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UPDATED: Prominent Republicans file amicus brief in Prop8 case

Timothy Kincaid

February 26th, 2013

New York Times

Among them are Meg Whitman, who supported Proposition 8 when she ran for California governor; Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida and Richard Hanna of New York; Stephen J. Hadley, a Bush national security adviser; Carlos Gutierrez, a commerce secretary to Mr. Bush; James B. Comey, a top Bush Justice Department official; David A. Stockman, President Ronald Reagan’s first budget director; and Deborah Pryce, a former member of the House Republican leadership from Ohio who is retired from Congress.

They are supporting equality. So far there are 75 names attached to the brief, which will be filed this week.

UPDATE: Here’s the list – so far:

Ken Mehlman, Chairman, Republican National Committee, 2005-2007

Tim Adams, Undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs, 2005-2007

David D. Aufhauser, General Counsel, Department of Treasury, 2001-2003

Cliff S. Asness, Businessman, Philanthropist, and Author

John B. Bellinger III, Legal Adviser to the Department of State, 2005-2009

Katie Biber, General Counsel, Romney for President, 2007-2008 and 2011-2012

Mary Bono Mack, Member of Congress, 1998-2013

William A. Burck, Deputy Staff Secretary, Special Counsel and Deputy Counsel to the President, 2005-2009

Alex Castellanos, Republican Media Advisor

Paul Cellucci, Governor of Massachusetts, 1997-2001, and Ambassador to Canada, 2001-2005

Mary Cheney, Director of Vice Presidential Operations, Bush-Cheney 2004

Jim Cicconi, Assistant to the President & Deputy to the Chief of Staff, 1989-1990

James B. Comey, United States Deputy Attorney General, 2003-2005

R. Clarke Cooper, U.S. Alternative Representative, United Nations Security Council, 2007-2009

Julie Cram, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director White House Office of Public Liaison, 2007-2009

Michele Davis, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs and Director of Policy Planning, Department of the Treasury, 2006-2009

Kenneth M. Duberstein, White House Chief of Staff and Assistant to the President, 1981-1984 and 1987-1989

Lew Eisenberg, Finance Chairman, Republican National Committee, 2002-2004

Elizabeth Noyer Feld, Public Affairs Specialist, White House Office of Management and Budget, 1984-1987

David Frum, Special Assistant to the President, 2001-2002

Richard Galen, Communications Director, Speaker’s Political Office, 1996-1997

Mark Gerson, Chairman, Gerson Lehrman Group and Author of The Neoconservative Vision: From the Cold War to the Culture Wars and In the Classroom: Dispatches from an Inner-City School that Works

Benjamin Ginsberg, General Counsel, Bush-Cheney 2000 & 2004

Adrian Gray, Director of Strategy, Republican National Committee, 2005-2007

Richard Grenell, Spokesman, U.S. Ambassadors to the United Nations, 2001-2008

Patrick Guerriero, Mayor, Melrose Massachusetts and member of Massachusetts House of Representatives, 1993-2001

Carlos Gutierrez, Secretary of Commerce, 2005-2009

Stephen Hadley, Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor, 2005-2009

Richard Hanna, Member of Congress, 2011-Present

Israel Hernandez, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, 2005-2009

Margaret Hoover, Advisor to the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, 2005-2006

Michael Huffington, Member of Congress, 1993-1995

Jon Huntsman, Governor of Utah, 2005-2009

David A. Javdan, General Counsel, United States Small Business Administration, 2002-2006

Reuben Jeffery, Undersecretary of State for Economic, Energy, and Agricultural Affairs, 2007-2009

Greg Jenkins, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Presidential Advance, 2003-2004

Coddy Johnson, National Field Director, Bush-Cheney 2004

Gary Johnson, Governor of New Mexico, 1995-2003

Robert Kabel, Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, 1982-1985

Theodore W. Kassinger, Deputy Secretary of Commerce, 2004-2005

Jonathan Kislak, Deputy Undersecretary of Agriculture for Small Community and Rural Development, 1989-1991

David Kochel, Senior Advisor to Mitt Romney’s Iowa Campaign, 2007-2008 and 2011-2012

James Kolbe, Member of Congress, 1985-2007

Jeffrey Kupfer, Acting Deputy Secretary of Energy, 2008-2009

Kathryn Lehman, Chief of Staff, House Republican Conference, 2003-2005

Daniel Loeb, Businessman and Philanthropist

Alex Lundry, Director of Data Science, Romney for President, 2012

Greg Mankiw, Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers, 2003-2005

Catherine Martin, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Communications Director for Policy & Planning, 2005-2007

Kevin Martin, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission, 2005-2009

David McCormick, Undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs, 2007-2009

Mark McKinnon, Republican Media Advisor

Bruce P. Mehlman, Assistant Secretary of Commerce, 2001-2003

Connie Morella, Member of Congress, 1987-2003 and U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2003-2007

Michael E. Murphy, Republican Political Consultant

Michael Napolitano, White House Office of Political Affairs, 2001-2003

Ana Navarro, National Hispanic Co-Chair for Senator John McCain’s Presidential Campaign, 2008

Noam Neusner, Special Assistant to the President for Economic Speechwriting, 2002-2005

Nancy Pfotenhauer, Economist, Presidential Transition Team, 1988 and President’s Council on Competitiveness, 1990

J. Stanley Pottinger, Assistant U.S. Attorney General (Civil Rights Division), 1973-1977

Michael Powell, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission, 2001-2005

Deborah Pryce, Member of Congress, 1993-2009

John Reagan, New Hampshire State Senator, 2012-Present

Kelley Robertson, Chief of Staff, Republican National Committee, 2005-2007

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Member of Congress, 1989-Present

Harvey S. Rosen, Member and Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers, 2003-2005

Lee Rudofsky, Deputy General Counsel, Romney for President, 2012

Patrick Ruffini, eCampaign Director, Republican National Committee, 2005-2007

Steve Schmidt, Deputy Assistant to the President and Counselor to the Vice President, 2004-2006

Ken Spain, Communications Director, National Republican Congressional Committee, 2009-2010

Robert Steel, Undersecretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance, 2006-2008

David Stockman, Director, Office of Management and Budget, 1981-1985

Jane Swift, Governor of Massachusetts, 2001-2003

Michael E. Toner, Chairman and Commissioner, Federal Election Commission, 2002-2007

Michael Turk, eCampaign Director for Bush-Cheney 2004

Mark Wallace, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Representative for UN Management and Reform, 2006-2008

Nicolle Wallace, Assistant to the President and White House Communications Director, 2005-2008

William F. Weld, Governor of Massachusetts, 1991-1997, and Assistant U.S. Attorney General (Criminal Division), 1986-1988

Christine Todd Whitman, Governor of New Jersey, 1994-2001, and Administrator of the EPA, 2001-2003

Meg Whitman, Republican Nominee for Governor of California, 2010

Robert Wickers, Republican Political Consultant

Dan Zwonitzer, Wyoming State Representative, 2005-present

The New York Times is suggesting that this sort of amicus brief – along with the level of signatories – might be very influential in the swing-votes on the Supreme Court.



February 26th, 2013 | LINK

I find these signatories to be false wittnesses, seeing the inevitable public tide, they seek only a future in politics for themselves. The Party at large also wants to be able to say in the future that the Republican Party was “not entirely opposed to equality” (while pointing to these handfull of signers).

ALL of the afore-mentioned Republicans will be attending CPAC,…the same CPAC which denies participation to Gay Republican Groups. NONE of these Republicans have spoken out within their Party to oppose the Party Platform opposing Gay Equality, but to the contrary, they are complicit. Neither have ANY of these Republicans submitted Actual Legislation to provide Equality to Gays. Their Money is NOT where their mouth is.

Both Huntsman (who I otherwise respect) and Whitman, have arrived at the party a bit too late. They lack real character.

Laura Bush hasn’t the conviction of her very own words.

These Republicans are opportunists. Should public opinion reverse again next week, they will too.

As for SCOTUS, there is still the issue of Standing in both of these pending cases, to be decided. Until this is decided, I am not holding my breath for any conclusiveness.

Democrats should be re-playing old Republican TV ads with Dark Clouds & Lightening Bolts which said “A storm is a-brewin'”


Timothy Kincaid
February 26th, 2013 | LINK

“ALL of the afore-mentioned Republicans will be attending CPAC…”

You know that’s an absurd claim, right?

Gene in L.A.
February 26th, 2013 | LINK

Of course it’s an absurd claim. The article itself says at least one of them has retired from Congress. We can’t be so suspicious that we doubt people of good faith who have genuinely changed their minds. Doubting someone who has re-evaluated an issue in light of new information or even just evolving personal belief only perpetuates intransigent partisanship. We saw Obama change in that way. Republicans can do it too–and I’m a lifelong Democrat saying so.

February 26th, 2013 | LINK

Oh please. Pandering at its worst. They got their asses handed to them on a plate in the election, and now they’re doing damage control.

Priya Lynn
February 26th, 2013 | LINK

I’m with Gene on this one, its a bad idea to slam people who are doing the right thing for once – how do you ever expect people to change their minds if they know you’ll just crap all over them regardless.

February 26th, 2013 | LINK

I wouldn’t trust Meg Whitman as far as you can throw her (and it wouldn’t be very far)

February 26th, 2013 | LINK

To the extent that amicus curae have an effect on SCOTUS rulings is hotly debated. That the Justices even read them is questioned as well, with most leaving the arduous task of mining the bits of new insight to their clerks. Even so, I am encouraged to see Republicans coming out of the woodwork in support of equality regardless of their motivations.

I do, however, question the word “prominent” when referring to this cast of characters. Former politicians and staffers, some of whom are gay or lesbian, many who have been long supporters of equality, don’t, IMHO, bring anything earth shattering to the table. Add Cheney, Rice, Powell or similar to the brief and we have something that a Justice might actually read; otherwise, sadly, this exercise simply seems like window dressing to me. Someone please (respectfully) help me to understand differently.

February 26th, 2013 | LINK

Others with greater telepathic ability than I possess may continue to peer into “the real thoughts” of the signers and broadcast “their real motives”; I’ll take the support, thanks.

February 26th, 2013 | LINK

Wouldn’t it be nice, if the court rules against us, to see these people, and all the other amici who have filed for us, launch a strong and sustained effort to change the laws, or create new ones.

All of them, but especially our unexpected “friends.”

Think it will happen? Neither do I.

Timothy Kincaid
February 26th, 2013 | LINK

“Think it will happen?”

Yes, I do.

February 26th, 2013 | LINK

One clear message that this list sends is, if you’re Republican and support marriage equality wait until you’re out of office to say so.

I hope that these Republican former leaders and leaders can be more effective in steering their party toward the 21st Century on issues of gay rights and equality and will encourage those in office NOW to find the courage to speak up to the conservative values that can be found in expanding marriage to gay couples.

February 26th, 2013 | LINK

Oh, and Kudos to those on the list who currently hold office but had the courage and conviction to speak up.

San Diego Rob
February 26th, 2013 | LINK

As much as I want to see it overturned, most of those people are from other states and should have no say on a case that is pending that will affect only Californians.

February 26th, 2013 | LINK

The people defending Prop 8 aren’t from California.

February 26th, 2013 | LINK

I think all these people except the scumbag Ken Mehlman are to be commended for changing their views on this subject and publicly saying so. (Mehlman didn’t change his views–he hid them while actively participating in demonizing all gay Americans in order to help his scumbag boss win an election. He should be ostracized by the gay community, not lauded). I also think it’s worth noting that nearly all of them are politically irrelevant and don’t have to worry about facing Republican voters anytime soon.

February 26th, 2013 | LINK

“The New York Times is suggesting that this sort of amicus brief – along with the level of signatories – might be very influential in the swing-votes on the Supreme Court.”

Assuming the SCOTUS grants the proponents standing. Otherwise we’re going to have a big fat mess on our hands here in California.

Having said that, I think that the SCOTUS specifically added standing to the issues to be argued so they can better clarify that initiative proponents can have standing under certain conditions, not unlike Prop H8.

February 27th, 2013 | LINK

I’ll take the support (minus Mehlman and Mary Cheney–the other gay enabler of anti-gay hatred) but agree with ScooterJ that it probably won’t mean a thing to any on-the-fence justice.

It will come down to other aspects–most possibly “legacy.” Do the justices really want to be found in the scrap heap of history along with the Dred Scott, Plessy v. Ferguson, and Bowers v. Hardwick majorities? (Pope Antonin and his meat puppet are the only ones immune from feeling such embarrassment.)

That means more to these bundles of regal egos (maybe “regal eagles” ;), these “gods” in robes, than what some piss-ant has-beens (Whitman–a never-was if there ever was) think.

February 27th, 2013 | LINK

I appreciate their support, I don’t doubt their commitment, I ascribe no ulterio motives to any of them, ad there’s no such thing as ‘too little, too late’ as long as the battle is still being fought.

But WTF, not downplaying anyone’s accomplishments, but of all the thousands of Republican officeholders and gov’t officials in the past three decades, this is the most and best they can come up with? Really?

February 27th, 2013 | LINK

@tristram – ‘ulterior’ and ‘and’. Please proof before hitting the “Post” button.

Donny D.
February 27th, 2013 | LINK

tristam wrote,

…[B]ut of all the thousands of Republican officeholders and gov’t officials in the past three decades, this is the most and best they can come up with? Really?

With the Republican base becoming smaller, the Religious Right has a deathgrip on the GOP, which believes it can’t afford to offend that largest consistently Republican-voting demographic. The GOP has grown so toxic to LGBT concerns that the Log Cabin Republicans’ efforts to improve the 2012 Republican platform in regard to LG issues triggered a kneejerk backlash that made the platform even worse. So it’s no surprise there isn’t a groundswell of GOP officeholders and candidates who are willing to publicly support anything pro-LGBT.

My guess is the GOP signatories are operating from their own beliefs toward equality, toward the extension of the basically conservative institution of marriage or because they think the GOP will have to embrace at least some LGBT rights and concerns if they don’t want to become a minority party for the next decade or two.

Donny D.
February 27th, 2013 | LINK

San Diego Rob wrote,

As much as I want to see it overturned, most of those people are from other states and should have no say on a case that is pending that will affect only Californians.

That the Supremes chose to hear and decide the Prop 8 case along with the DOMA case suggests very strongly that the result won’t only affect Californians.

February 27th, 2013 | LINK

Andrew Sullivan – “By the early 2000s, I was demeaned, pitied, ignored, ostracized and mocked by the Republican right.” – expresses my view on this brief: “I’ve always believed that civil rights movements should be all about welcoming converts rather than hunting for enemies or heretics.”

No one forced them to sign up – they have taken the time to consider an issue that only 10 years ago they wouldn’t have given a moment’s notice to. Accept the win and move on.

February 27th, 2013 | LINK

@San Diego Rob
People need to stop pretending that states are really independent countries. It’s supposed to one “united” country.

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