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May 30, 2009

PROP 8 LAWYERS SPEAK OUT

If you've been following my last two posts, you know that the California Supreme Court let Prop 8 stand but still allowed marriages already performed to be valid and legal. Confusing? Of course. Contradictory? You bet. But because of the way the ruling was worded, the path to future gay marriages in California is still wide open.

On one hand, they made it clear that they were forced to rule only on the legality of Prop 8 being on the ballot but, on the other, they also made it clear that some gay marriages can remain legal which immediately sets up the dichotomous conflict of the same basic citizen right being both legal and illegal in the same state. That kind of legal conundrum can only be finally decided in the U.S. Supreme Court. Which is exactly what's about to happen.

If you saw my article yesterday, you already know that two of the nation's top legal minds who have both argued before the Supreme Court have agreed to act as co-councils in the lawsuit filed by the American Foundation for Equal Rights.

Ted Olson and David Boies argued against each other in the now infamous 2000 Bush v. Gore presidential election Supreme Court case that was watched and scrutinized by virtually the entire world. Earlier this week they appeared on Larry King to discuss their reasons for taking on this historic case. Below is the video of that interview:



The only thing I'm very concerned about with this action is the make-up of our current Supreme Court. Even with the addition of Justice Sonia Maria Sotomayor who will replace Justice David Souter, the court will still have the same ideological make-up.

However, even given that, I am still very hopeful that at least one or two of the other justices will vote in favor of this simple and very clear-cut case of civil rights.

Who knows, maybe we'll luck out and Obama will be able to appoint another justice before this case reaches the court. Stranger things have happened.

3 comments:

NG said...

This whole issue reminds me of a line from the movie, American President:

America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You've gotta want it bad, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight.And that certainly appears to be the case here, doesn't it?

Either we want this thing or we don't.

While the concerns many have with regards to to Ted Olsen and David Boies are warranted, it's somewhat disconcerting, still, to have GLBT orgs give in as they appear to have.

Steve Krotz said...

Thanks for the comment NG. That's a great quote and it couldn't be more apropos.

At the start of Obama's presidency, I was always careful to say that we needed to give him time to settle-in. Well, he's settled-in enough to have attempted to water-down his campaign promises on his website and side-step discussions that he should be championing.

I've gotten tired of waiting. If he doesn't want to do what he promised, then it's up to us to, once again, push the issues as far and as fast as we can.

And in this case, since it will take some time for this to wind through the lower appellate courts before it finally reaches the SC, when we have people like Olson & Boies who have the experience, talent and ability to get the press's attention to keep this issue alive, it would be foolish to turn away from it. Especially since the arguments they've already talked about could help change a lot of people's minds and hearts.

I'm one of GLBT's "older generation" that helped start all of this and I can't tell you how many times we were told to "cool it", to "back off" or to just "slowdown."

The key is, you don't wait for "the time to be right" - you forge ahead and keep pushing and pushing and pushing and pushing. And you never give up! Ever!!

Steve Krotz said...

BTW - Sorry it took so long to post your comment. I'm having some trouble with my email deliveries so I didn't see it until today.