A reader writes:
Your attorney reader who weighed in on the standing of the Prop 8 proponents is mistaken in his prognosis of appellate outcome. "Insufficient assistance/inadequate counsel" is only an issue for which appellate courts remand in criminal cases, not civil ones such as the Prop 8 trial. Furthermore, Jerry Brown and the other non-intervenor defendants were all agents of California's executive branch, tasked with executing the laws of California as they see fit. There would be an enormous separation of powers issues, and likely federalism ones as well, if federal appellate courts ordered a state executive to change the way in which he executed the laws, especially if the law is of suspect constitutionality to begin with. Yes, Southern executives (governors, attorneys general, sheriffs, etc.) were ordered to change their ways when they were enforcing Jim Crow laws, but the difference between being ordered to stop discriminating and being ordered to start is certainly a salient one.