Wednesday, May 27, 2009

a wolf in gay sheep's clothing?

msnbc's david shuster, twittered this morning:
With Olson and Boies teaming up to argue due process/14th amendment, the legal argument for gay marriage is a slam dunk. Huge development.
here's what david's talking about, via marc ambinder:
Combatants in the first politico-cultural drama of the 21st century, lawyers Ted Olson and David Boies are now allies in another: today, they're filing a federal court challenge to California's Proposition 8, hoping that a federal judge will issue an injunction against the same-sex marriage ban and immediately reinstate marriage rights for gay couples. The California Supreme Court upheld the proposition yesterday. Funding for the case is provided by the Equal Rights Foundation.

Olson, who has argued Bush v. Gore and 54 other cases before SCOTUS, was solicitor general from 2001 to 2004, and Boies, a corporate law expert who served as Al Gore's lead co-counsel in 2000, famously helped the Justice Department prosecute Microsoft's anti-trust case.
but there's a bit of skepticism out there, with conspiracies looming about olson's possible ulterior motive. from hot air:
A federal court might find that a violation of the equal-protection clause and overturn Proposition 8, or at least the ruling. The danger here for Olson is that a federal court might take action that invalidates those existing marriages rather than forcing California to recognize gay marriage altogether.
some believe it's not only california marriages that would be in danger. a dailykos reader, more to the point:
The whole goal of this lawsuit is to take the marriage issue in front of the current supreme court and get a ruling AGAINST same-sex marriage. Anyone who seriously believes that this lawsuit is good for our community is completely missing the point.
from the l.a. times:
Legal scholars have observed that proponents of gay marriage have avoided taking the issue to federal court so far because of the dominance of conservative judges and justices on the federal bench after the eight-year tenure of President George W. Bush.

The U.S. Supreme Court has what usually results in a 5-4 majority against extending rights to gays by recognizing sexual orientation as a vulnerable class of citizens in need of protection.

And all but one of the 13 federal appeals circuits has a reliable conservative majority. Even the exception, the San Francisco-based U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, experienced a curtailing of its liberal orientation with Bush’s seven appointments.
so is olsen a savior? or a wolf in sheep's clothing? could a decision in a conservative circuit court set a federal precedent ending the battle for gay marriage for years to come? and is that exactly what olsen is hoping for?

my tendency is to trust. but i admit, i do have some reservation about this whole development. i also wonder what effect a possible march to the u.s. supreme court for gay civil rights could have on sonia sotomayor's confirmation hearings for that same court.

and what about boies? if this movement is not on the up-and-up, why would he be involved? ultimately, i'm more willing to believe that a conservative republican would come out in support of marriage equality (see steve schmidt) than a democrat would unknowingly support such sinister ulterior motives.

1 comment:

  1. no attorney gets to that level without having a killer instinct and extremely competitive nature. no attorney of that stature is going to take a case hoping to lose. losing would be a no-win for him.


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