California | Family Research Council | FOX News | Gay Marriage | Proposition 8 | Ted Olson

Watch: Ted Olson Asks Fox Host: 'Would You like Fox’s Right To Free Press Put Up To A Vote?'

Ted Olson made an impressive appearance on Fox News Sunday to discuss the Prop 8 ruling with Chris Wallace. The host  brought up the same tired talking point about last week's ruling taking away the opinions of seven million California voters. Olson explained things to him this way:

"Well, would you like your right to free speech? Would you like Fox’s right to free press put up to a vote and say well, if five states approved it, let’s wait till the other 45 states do? These are fundamental constitutional rights. The Bill of Rights guarantees Fox News and you, Chris Wallace, the right to speak. It’s in the constitution. And the Supreme Court has repeatedly held that the denial of our citizens of the equal rights to equal access to justice under the law, is a violation of our fundamental rights. Yes, it’s encouraging that many states are moving towards equality on the basis of sexual orientation, and I’m very, very pleased about that. … We can’t wait for the voters to decide that that immeasurable harm, that is unconstitutional, must be eliminated."

At the end of the show Wallace pays Olson a big compliment, telling him, "after your appearance today I don't understand how you ever lost a case in Supreme Court."

A hi-lights reel of the show is AFTER THE JUMP.

Also AFTER THE JUMP is David Boies' stop on Face The Nation where he faced off with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins wherein the latter brings up the "junk science" the legal team supporting Prop 8 failed to support during the trial.

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  1. I think Ted Olson just found a loophole in the Constitution for us [Equality based Rights] which makes him an exceptional legal practitioner since it's what Lawyers are supposed to do but few meet the criteria.

    Posted by: SSCHIEFRSHA | Aug 8, 2010 3:36:04 PM

  2. Ted Olson is a hero in the truest sense of the word.

    Posted by: GeoffM | Aug 8, 2010 3:40:35 PM

  3. This republican loves us more than Dems and Obama. Go Ted!!!

    Posted by: David | Aug 8, 2010 3:49:35 PM

  4. Brilliant!

    Posted by: Automatic Prince | Aug 8, 2010 3:52:38 PM

  5. If all arguements that are made nationwide for equality were framed like this, we would be much further along in our fight. Simply say "do you want any group to be able to vote on your rights?"

    Posted by: JT | Aug 8, 2010 3:57:22 PM

  6. I hardly ever watch Fox News - but made an exception when I heard Olson would be a guest. Yes, Wallace brought up the old, worn out, cliché NOM talking points and continually drilled Olson on them. It this case it was very satisfying to watch Olson systematically knock them down, one by one. Considering the "normal" Fox News audience, and Wallace's complement at the end, I think this may have some right wingers rethinking their stance.

    Now, let me be cynical for a moment. The "narrative" and "talking points" for the November elections is the economy, not gay bashing - much to the chagrin I'm sure of NOM and their ilk. We all know that Fox News is the major cheerleader of the Republican narrative; and if you've noticed, there hasn't been much of a Republican backlash against the ruling. Make no mistake, if Fox and Friends thought they could make political hay out of this, we'd be seeing all kinds of scandalous coverage 7 x 24 on Fox. I guess that is some kind of progress.

    On the other hand, Obama should jump off the fence and just endorse marriage equality - instead of waiting to be sure the polls will support him. It just makes him look like less of a leader in my book. Don't get me wrong, I'm still supportive of the democrats and for that matter the Obama administration. I just think that he isn't being forceful enough in making his own narrative. He's constantly on the defence. He needs to turn it around. If the democrats lose this November, it will be because they've allowed the republicans to lie without calling them out - and if the republicans are nothing else, I have to give it to them, they are masters of deceit.

    Posted by: Mike | Aug 8, 2010 3:58:25 PM

  7. We should run this on every commerical, every time someone is supposed to speak, at every NOM rally, etc. This was eloquent, concise, and (something that the anti-equality people have yet to do at all...) made COMMON sense.

    If this message could get out, only the most strident homophobes wouldn't be able to grasp the importance. Sadly, I think there are at least three of those on the Supreme Court but I think Ted Olsen threw down the gauntlet here and stated that they would have to go against everything the Supreme Court has every said, every vote they've ever taken, to deny gay men and women the right to marry.

    Amazing. I wish I could be half as cogent when I arguing equality in marriage with someone.

    Posted by: Bart | Aug 8, 2010 3:58:30 PM

  8. Between Judge Walker's must-read decision and Ted Olson's quick take-down of some of the typical and stupid arguments against the decision, it's been a VERY good week for articulate rationality for our side. The public tide is moving slowly in our direction, but, in rational terms, we're already there. Fairness is on our side, but so is reason. And it's the best way to appeal to anyone who isn't a total homophobe, including our political leaders.

    One part of Olson's--and Judge Walker's--argument that often gets lost is that no new right is being created here. There is no such thing as "gay marriage" or "same-sex marriage" (any more than there is "opposite-sex" or "mixed-race" marriage). It is one civil institution that gay couples are excluded from for no reason other than discrimination. The day when the term "gay marriage" is excluded from everyone's vocabulary can't come soon enough.

    The other irritant is the continuing comparisons to Roe v. Wade. (The idea being that a broad court decision that allows for marriage equality before the public has accepted the idea will lead to unending controversy.) The comparison doesn't hold, in part because once gay couples begin marrying, all but the NOM/FOF/etc-style bigots of the world forget about it and move on with their unaffected lives.

    Posted by: Ernie | Aug 8, 2010 4:16:24 PM

  9. Mr Olsen surely knows what he is talking about. Confidence, knowledge, wisdom. Wallace tried to push his views down, but Olsen was smart and so much ahead of the host.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Aug 8, 2010 4:17:07 PM

  10. Mike, you are onto something here. Republicans aren't willing to make this a big issue for November because they don't need to. The economy is what they'll run on (even though they have no NEW or good ideas about it either.) This case won't get to the Supreme Court and be settled before the election, so why say anything now about a topic they may lose on?

    But just you wait until it gets to the SCOTUS! They will run the program they know best: Lie and lie LOUDLY and OFTEN.

    Posted by: princely54 | Aug 8, 2010 4:17:29 PM

  11. Now that's how to argue. Refutation and revealing inconsistency. The occasional reductio ad absurdum to keep the crowd entertained. But relentless focus on the glaring weaknesses of the opposition's platform is how to hammer it home. He writes extremely well, too. Clear writing is the most elegant.

    Best practial advice, though, is to always pick an argument you can win...and with arguments like the ones that olson and boies are armed with, anyone opposing them is doing so for transparently bigoted reasons.

    Posted by: TANK | Aug 8, 2010 4:48:42 PM

  12. "most people use the term 'judicial activism' to explain decisions they don't like"



    Posted by: neverstops | Aug 8, 2010 5:20:05 PM

  13. I'll bet that fellow from Texas has Grindr on his iphone. Just sayin.....

    Posted by: Dave | Aug 8, 2010 5:30:31 PM

  14. The only thing that I wish Olsen had pointed out that he didn't was to respond to the OFTEN heard bitch that SEVEN MILLIONS Californians voted FOR Prop 8. We need SOMEONE to point out that 6.6 MILLION Californians voted AGAINST prop 8. When you point that out the 7 million doesn't sound that impressive. We should also point out that 7 million is LESS THAN 19% of the California population. They keep pushing the myth that a large majority of Californians voted to deny gay marriage when in fact a SMALL majority of the people WHO VOTED and a VERY SMALL MINORITY of the total population voted to deny gays equal marriage rights.

    We need to stop allowing them to use these very misleading talking points without being countered with the facts.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Aug 8, 2010 5:44:13 PM

  15. Ted Olsen and David Boies, I love you both! And not in a way that would make you in any way uncomfortable. ;)

    Posted by: MajorTom | Aug 8, 2010 6:14:31 PM

  16. Be sure to watch the Boies video. It's equally on target and will help you sleep better knowing there's some smart guys out there trying to help us live our lives normally.

    Posted by: Drew | Aug 8, 2010 6:37:27 PM

  17. Ted Olson took him back to school. Going 180 and using Wallace's right to free speech and press as examples were brilliant.

    Posted by: Dice | Aug 8, 2010 6:51:44 PM

  18. OMG BAM! BOIS SMACKED THE HELL OUT OF TONY PERKINS! It really looked like David Bois was about to lose it and go for the throat.

    Posted by: Amaezm | Aug 8, 2010 6:56:40 PM

  19. I see a lot of people talking about the Olson video, it is good stuff. But I loved the David Boies video even more. Seeing the "straight marriage protector" grasping at straws was amazing. David really gives it to him.

    This is obviously a happy time for us. But also terrifying. Who knows how this will play at the Supreme Court, with people like Scalia on deck, we'll probably be sent back into the dark ages.

    Posted by: Beahbea | Aug 8, 2010 7:17:12 PM

  20. I think that "compliment" at the end is more than a little back-handed. I could be interpreting it wrong---maybe Wallace is implying that the Supreme Court ruled incorrectly in those cases---but it still seems a little like he's rubbing his nose in Olson's failure to win a few cases.

    Though who knows, maybe he's saying that Olson's view should prevail at the Supreme Court.

    Posted by: Paul R | Aug 8, 2010 7:46:08 PM

  21. Ted Olson is a brilliant man, he is capable of opening the hearts and minds of those who have been long inundated with false ideas and divisive propaganda.

    Posted by: Rafael | Aug 8, 2010 9:53:18 PM

  22. It doesn't matter how many people vote for a measure, 7 million or 70 million. If the measure is unconstitutional, it's unconstitutional.

    It was great to see Boise and Olson give the respective smackdowns.

    Posted by: Rich | Aug 8, 2010 10:35:43 PM

  23. Nearly 50 years ago, the California Legislature passed the Rumford Fair Housing Act, which banned discrimination against "colored" (read black and latino) property renters or buyers.

    About 2/3 (!) of California voters overturned the Rumford Act (against which there was much posturing and hate speech) when they passed Proposition 14, which, like Proposition 8, had amended the California Constitution. Proposition 14 said Californians could refuse to sell or rent to anyone for any reason. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Proposition 14 violated the 14th Amendment, and it didn’t matter how many Californians had voted for it -- it was racial discrimination, and unconstitutional. The equal protection clause that Walker cited in his Proposition 8 ruling is part of that same 14th Amendment. If SCOTUS can be counted on to do the right thing, there is ample precedent.

    Posted by: Jack | Aug 8, 2010 11:06:12 PM

  24. Ted Olson kicks so much ass. At least on this issue. :)

    Posted by: jersey | Aug 8, 2010 11:17:55 PM

  25. Fox News hosts are great at digging up past quotes by their interviewees and presenting them without much context in order to trick the interviewee up. Olson wasn't having that. The smirk on his face when Wallace threw out those quotes signaled that he knew exactly what FNS was trying to do - and he had his response ready.

    Also, it looks that if Boise could jump across the split screen and punch Tony Perkins in the face, then he would have. Perkins really had no proof to stand behind and it showed.

    Both are such brilliant guys. I can't imagine anyone else doing a better job than they did.

    Posted by: Damien | Aug 9, 2010 3:11:42 AM

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