Corey Johnson | David Boies | Federal Prop 8 Trial | Gay Marriage | News | Proposition 8 | Ted Olson | Vaughn Walker

Watch: Prop 8 Case Attorneys David Boies and Ted Olson Discuss Court Cameras, Gay Judge, SCOTUS Votes, and Equality



Last night, lead attorneys in the federal challenge to Proposition 8, David Boies and Ted Olson, made their first public appearance since the Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial began in January at a New York Times 'Unlikely Allies' talk before 150 people at NYT headquarters in midtown Manhattan.

Before their talk, Olson and Boies gave an exclusive interview to Towleroad during which we were able to ask them a few questions that have come up since January. A final round of briefs was submitted at the end of February, and closing arguments are still to be heard.

In the interview with Towleroad's political director Corey Johnson, Boies and Olson discuss where we go from here. They also address concerns from some in the community that the information that Judge Vaughn Walker is gay might have some effect on how the outcome of the trial is spun. 

Is there a concern that if and when the case reaches the U.S. Supreme Court, the justices will feel that they are getting ahead of public opinion on the issue? What does the Supreme Court's decision about not allowing cameras in the courtroom mean for their ultimate decision in the Prop 8 trial? Will it all be up to swing-vote Justice Anthony Kennedy? 

Finally, what is their message for gay and lesbian Americans anxious for the process to move quickly?

Watch our interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Never in a million years would I have thought that Ted Olson would become one of the greatest champions for, and a hero of, the gay rights movement.

    Many blessing and many thanks to both of these wonderful men; our champions, my heroes.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Mar 11, 2010 8:55:56 AM

  2. have Boies and Olson taken this case 'pro bono', or are they being paid?

    Posted by: TCW | Mar 11, 2010 9:08:38 AM

  3. I understand it's partly pro-bono

    Posted by: Gabriel | Mar 11, 2010 9:16:30 AM

  4. Corey Johnson is getting better at these interviews, but I must say it was jarring to hear him call his interviewees "Ted" and "David." I don't know that Ted Olson gets to forever be referred to as Mr. Solicitor General, but Attorney Olson or Mr. Boies might have been more respectful.

    Posted by: wisebear | Mar 11, 2010 9:43:26 AM

  5. @Gabriel: "partly" pro bono? How is that? Something is either done for monetary benefit or it isn't, no?

    Posted by: TCW | Mar 11, 2010 10:06:39 AM

  6. Sorry, I know this is off topic and may be considered innapropriate but does anyone else want to jump Corey Johnson's bones... just sayin'

    Posted by: Ryan D | Mar 11, 2010 10:16:17 AM

  7. @Wisebear: I've met Ted Olson, and the first thing he asked me was to be called Ted. I'm sure he asked Corey to do the same.

    @TCW: I understand they are discounting their regular rates on this job - and the same goes for all of the other Gibson Dunn and Boies Schiller & Flexner lawyers and staff. But no, they're not working for free.

    Both of them are incredible lawyers - we couldn't ask for better advocates.

    Posted by: MT | Mar 11, 2010 10:25:03 AM

  8. @Ryan D- Yeah...for sure! Yummy...

    Posted by: RWG | Mar 11, 2010 10:47:58 AM

  9. I thought Rob Reiner was paying for all this...?

    Posted by: rich | Mar 11, 2010 11:55:24 AM

  10. Bien fait ! He asked all the hard-hitting questions that most wanted to ask. The only potential falsehood is the notion that California marriages are in limbo, which are not because their status was decided.

    Posted by: Jake Orlando | Mar 11, 2010 1:49:38 PM

  11. There's a word for a "hero" you pay for. It's "mercenary".

    Posted by: BobN | Mar 11, 2010 3:44:18 PM

  12. Did he pronounce Towleroad, "Toe-lerd"? Is that the correct pronunciation?

    Posted by: Rodney | Mar 11, 2010 5:10:49 PM

  13. Sorry to diverge from the topic at hand, but how do I get one of those neat little hyperlinked usernames? Anyone know?

    Posted by: Rodney | Mar 11, 2010 5:34:00 PM

  14. To get the link on your username just put your url in the url box..

    Posted by: ash | Mar 12, 2010 3:01:02 AM

  15. One possibility no one is discussing is that the Supreme Court could refuse to hear the case, whatever the outcome in the 9th Circuit court of appeals. In this way, the court will avoid setting a national precedent; the court has taken tis course in theearly days of civil rights struggles.

    What does this mean for Gay people?

    In the case the 9th circuit decides for Marriage equality, it means the decision applies in the specific case being contested in California. Prop 8 would be reversed, but no obligation would imposed upon other states to make marriage laws conform to the decision.

    If the 9th circuit decides against marriage equality, Prop 8 will stand, but, one might say, we live to fight another day.

    Both of these scenarios would be comfortable for a divided court unwilling to be "ahead" of public opinion, especially a court leaning toward a "states rights" resolution to the issue of Marriage equality.

    It would be interesting to hear Boles and Olson give their opinion of this possible outcome, some day.

    Posted by: Bruce | Mar 12, 2010 8:36:48 AM

  16. Nice prep work, Corey. Good job.

    Posted by: freddie | Mar 12, 2010 11:45:17 AM

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