Boies and Olsen on Hardball

Jim Burroway

May 28th, 2009

Ted Olson and David Boies appeared on Chris Matthews’ Hardball to talk about their federal lawsuit challenging California’s Prop 8. Matthews counted up the votes in the Supreme Court based on Lawrence vs. Texas and declared, “You’ve got a good shot at this it seems to me.” The best line comes near the end, when Olson declared:

You don’t take your constitutional rights to the ballot box. They are protected by the Constitution. That is why we have a Constitution and that’s why we have courts.


May 29th, 2009

Olson and Boies said it perfectly. You don’t put people’s Civil Rights up to a popular vote.

I just wish many LGBT folks would stop questioning Ted Olson’s motives. I believe he is truly on our side in this argument and we should support both Olson and Boies in this effort.

The LGBT community is united in this fight. We need to use our anger in a positive way. We need to stand behind these two gentlemen and use their words to change the minds of others on this issue.

Christopher Waldrop

May 29th, 2009

HappyCat, you’re absolutely right, but I also understand why people are angry. Every step forward seems to come with setbacks. And even though there is a cynical side to me, I think Olson and Boies are sincere in their desire to see the law changed.

The problem, as many have noted, is that the current structure of the Supreme Court isn’t exactly friendly toward LGBT people right now. Thomas and Scalia, two of the justices who were in favor of Colorado’s Amendment 2, vile as it was, are still on the Supreme Court, and I worry that, had it come before them today, Roberts and Alito would have joined them and maybe even convinced one other justice to uphold it.

I hate playing the game of waiting for the court to change, but I’m also afraid of what will happen if Scalia gets to write a majority opinion that sets not just marriage rights but civil rights for LGBT people back.

Priya Lynn

May 29th, 2009

What happens to this suit if prop 8 is overturned at the ballot box in 2010?

Christopher Waldrop

May 29th, 2009

Good question, since conservatives howl about states’ rights any time the federal government does something they don’t like, but then feel it’s the fed’s duty to step in when they don’t like what states are doing. Bush specifically refused to make a statement on federal regulation of same-sex marriage in 2000 because he said it was a states’ rights issue. A few years later he flip-flopped and said a constitutional amendment was necessary.

Here’s my non-legal thinking: If Prop 8 is overturned before this goes to the Supreme Court Olson and Boies may drop their lawsuit, or they may continue it in order to get a national-level ruling on same-sex marriages. If the Supreme Court upholds Prop 8 I think it can still be overturned in 2010, or, for that matter, any time after that. If they accept that the majority can impose limits on the freedoms of a minority, they’ll have to accept that the majority can also extend freedoms.

Here’s where it gets tricky. If the Supreme Court overturns Prop 8, I think Prop 8 will become void. The same will apply to laws (and perhaps even state constitutions) across the country. When the Supreme Court struck down the Texas sodomy law I’m pretty sure it made all such laws void across the nation.

The Supreme Court ruling is, therefore, the ultimate winner-take-all bet.

Richard W. Fitch

May 29th, 2009

To Priya Lynn: I am by no means a legal expert, but my hunch is that even if the voters of CA reverse Prop 8, the suit will go forward. Prop 8 only affects (directly)CA. The suit Olsen and Bois are mounting will have ramifications at the federal level and, if successful, will prevent other states from passing gay marriage amendments and overturn those that already exist. States do not have the prerogative to rescind rights that are granted by the US Constitution. If this case does reach the SCOTUS it will have a monumental impact on the struggle for LGBT rights for many years to come. Let’s just hope they are positive results.


May 29th, 2009

The Federal Court has to even first agree to hear the case.


May 29th, 2009

After my Father died, both my Mother and Step-mother got additional Social Security Benefits.

If my partner dies, I get NOTHING!

If I die, my partner get NOTHING!

LGBT people are subsidizing the Social Security system for opposite sex married people.


Thank you.


May 29th, 2009

I have been preaching the same message, i.e., civil rights are constituionally protected: life, liberty, pursuit of happiness. All men (persons) are created EQUALLY. Thus, we should have equal access to the process of law. I AGREE with this lawsuit. The California Supreme Court may have done us a favor by issuing this double standard. The US Supreme Court has no basis to support the current discriminatory practices. Separate but equal is not equal. If they uphold Prop 8, I would expect to see another civil environment similar to the pre-1964 movement. Equality will prevail, because the gays, like other minorities, are not going away!

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