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Ninth Circuit rejects Imperial County's petition for rehearing on rejection of effort to defend Prop 8

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today again slapped the hands of Imperial County Clerk Chuck Storey and his ill-fated attempts to intervene as a defendant-appellant in the Proposition 8 case known as Perry v. Brown.

On Feb. 7, the same day the Ninth Circuit made its big ruling affirming the unconstitutionality of California's Proposition 8, the panel rejected an attempt by Storey, representing Imperial County, to intervene in the historic case.

Today, Judges Stephen R. Reinhard, Michael Daly Hawkins and N. Randy Smith, ruled that Storey is not entitled to petition for rehearing. Here is what they said:

" We deny as untimely the motion of Chuck Storey, County Clerk of Imperial County, to intervene as a Defendant-Appellant in these appeals. As a result, Storey is not entitled to petition for rehearing. See Day v. Apoliona, 505 F.3d 963, 964 (9th Cir. 2007) (“Under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 35(b), only a party to a matter before this court may petition for rehearing or rehearing en banc.”). We therefore dismiss his petition for rehearing en banc."

Imperial County, the little-populated area east of San Diego, originally filed a motion to intervene in the appeal of district Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling that Prop. 8 is unconstitutional.

In December 2010, the three-judge panel at the Ninth Circuit shredded arguments by Robert Tyler, a lawyer representing Imperial County, who contended that the county should be allowed to intervene in the appeal and defend the ban on gay marriage.

The panel noted that Tyler’s client was a deputy clerk recorder in Imperial County and did not legally represent the county, much less the actual Clerk Recorder. The judges had Tyler so flustered with their questioning that the attorney often provided conflicting arguments.

This time, Chuck Storey, then the newly elected Clerk Recorder in Imperial County, sought to intervene in the appeal of Perry v. Brown.