there are 42 articles. Of these, except for this article and Marsy's Law, which was Proposition 9 in 2008, and two articles that group propositions together, all article names are in the form California Proposition nn (yyyy) where nn is the proposition number and yyyy is the year.

Therefore this article must be restored to California Proposition 8 (2008), and I have done so. —Anomalocaris (talk) 09:42, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Sorry, I object to this move and I think it should be moved back. I see no absolutely no need for this disambiguation and WP:COMMONNAME applies. You should have discussed it first. - MrX 12:27, 1 October 2013 (UTC)
  • I'm not going to get into the process side of this, since both editors appear to have moved without discussion. I am guessing NW - who is an admin, arb and great long-term contributor - made the move without any discussion because WP:PRECISE seems to give unambiguous guidance, but in this case i don't think that was the same thing as a good outcome. I agree with Anomalocaris that this should follow the pattern of names for the California Propositions. Sometimes PRECISE is not the same thing as being clear or informative. I think the year is important title information in this context. hamiltonstone (talk) 13:13, 1 October 2013 (UTC)
I don't understand. California Proposition 8 redirects to California Proposition 8 (2008). Where else would you want it to redirect to? —Anomalocaris (talk) 16:32, 1 October 2013 (UTC)
Nowhere. I would just like that to not be changed in the future. NW (Talk) 22:00, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

I researched further. With the exception of California Proposition 6 (1978) redirecting to Briggs Initiative and California Proposition 9 (2008) redirecting to Marsy's Law, and two articles grouping 2008 propositions, all Wikipedia articles about California ballot propositions since 1970 have titles of the form California Proposition nn (yyyy) where nn is the proposition number and yyyy is the year. —Anomalocaris (talk) 16:32, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

  • Move back to California Proposition 8. It absolutely has no sense that California Proposition 8 redirects here. The disambiguator is used to disambiguate not to inform the reader what they are reading. Also, WP:INCDAB and WP:NATURAL applies. Unless California Proposition 8 goes somewhere else, the page shouldn't be moved like this, did you know there's something called contentious moves?. Tbhotch. Grammatically incorrect? Correct it! See terms and conditions. 22:14, 1 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Support current title because there's a lot of other "California Proposition 8"s as Anomalocaris noted above. Maybe it makes sense to have the "California proposition 8" redirect here because I don't doubt that it's the common name, but according to the precision naming criteria WP:PRECISE it seems like it's more precise and helpful to readers to include the year. Overall, because California recycles initiative numbers, I think the best practice is to include the year in all articles with a "California Proposition __" title. AgnosticAphid talk 23:36, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
  • "When a more specific title is still ambiguous, [California Proposition 8] it should redirect back to the main disambiguation page [Propostion 8 (disambiguation)]" In other words moving the article from a non-dabbed title to a dabbed title, but at the same time not redirecting the original to a DAB page creates a INCDAB, incomplete disambiguation. Yes, the reader "is helped" when the title indicates this law is about the 2008 law, but in no sense helps other people searching other Props. 8 to be redirected here. The same happens with the 209 and 187 laws. Or the disambiguation is complete or it is not performed. It is like if we move Work to Work (disambiguation) to clarify the reader the page is not about the verb/action, but about a disambiguation page, but at the same time "Work" still being redirected there. Tbhotch. Grammatically incorrect? Correct it! See terms and conditions. 00:15, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
  • You're misreading that guideline. INCDAB says that you have to use a redirect if the disambiguated title still isn't specific enough. It uses the example of "Aurora (album)", which has to redirect to "Aurora" because there are like ten different albums named Aurorea. INCDAB would only come into play here if there had been two Proposition 8s in 2008 (because then the specific "...(2008)" title wouldn't be specific enough), which isn't the case. Nobody seems to dispute that the 2008 measure is (for now) the most likely topic a reader searching for "Prop 8" would want. So that's why "Prop 8" redirects here. But the fact that the 2008 Prop 8 is the most common prop 8 doesn't change the fact that the most specific and helpful title and the title consistent with the rest of the California initiative measure articles, is "California Proposition 8 (2008)". AgnosticAphid talk 18:36, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
Since "8" has been retired as a proposition number, "California Proposition 8" will always be unique and that is the title readers will be looking it up by. Give readers the title they expect. Only qualify it when necessary when otherwise there would be confusion. --Javaweb (talk) 23:21, 8 October 2013 (UTC)Javaweb
Do tell, where did you happen to discover that they've retired the number 8? I've never heard of such a thing. Prop 13 from 1978 is super famous, but that didn't stop Prop 13 from reappearing in 2010. There are already lots of Prop 8s, as repeatedly noted above. AgnosticAphid talk 23:27, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
You are correct. A quck websearch says the numbers start back at 1 every 10 years. --Javaweb (talk)Javaweb

Difficulty understanding article[edit]

hello i am angry and very new to wiki editing but this page is so horrendously poorly written that i was angry enough to make a fool of myself online. I'd like to request that whoever fixes this thing im writing here either fix the poor nature of the article, as described below, or puts up one of those banners that warns people that the article is very poorly written. The poor nature of the article being it is unnecessarily difficult to tell what prop 8 is aside from a proposition regarding gay marriage in california in 2008. It should be made clear whether prop 8 was hindering gay marriage or attempting to advance it. Sorry for writing in this way, the FAQ was no help, times got desparate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 108.185.188.24 (talk) 06:48, 19 January 2016 (UTC)

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Semi-protected edit request on 9 April 2016[edit]

Under other in the Campaign section where the mention of the action by the Porterville City Council here is a link to the Resolution with the vote info https://www.dropbox.com/s/7ee8bmmwlylt0d9/Reso%2083-2008_09-02-08.pdf?dl=0 Brock93257 (talk) 11:43, 9 April 2016 (UTC)

Red question icon with gradient background.svg Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format.  B E C K Y S A Y L E 07:45, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

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eightmaps.com[edit]

Why is it that there is no mention of the usage of campaign donation data to attack supporters of the subject in this article? It has been covered in reliable sources such as the NYT, Washington Times, HuffPo, KESQ, and elsewhere. Ballotpedia actually has a good section on this.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 06:11, 28 October 2016 (UTC)

Here are some additional reliable sources:

--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 06:30, 28 October 2016 (UTC)

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