Perry et al v. Schwarzenegger et al

Filing 375

MOTION to File Amicus Curiae Brief in Support of Defendant-Intervenors filed by The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Thompson, Angela) (Filed on 1/8/2010)

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Perry et al v. Schwarzenegger et al Doc. 375 Case3:09-cv-02292-VRW Document375 Filed01/08/10 Page1 of 4 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Angela C. Thompson (CA Bar No. 238708) Attorney at Law PO Box 163461 Sacramento, CA 95816-9461 Telephone: (916) 642-6534 Fax: (916) 930-0033 angelathompsonesq@gmail.com The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty Kevin Hasson (IL Bar No. 6190825; pro hac vice application pending) 1350 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 605 Washington, D.C. 20036-1735 Telephone: (202) 955-0095 Fax: (202) 955-0090 khasson@becketfund.org Attorneys for Amicus Curiae The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA KRISTIN M. PERRY, et al., Plaintiffs, and CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO, Plaintiff-Intervenor, v. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, et al., Defendants, and PROPOSITION 8 OFFICIAL PROPONENTS DENNIS HOLLINGSWORTH, et al., Defendant-Intervenors. Case No. 09-CV-2292 VRW MOTION OF THE BECKET FUND FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY FOR LEAVE TO FILE BRIEF AS AMICUS CURIAE IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTINTERVENORS Date: To be determined by Court Time: To be determined by Court Place: To be determined by Court ________________________________________________________________________________________ 1 MOTION OF THE BECKET FUND FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY FOR LEAVE TO FILE BRIEF AS AMICUS CURIAE IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT-INTERVENORS Case Number C09-2292 VRW Dockets.Justia.com Case3:09-cv-02292-VRW Document375 Filed01/08/10 Page2 of 4 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 TO ALL PARTIES AND THEIR ATTORNEYS OF RECORD: PLEASE TAKE NOTICE THAT The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty hereby moves the Court for leave to file its brief amicus curiae in the above-captioned case, to address the potential conflict between same-sex marriage and religious liberty. The Becket Fund has conferred with counsel for all parties. Counsel for Defendants and Defendant-Intervenors consent to this motion; counsel for Plaintiffs and Plaintiff-Intervenor do not object to this motion but maintain they are not in a position to grant consent given the Court's statements regarding amicus briefs at the December 16, 2009, pre-trial conference. I. STANDARD The Court has broad discretion to permit a non-party to participate in an action as amicus curiae. See, e.g., Gerritson v. de la Madrid Hurtado, 819 F.2d 1511, 1514 n.3 (9th Cir. 1987); Nat. Res. Def. Council v. Evans, 243 F. Supp. 2d 1046, 1047 (N.D. Cal. 2003) (amici "may file briefs and may possibly participate in oral argument" in district court actions). As this Court has noted, "[d]istrict courts frequently welcome amicus briefs from non-parties concerning legal issues that have potential ramifications beyond the parties directly involved or if the amicus has `unique information or perspective that can help the court beyond the help that the lawyers for the parties are able to provide.'" Sonoma Falls Dev., LLC v. Nevada Gold & Casinos, Inc., 272 F. Supp. 2d 919, 925 (N.D. Cal. 2003) (quoting Cobell v. Norton, 246 F Supp 2d 59, 62 (D.D.C. 2003)) (citation omitted); see also In re Na'l Sec. Agency Tele. Records Litig., No. 061791 VRW, 2009 WL 1561818, at *9-10 (N.D. Cal. June 3, 2009) (relying on submissions of amici curiae regarding proper interpretation of statute). II. IDENTITY AND INTEREST OF AMICUS The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is a non-profit, nonpartisan law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions. It has represented agnostics, Buddhists, ________________________________________________________________________________________ 2 MOTION OF THE BECKET FUND FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY FOR LEAVE TO FILE BRIEF AS AMICUS CURIAE IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT-INTERVENORS Case Number C09-2292 VRW Case3:09-cv-02292-VRW Document375 Filed01/08/10 Page3 of 4 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Native Americans, Santeros, Sikhs, and Zoroastrians, among others, in lawsuits across the country and around the world. It is frequently involved, both as counsel of record and as amicus curiae, in cases seeking to preserve the freedom of all religious people to pursue their beliefs without excessive government interference. The Becket Fund has also represented religious people and institutions with a wide variety of views about same-sex marriage and homosexuality, including religious people and institutions on all sides of the same-sex marriage debate. The Becket Fund has long sought to facilitate the neutral, academic discussion of the impact that legalizing same-sex marriage could have on religious liberty. In December 2005, it hosted a conference of noted First Amendment scholars--representing the full spectrum of views on same-sex marriage--to assess the religious freedom implications of legalized samesex marriage. The conference resulted in the book SAME-SEX MARRIAGE AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY: EMERGING CONFLICTS (Douglas Laycock, Anthony R. Picarello Jr. & Robin Fretwell Wilson, eds., Rowman & Littlefield 2008). To date, EMERGING CONFLICTS remains the touchstone of scholarly discourse about the intersection of same-sex marriage and religious liberty. Based on its expertise in the field of religious liberty generally, and the intersection of same-sex marriage and religious liberty specifically, the Becket Fund submits this brief to demonstrate that concerns about the potential conflict between same-sex marriage and religious liberty are both rational and well-founded in fact. III. CONCLUSION For these reasons, the Court should grant The Becket Fund leave to file the accompanying amicus curiae brief and to participate in the proceedings. ________________________________________________________________________________________ 3 MOTION OF THE BECKET FUND FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY FOR LEAVE TO FILE BRIEF AS AMICUS CURIAE IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT-INTERVENORS Case Number C09-2292 VRW Case3:09-cv-02292-VRW Document375 Filed01/08/10 Page4 of 4 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Dated: January 8, 2010 /s/ Angela C. Thompson Angela C. Thompson (CA Bar No. 238708) Attorney at Law PO Box 163461 Sacramento, CA 95816-9461 Telephone: (916) 642-6534 Fax: (916) 930-0033 angelathompsonesq@gmail.com The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty Kevin Hasson (IL Bar No.6190825; pro hac vice application pending) 1350 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 605 Washington, D.C. 20036-1735 Telephone: (202) 955-0095 Fax: (202) 955-0090 khasson@becketfund.org Attorneys for Amicus Curiae The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty ________________________________________________________________________________________ 4 MOTION OF THE BECKET FUND FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY FOR LEAVE TO FILE BRIEF AS AMICUS CURIAE IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT-INTERVENORS Case Number C09-2292 VRW