The California Supreme Court announced Wednesday that it would re-enter the legal battle surrounding same-sex marriage and seek to hear further arguments by September.
Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the federal lawsuit challenging California’s ban on same-sex marriage, stalled last month, when a three judge panel for the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that it did not know whether it had jurisdiction to hear the case. The panel said that it needed more information on California law. Specifically, it needed to know whether the official proponents of a successful California ballot measure can defend that measure in court when the state’s normal law enforcement officers refuse to do so.
At the moment, California’s statutes and court decisions do not adequately address this question, so the federal court has requested additional guidance from the California Supreme Court. On Wednesday, the California court unanimously announced its intent to answer. The court also said that it would expedite the matter and require submission of the parties’ first briefs in March.