View Full Version : Federal gay marriage challenge has Hollywood style

06-18-2009, 01:54 PM
Federal gay marriage challenge has Hollywood style (http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSTRE55H2HW20090618)

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The story of two famous U.S. lawyers from opposite ends of the political spectrum banding together to launch a bold and unexpected fight for gay marriage sounds like it could have been written in Hollywood.

In many ways, it is.

A handful of political filmmakers led by a Democratic consultant have crafted a gay rights challenge they hope will reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

The case which has its first hearing in a federal San Francisco court on July 2 could quickly make gay marriage a national right, or, some veteran gay rights advocates fear, cripple the movement.

There is definitely a lot of drama here -- if it weren't for the names of the two lawyers leading the charge, this would be a much less interesting story. Nobody would care if it were two hack lawyers from orange county. But Olson and Boies have a history with the high court.

The federal judiciary is widely seen as conservative, and gay rights movement leaders have argued that a gradual approach to change public opinion and win in states would be crucial preparation for a challenge in the Supreme Court, which gauges public opinion in such morality-linked cases.

But with a swing vote in the nine-member Supreme Court, Justice Anthony Kennedy, already ruling in favor of gays in two important cases -- and no signs of court conservatives retiring soon -- the Los Angeles-based filmmaker group decided to act.

I don't know if this will reach the Supreme court -- someone has to challenge the 9th circuit's decision. And I'm not sure how long that process is.

06-18-2009, 02:16 PM
Governor backs federal review of Prop. 8 (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/06/17/BA5A188J6C.DTL&type=politics)

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger sidestepped the constitutionality of California's ban on same-sex marriage in a legal filing Tuesday but said a suit by two couples challenging the November ballot measure is worthy of federal court review.

The case "presents important constitutional questions that require and warrant judicial determination," Kenneth Mennemeier, a lawyer for Schwarzenegger, said in papers filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. "In a constitutional democracy, it is the role of the courts to determine and resolve such questions."

Not a big surprise. Must make interesting pillow talk with Maria.