ABC News' Teddy Davis Reports: California Attorney General Jerry Brown called on the state's Supreme Court on Friday to strike down a recently approved ballot measure which eliminated the state's court recognized right to same-sex marriage.
"Proposition 8 must be invalidated because the amendment process cannot be used to extinguish fundamental constitutional rights without compelling justification," said Brown.
The attorney general's legal brief constitutes a turnaround for Brown. Back in November, the mercurial former governor said that he was planning to defend the voter-approved proposition even though he personally voted against it. The attorney general of California is duty-bound to defend state law as long as there are reasonable grounds for doing so.
But after weeks of consulting with lawyers in his office, Brown, who is considering a run for governor in 2010, changed his mind.
He now believes that all the residents of California enjoy an inalienable right to liberty and privacy that includes a right to marry that cannot be stripped away by majority vote.
While voters are allowed to amend some parts of the state constitution by majority vote, Brown's brief argues that the state constitution's inalienable rights cannot be withdrawn from a class of persons by an initiative amendment.
Proposition 8 oral arguments before the California Supreme Court could begin as early as March.