I blogged earlier about Vivid Entertainment v. Fielding, the challenge to Measure B enacted by initiative in 2012 that required performers in pornographic films to wear condoms. Los Angeles County abdicated any defense of the law; it instead urged proponents of the initiative to intervene, which they did. The case proceeded essentially wholly on the basis of evidence presented by the intervenors. The district court upheld portions of Measure B.
Plaintiffs then appealed the case to the Ninth Circuit, which will hear oral arguments this morning (likely available for streaming here).
But nowhere to be found is Los Angeles County. The case goes on without them as intervenors continue the appeal.
It's one thing to note that a series of laws and amendments regarding same-sex marriage, with views of opponents of such laws ranging from "irrational" to "on the wrong side of history," have lost support from elected officials in judicial proceedings. But the virus of abdicating the defense of citizen-sponsored initiatives has infected this proceeding, too.
How many other initiatives--a gun control bill, a campaign finance bill, a death penalty bill--might succumb to executive abdication? Time can only tell. Until then, Measure B litigation soldiers on, without the litigation resources of the county officials sworn to uphold the law.