SSM in Federal Court

Ken AshfordConstitution, Sex/Morality/Family ValuesLeave a Comment

The Washington Post has a nice preview of the federal case involving same-sex marriage, which is about to begin its trek through the federal court system.  This will be the first case which attempts to argue that banning same-sex marriage violates the United States Constitution.  If it succeeds, then all states (being subordinate to federal law) will have to allow and recognize same sex marriage.

The case is notable not just for the subject matter, but also because of the attorneys arguing in favor of SSM:

Theodore B. Olson, a conservative Republican, and David Boies, a famed litigator and Democrat. The two are close friends who were on opposite sides in Bush v. Gore, the Supreme Court case that decided the 2000 presidential election, but they found common ground pressing for constitutional recognition of same-sex marriage.

"From a conservative standpoint, people who wish to enter into the institution of marriage wish to enter into something that is the building block of our society, and that is itself a conservative value," said Olson, who served as solicitor general under President George W. Bush.

Said Boies: "This team really sends a message that this isn't a question of anything to do with political ideology."

Also unique about this case is the fact that the court proceedings will be uploaded at regular intervals onto Youtube [UPDATE: see below].

The trial, dubbed Perry v. Schwartzenegger, challenges the constitutionality of Prop 8, which California voters passed last year, overturning the California legislature which permitted SSM.  It begins today.

Some say this is a long judicial road to the inevitable end: a rejection of SSM by the U.S. Supreme Court.  Most do not believe the U.S. Supreme Court will have the votes in favor of SSM.  I'm a bit more optimistic than most.  Having Olsen argue in favor of SSM, bring the conservative argument to the fore (which he does in Newsweek here), will go a long way.  Also, despite the fact that this court leans conservative, it is only SLIGHTLY conservative.  We must remember that a conservative Supreme Court overturned Lawrence v Texas.

UPDATE:  Okay, I guess the proceedings will not be on Youtube.  The U.S. Supreme Court is blocking the broadcast…. they just issued an emergency injunction barraing broadcast…. for 36 hours while they decide whether broadcasts can go forward at all…

UPDATE 2:  With the Youtube broadcast being 86ed, it looks like the place to follow the proceedings is this site, which is liveblogging it….