California | Federal Prop 8 Trial | Gay Marriage | Proposition 8 | Ted Olson

Prop 8 Lawyers Profiled in Salon And NY Times

Salon has an published an interesting interview with David Boies who, along with Ted Olson, is one of the two lawyers who have challenged Prop 8 in court over the last few months. While Bois can't of course tell us with great certainty when to expect a final verdict from Judge Walker, he does say this: "If I had to pick a date for a lottery, I’d probably pick a date in the second half of August. But it could be earlier or it could be later." 

He also explains what Olson meant when he said in his closing arguments that Prop 8 proponents have changed their argument during the trail there times.

From the Salon interview:Md_horiz

During the campaign [in California in 2008], it was "Protect our children. Don’t let them know about gay and lesbian marriage, because if they learn about gay and lesbian marriage they’ll think the gay and lesbian lifestyle is OK, and that’s wrong." When they got to trial, I think they recognized that that blatantly discriminatory message was not going to fly. So they started off by saying, "You’ve got to ban gay and lesbian marriage, because if you don’t, you’re going to undermine heterosexual marriage." That proved to be a proposition for which there was no evidence at all, and it was totally contrary to common sense. So they abandoned that.

And then their final argument was, "Well we don’t know what the effect is going to be of gay and lesbian marriage. And so you ought to ban it because you don’t know what the effect will be." So we said, "First, lack of knowledge is not a basis for discrimination. And second, in fact we do know what the result of gay and lesbian marriage will be. It will improve the lives of gay and lesbian couples, it will improve the health and welfare of the children that gay and lesbian couples are raising. It will not in any way harm heterosexual marriage."

He also responds to rumors of Judge Walker's homosexuality and how that might affect his decision.

I don’t know what his sexual orientation is, and I do not think that is relevant. You have never had a rule or even a suggestion that African-American judges shouldn’t sit on African-American civil rights cases, that women shouldn’t sit on gender-discrimination cases. Or for that matter that white judges shouldn’t sit on African-American discrimination issues. Or that male judges shouldn’t sit on gender-discrimination issues. If you started out down that road, you wouldn’t have any judges who were able to make decisions.

Not surprisingly, Boies and Olson are getting a lot of attention today. They're also featured in an article in today's New York Times, which makes note of what an appeal would mean if Judge Walker ruled against the Prop 8 challenge: more money.

The Times reports:

“We would immediately appeal,” Andrew Pugno, a lawyer for the proponents of Proposition 8, said when asked if his side were to lose in Judge Walker’s court.

The plaintiffs agree.

“This is in fact just the beginning,” said Chad Griffin, a Los Angeles-based political consultant who is also the board president of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which backed the Proposition 8 challenge.

Such legal wanderings, of course, are not cheap, and so it is that Mr. Griffin has already begun fund-raising for the next step. “It’s going to take resources,” said Mr. Griffin, who added that he intended to tap “major donors around the country, as well as grass roots and online.”

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  1. These lawyers are a rare breed of trial show horses. Imagine being so capable on your feet and well-prepared. If anyone could do it, I think they could.

    We'll see what Scalia and Thomas have to say.

    Posted by: Fahd | Jun 27, 2010 1:39:41 PM

  2. In other words gays and lesbians will have to buy our constitutional right to marry. Lets get all the money we spend refunded by a special tax on the Mormon and Catholic churches.

    Posted by: GGREEN | Jun 27, 2010 2:04:13 PM

  3. I'm with GGreen on this one. Great idea.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Jun 27, 2010 2:45:18 PM

  4. It's "Boies" not "Bois." Come on.

    Posted by: R | Jun 27, 2010 3:20:19 PM

  5. someone needs to use spellcheck...

    Posted by: clay | Jun 27, 2010 3:30:26 PM

  6. Actually, gays and lesbians and supporters of gays and lesbians will have to fund this legal team right through a SCOTUS victory. On the other side, a lot of money will be spent, and lost, to try and stop us.

    Let's keep this in perspective.

    Posted by: Bob | Jun 27, 2010 4:10:29 PM

  7. This is something I am willing to spend my extra disposable income on. I have more of it now that I no longer give to the HRC or GLAAD.

    Posted by: swellster | Jun 28, 2010 9:19:52 AM

  8. Boies' track record is very mixed. He's no saint. Plus, so many "profiles" have come out on him and Olson that PR seems to be half the agenda here.

    Posted by: anon | Jun 28, 2010 11:04:40 AM

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