Today, Ted Olson brilliantly argued that the ProtectMarriage.com folks do not have "special rights" to represent the state of California and defend Prop 8. And he reminded us that their own attorney admitted in court "I don't know" how same-sex marriage harms anyone.
The state of California won't defend Prop 8, so ProtectMarriage.com barged in. A tiny, unaccountable, unelected web site is trying to represent the state in court to defend legalized discrimination.
Suppose well-funded, determined people disliked you so much that they put your way of life to a public vote and lied about you so they could win. Elections frequently come down to emotion, so if the folks who hate you want to win, all they have to do is scare enough people. That's why the Prop 8 legal battle matters so much. For the first time in history, we've seen the tactics and lies laid bare.
And now we'll see what the "CA Supremes" do with what they heard in court today.
Prop 8 Trial-Tracker had a live blog of the hearing ... which included this quote from Ted Olson:
Olson says in response to reporter, good justices ask hard questions. Said he was happy those questions were asked. Feels encouraged. He says our side wins either way, on the merits or on standing.Lambda Legal issued a statement which included:
We continue to hope that the Court will ultimately decide that small groups of unelected individuals who are answerable to no one should not be able to act on behalf of the state.More from Ted Olson on the AFER website:
"We also hope they will see that the proponents of Proposition 8 had no direct interest in the validity of the measure. Their only legal interest was getting it placed on the ballot. A philosophical interest based on prejudice against lesbian and gay people should not be enough to gain access to federal courts."
“There is ample authority that individuals do not have a right to defend a law unless they would suffer a direct and immediate harm from its invalidation,” said attorney Theodore B. Olson, who represents the Plaintiffs in the Perry case. “The proponents of Proposition 8 will not suffer any harm from a decision that grants gay and lesbian Californians their fundamental civil right to marry. It is the Attorney General who has the exclusive authority to make litigation decisions on behalf of the State, and here the Attorney General has made the sound decision that the discriminatory provisions of Proposition 8 do not warrant defense on appeal. Proponents cannot second-guess that exercise of discretion.”