Today marked another turning point in the protracted battle over Prop 8, the anti-gay marriage ballot initiative that passed in 2008. The issue: Can the backers of a controversial initiative prevail over public officials who oppose them, once their initiative wins the popular vote? California Supreme Court ruled that they can. This morning's ruling paved the way for conservative Prop 8 proponents to represent the state's interest, and appeal a federal judge's decision to repeal the initiative, Chron writer Bob Egelko reports. In her opinion, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye stressed the importance of upholding California's initiative process, and indicated that a voter-approved initiative need not be abrogated, simply because the governor and attorney general refuse to defend it in court. That could mean Prop 8 will eventually face the US Supreme Court after it hits the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals in December.