Chris Matthews | David Boies | Gay Marriage | Gay Rights | News | Supreme Court | Ted Olson

Ted Olson and David Boies Discuss Federal Prop 8 Suit on Hardball


Chris Matthews talks to Ted Olson and David Boies about their federal lawsuit challenging Prop 8 in relation to other federal gay rights decisions by the Supreme Court. Matthews also asks why we shouldn't leave it to the States.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. These guys are just plain good. Their words are so much stronger than anything solmonese has ever said.

    Posted by: samwise | May 28, 2009 9:38:38 PM

  2. I love how Chris repeatedly slobbers all over Ted Olson throughout this piece, and David Boies is treated like he's just some long distance caller. Ted Olson himself said he couldn't argue the merits of the case any better than Boies, but Chris ignores it completely.

    Posted by: MrRoboto | May 28, 2009 9:43:21 PM

  3. Olson may box in the Gang of 5 on the Supreme Court because this is the same basic rational that he used in Bush V Gore that equal protection et al over-rules State Supreme Court ruling as they did FL's. This may also be a move to reinvent the Republican party by doing an end run around the silent Obama and Pelosi on an issue that is clearly going to be the civil rights victory of this decade.

    Posted by: pete | May 28, 2009 10:37:50 PM

  4. I do like the fact that they are two lawyers not involved in any pro-gay group. They can speak without fear of anything to lose and stay very subjective and keep their thoughts straight unlike what I saw with the prop 8 oral arguments which seemed quite unprepared and detached.

    I do worry though about these two lawyers putting all their eggs in one basket concerning the 14th amendment and equal protection. It is an all-in move. Either we win and eliminate all state bans of same-sex marriages or we lose and set a precedent that says the 14th amendment doesn't apply to marriage.

    Posted by: Aiden Raccoon | May 28, 2009 10:41:58 PM

  5. They're supposed to be good. They're two of the top lawyers in the country. They aren't like the redshirts we sent out to be slaughtered by Ken Starr in March.

    The question is will the very conservative federal Supreme Court buy anybody's argument - no matter how good - on this issue?

    Posted by: John | May 28, 2009 10:47:17 PM

  6. I like what I heard. Let's do this.

    Posted by: Darren | May 28, 2009 10:48:39 PM

  7. I don't know what's going to happen given the makeup of the Court, but I can say that right now I am very impressed. These guys certainly lay out an argument. (Actually, THE argument--it's been quite apparent for years that this would be the major argument we'd take to SCOTUS. I just hope this is the time!)

    Posted by: Joey R. | May 28, 2009 10:55:28 PM

  8. I saw this earlier, and the exchange was strong and consistent. However Mathews' previous guests: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MT) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) left much to be desired. Menendez was sarcastic in his comments and expressed how in his views our rights are up to the 9 Justices as opposed to our Constitution, Klobuchar laughed all along. Democrat politicians do not get we are Americans who are deeply affected by this issue. I suggest you write to them both, I already have.

    Posted by: Rafael | May 28, 2009 10:57:04 PM

  9. For better or worse we will or won't have marriage equality in 5 years or less. Is it wrong that part of me kind of hopes that Scalia passes on in the next 4 years?

    Posted by: Jason Young | May 28, 2009 11:28:38 PM

  10. Here are their emails



    Posted by: Rafael | May 28, 2009 11:30:23 PM

  11. Matthews is a weird egg. He worships the Washington insider culture and loves to name drop. On the other hand, he can at times ask very insightful and effective questions in order to make news. At the same time he can be a bully, blatantly sexist and tone deaf. He's a mess of contradictions. I think all of this is his attempt to play multiple roles which he doesn't actually occupy (prosecutor, politician, etc.).

    That being said, he's also an old school Democrat who's not all that liberal and conflicted about many progressive issues. He was raised in an almost exclusively Republican family and a lot of his friends are Republican. He just doesn't fit anywhere. He's awkward. So I think that's where a lot of his affinity for Olsen comes from, along with the fact that Washington is still wired for conservatives. Matthews and all the DC talking heads keep forgetting the Dems are in power. Of course, so do the Dems.

    Posted by: James C | May 29, 2009 1:07:47 AM

  12. @Jason Young: It is wrong of you to hope that Scalia passes on in the next 4 years. You should hope instead that he continues to be bound by precedent; he essentially argued (and won for us) Perry in his Lawrence dissent. Olson and Boies are hoping for a 9-0 decision. I think it's unlikely and predict a 7-2, Roberts and Alito dissenting.

    Posted by: NObamaNObetter | May 29, 2009 1:16:16 AM

  13. I like having the "Dream Legal" team on our case.

    Posted by: Joe in SF | May 29, 2009 1:37:04 AM

  14. They're certainly off to a good start.
    Fingers crossed for lots more publicity, because building momentum is probably more significant than anything else they could be doing at this point.

    Posted by: PM | May 29, 2009 6:12:12 AM

  15. Is there a way for the Supreme Court to decide this and only affect California? Obviously it would be awesome if they created marriage equality everywhere in one fell swoop, but correct me if I'm wrong but I think that's a lot faster than Loving, where the majority of states were already on board with interracial marriage being OK. Right now we only have 5, and I think the Supreme Court conservatives would be VERY conscious of HOW MUCH they are enforcing on SO MANY states. Olson and Boies are technically only suing could the Supreme Court decide something that only affects California in its unique situation now with some gays married and some gays not?

    Also I'm curious, what are some of the most recent gay rights/discrimination cases that did NOT go our way?

    I read the whole suit and watched this and their argument is so compelling, I don't see how the Supreme Court could not agree with it without flat-out OK-ing discrimination?! So could someone please tell me how they predict anyone will be able to dissent, and on what grounds besides homophobia and religious zeal? I'm seriously curious what the dissenters will be able to argue against this case.

    Posted by: Derrick | May 29, 2009 6:49:33 AM

  16. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States...14th's fairly simple language.

    Can someone please explain how the Mormons are violating the church and state law while we go without equal rights????

    Posted by: bostonian queer in dallas | May 29, 2009 7:28:51 AM

  17. Wouldn't it be nice if Olson/Boies would drop by the White House and knock some sense into "our (not so) fiercest advocate?"

    Note to Secret Service: "Knock some sense" is a figure of speech and should not be construed as a threat to POTUS. Just in case some of those crazy Bush rules are left unchanged.

    Posted by: Deservebetterthanobama | May 29, 2009 9:02:09 AM

  18. Those guys are SMART! This is definitely good news for all of us. I say fuck America and give us our rights!

    If they can't take it, they can whine and cry the rest of their lives. That's what republicans do anyway, right?

    Posted by: Bobby | May 29, 2009 9:17:55 AM

  19. God bless them both. I'd kiss their rings but I don't know where they are wearing them!!!!

    Posted by: philberto | May 29, 2009 9:52:16 AM

  20. What we need to go along with this landmark case is a queer figurehead championing our cause: sort of our own MLK Jr. or a new Harvey Milk, so that we have concurrent radical movement in the court of public opinion as well as in the literal courts. Anyone see Army Lt. Dan Choi protesting Obama in LA the other night? He is poised, articulate, and definitely passionate. We need to take it to the streets while this landmark case progresses! We need a populist civil rights leader and I think Dan Choi could be that leader! . This is our time! Let’s roll!

    Posted by: Wren | May 29, 2009 10:00:05 AM

  21. Thanks for posting this. I think it has great possibilities. At 72 and 75, we do not have that much time left.

    Posted by: Konrad Kuchenbach | May 29, 2009 10:03:49 AM

  22. Ted Olson's wife, Barbara, was killed on Sept. 11, 2001, when her plane was flown into the Pentagon. I think it's touching that someone who has suffered personal tragedy in the violent loss of a spouse champions the rights of others who cannot yet enjoy marriage. Good on ya, Mr. Olson!

    Posted by: Paul Linxwiler | May 29, 2009 10:11:26 AM

  23. Surreal. I just don't know what to think. I might be a Negative Nancy, but I still am suspicious... all the words are right, and the sentiment appears genuine... but still. It's Ted Olson. My head is going to explode.

    Posted by: The Milkman | May 29, 2009 10:17:17 AM

  24. It might help to take a look at the campaign contributions of each. Ted has given to Republicans only - very conservative Republican politicians... he also gave money to John McCain - on 10/08, after McCain chose Sarah Palin. David Boies has given to both Dems and Republicans... why are we to believe they are on the side of Gay people now? If this case is not won in the S. Court - we may see a precedent set where the 14th amendment does not apply to marriage. Perhaps this is their goal. Scary.

    Posted by: Non-believer | May 29, 2009 12:06:16 PM

  25. I'm mixed on this, but I'm willing to try anything now. Perhaps the best thing for our fight for gay rights is to step out of the way (and jettison all of our inter-LGBTQ nit-picking & bickering) and let JUSTICE play out. The issue really is much BIGGER than just us (it ain't all about being gay). Maybe our own diversity has been the biggest obstacle to our own equality.

    Posted by: John Bisceglia | May 29, 2009 12:12:51 PM

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