The ACLU, LAMBDA, and of course the ubiquitous Gloria Allred, among others have filed three lawsuits with the California Supreme Court seeking an injunction against its implementation.  I have not read the entire petition, which you can see here:   Proposition 8 Petition

The Los Angeles Times reports

Reporting from San Francisco and Los Angeles — After losing at the polls, gay rights supporters filed three lawsuits Wednesday asking the California Supreme Court to overturn Proposition 8, an effort the measure’s supporters called an attempt to subvert the will of voters.

“If they want to legalize gay marriage, what they should do is bring an initiative themselves and ask the people to approve it,” said Frank Schubert, co-chairman of the Proposition 8 campaign. “But they don’t. They go behind the people’s back to the courts and try and force an agenda on the rest of society.”

This is a critical flaw in the genderless marriage agenda.  Voters will perceive this as as imposing a judicial dictatorship on the clear expression of the voter’s will; however, from a legal standpoint it is probably the only avenue they can take at this point.  The gay-rights activists seek only to do in the courts what they remain unable to do at the ballot box.

The legal argument is essentially that the voters have approved a constitutional revision, rather than a more limited constitutional amendment:

Lawyers for same-sex couples argued that the anti-gay-marriage measure was an illegal constitutional revision — not a more limited amendment, as backers maintained — because it fundamentally altered the guarantee of equal protection. A constitutional revision, unlike an amendment, must be approved by the Legislature before going to voters.

The state high court has twice before struck down ballot measures as illegal constitutional revisions, but those initiatives involved “a broader scope of changes,” said former California Supreme Court Justice Joseph Grodin, who publicly opposed Proposition 8 and was part of an earlier legal challenge to it. The court has suggested that a revision may be distinguished from an amendment by the breadth and the nature of the change, Grodin said

What are its chances?  Santa Clara University law professor Gerald Uelmen doesn’t think much of the petition, but former justice Grodin disagrees:

Still, Grodin said, he believes that the challenge has legal merit, though he declined to make any predictions. Santa Clara University law professor Gerald Uelmen called the case “a stretch.”

I still think that direct involvement by this court is a dangerous proposition, not only for the rule of law, but for those sitting justices themselves.  In 1986 California voters removed a former California supreme court justice, Rose Bird, for antagonizing the voters and their will over the death penalty.

Other legal experts think there is just too little current law to predict how the state supreme court might respond:

UC Irvine Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky said his research found too little case law on constitutional revisions to predict how the state high court might resolve the question.

“There is very little law about what can be done by amendment as opposed to revision,” he said.

Of course both sides had differing opinions as well:

Jennifer Pizer, a staff lawyer for Lambda Legal, said the initiative met the test of a revision because it had far-reaching magnitude.

“The magnitude here is that you are effectively rendering equal protection a nullity if a simple majority can so easily carve an exception into it,” she said. “Equal protection is supposed to prevent the targeting and subjugation of a minority group by a simple majority vote.”

Glen Lavy, an attorney for the Proposition 8 campaign, called the lawsuits “frivolous” and “a brazen attempt to gut the democratic process.”

The San Francisco Chronicle has reported on the petition.  Attorney General Jerry Brown vows to do everything he can to preserve the marriages already performed.  The question in my mind is whether he will also do everything he can to uphold the people’s will as expressed at the ballot box:

And Attorney General Jerry Brown, who represents the state in court, said he would defend the legality of the thousands of same-sex marriages conducted in the 5 1/2 months leading up to election day – even though sponsors of Prop. 8 say the measure was intended to invalidate those marriages. That controversy is also likely to end up before California’s high court and could reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

“It is my belief that the courts will hold that these same-sex marriages entered into are valid,” Brown said in a statement. He said he would defend Prop. 8 against legal challenges, but would also defend “the marriages contracted during the time that same-sex marriage was the law in California.”

A research institute at UCLA has estimated that 18,000 same-sex couples have married in California since the state Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing such marriages took effect June 16. In a victory statement Tuesday night, the Yes on 8 campaign asserted that from now on, “only marriage between a man and a woman will be valid or recognized in California, regardless of when or where performed.”

Campaign manager Frank Schubert said Wednesday, however, that his organization has no plans to challenge any of those marriages in court. The question will have to be decided by “the court that created that problem” by refusing to suspend its ruling until after the election, he said, without describing how it might reach the court.

Prop. 8 would overturn the court’s 4-3 ruling May 15 that declared same-sex couples had the right to marry under the California Constitution on the grounds of privacy and equal protection. Backers of the measure made the court a focus of their campaign, accusing “activist judges” of thwarting the will of voters who had approved a similar measure as an initiative statute in 2000.

Three lawsuits were filed directly with the state Supreme Court on Wednesday, seeking orders immediately blocking enforcement of Prop. 8 and ultimately striking it down as a violation of fundamental rights in the California Constitution.

The plaintiffs are six unmarried same-sex couples and the advocacy group Equality California; another couple who married shortly after the May 15 ruling took effect; and the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles, joined by Santa Clara County.

The legal arguments are narrowly focused on state law, because gay rights activists nationwide know they haven’t a prayer in federal court; and, that a defeat in the United States Supreme Court could possibly deal a fatal blow to their political agenda:

Although their lawyers would not discuss their strategy publicly, each suit seeks to overturn Prop. 8 on the basis of state law and avoids federal constitutional claims that could send the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Gay-rights advocates have tried to keep such disputes away from the nation’s high court, out of fear that the justices would issue a nationwide ruling rejecting any right of same-sex marriage under the U.S. Constitution.

That leaves the plaintiffs with the difficult task of showing that Prop. 8, a state constitutional amendment, violates other, more basic provisions of California’s Charter. The court has almost always rejected such challenges to other constitutional amendments.

Some of the same legal organizations filing suit Wednesday offered similar arguments this summer to try to remove Prop. 8 from the ballot, but the court refused, while leaving room for a post election challenge.

The couples’ lawsuits contend Prop. 8 is so far-reaching that it is not merely a constitutional amendment but a revision, which requires a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to reach the ballot. Such a vote would be unlikely with the Legislature’s houses overwhelmingly controlled by Democrats.

Plaintiffs argued the measure offends constitutional principles by taking important rights away from a historically persecuted minority – gays and lesbians – while stripping judges of their power to protect that group.

“A major purpose of the Constitution is to protect minorities from majorities,” said Elizabeth Gill, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, one of the groups suing on behalf of the six unmarried couples. “Because changing that principle is a fundamental change to the organizing principles of the Constitution itself, only the Legislature can initiate such revisions.”

And, a major purpose of the direct initiative in California is to allow voters to overturn the poorly reasoned and legally unsupportable decisions handed down by renegade out of control justices sitting on the supreme court.  The stark legal fact remains that this California supreme court made up the so called right to genderless marriage.  The California Constitution does not say same gender couples have a fundamental right to get married.  Neither does the California Constitution confer the constitutionally protected status of a suspect class to “sexual orientation” however that novel legal concept might possibly be defined.

Rather, the California supreme court without any California legal precedent or even federal legal precedent made up those rights out of whole cloth.  They did that in direct contravention of the majority of California’s residents.  Will they take on the electorate for another round?

Other analysis:

Thanks to JimD for this link:

The Volokh Conspiracy (also linking to a post by Kaimi Wegner)

Stephen Brainbridge also weighs in.