Sunday, March 14, 2010

Boies, Olson Voice Prop 8 Optimism – By Paul Schindler – Gay City News

In New York appearance, marriage equality litigators says opponents fell well short

“Every person in America should see this, and we would end this now,” Ted Olson, one of two superstar attorneys challenging California’s Proposition 8, said of the case he and fellow litigator David Boies have mounted in a San Francisco federal court. Photo

Olson was referring not only to what the two attorneys, in their first public appearance since the trial began in January, said was the clear superiority of their arguments compared to those put forward by Prop 8’s supporters, but also to the one disappointment marriage equality advocates have so far sustained during the trial –– the US Supreme Court’s refusal to allow cameras to record the proceedings, even for narrowcasting to a handful of federal courthouses outside San Francisco.

That decision, coupled with an earlier jettisoning of the trial court judge’s plan to post each day’s testimony on YouTube, to some degree reined in their hopes to, in Boies’ words, “move the public debate.”

Olson and Boies –– a legal odd couple who were opponents in the infamous Bush v. Gore Supreme Court case that settled the 2000 election –– made their comments in a March 10 one-hour conversation before an invitation-only audience of roughly 100 at the New York Times headquarters in Midtown. Adam Liptak, the newspaper’s Supreme Court reporter, moderated.

For those not disposed to following the trial hour-by-hour even if it were posted online, the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision might seem a footnote in an already complex legal battleground. But given the longstanding aversion among top LGBT legal advocacy groups to any effort at leapfrogging the marriage equality issue from state courts to the federal judiciary out of concern about the high court’s rightward tilt, it was appropriate that Liptak pressed the attorneys on why observers shouldn’t read the camera ruling as a troubling bellwether. Read more - By Paul Schindler – Gay City News

Heads Up Notice of this News article – courtesy of Jack Drescher, MD

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