Liza Minnelli Joins NOH8 Campaign
Via press release, Liza’s message: “Here’s what I believe … no shame, no blame, no guilt. Be happy. And be who you are. I love you.” [Photo credit: Adam Bouska courtesy of NOH8 Campaign.]
MINNESOTA: Chief Prop 8 Witness, David Blankernhorn, Urges Voters To REJECT Marriage Ban
USA: AFER Asks Supreme Court To Pass On Prop 8 Appeal
The case challenging the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8 is “an attractive vehicle” for determining “whether the States may discriminate against gay men and lesbians in the provision of marriage licenses” — but the Supreme Court should pass on the case, lawyers challenging the law say, and let stand an appeals court ruling that strikes down the 2008 amendment on narrow grounds.
If the Supreme Court takes the advice of Ted Olson, David Boies and the other lawyers representing the plaintiffs in Perry v. Brown, then Proposition 8 would remain unconstitutional, as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held, and same-sex couples in California would regain the right to marry that they had been able to exercise briefly in 2008.
The proponents of the law asked the Supreme Court on July 31 to take the case and uphold the voter-initiated constitutional amendment that had the effect of reversing a California Supreme Court decision that allowed same-sex couples in the state to begin marrying under state law.
In the filing before the Supreme Court, Olson, who was President George W. Bush’s top Supreme Court lawyer in the Department of Justice, is the counsel of record for the plaintiffs — meaning it is he who would be likely to make the case to the justices in oral argument should the court accept the case.
He and Boies, Al Gore’s lawyer in the 2000 election recount litigation who opposed Olson at the Supreme Court, argue today that the lower court decision striking down Proposition 8 properly applied a 1996 Supreme Court case, Romer v. Evans, calling the Ninth Circuit’s opinion a “straightforward application of settled Supreme Court precedent.”
In the Romer case, the Supreme Court held that Colorado’s voters unconstitutionally enacted an amendment that prohibited cities from passing nondiscrimination ordinances that would protect gay, lesbian and bisexual people from discrimination. Because the California Supreme Court had held that California’s constitution required allowing same-sex couples to marry and then the people’s vote in 2008 ended that, the Ninth Circuit held that Proposition 8 was similarly invalid.
The proponents argued to the Supreme Court that the Ninth Circuit had “fundamentally” misapplied the case, as well as another Supreme Court case addressing when states withdraw previously granted “state-law rights.”
The filing today by the plaintiffs in the case was slightly unusual, as it suggested that the case was “an attractive vehicle for approaching—if not definitively resolving— th[e] issue” of whether states can restrict the right of same-sex couples to marry.
Nonetheless, the lawyers for the plaintiffs assert that Supreme Court’s standards for when it takes a case “lead inexorably” to the conclusion that the court should not take the case. In addition to arguing that the appeals court properly applied the Romer decision, the plaintiffs argue that, even if it did not, there remain questions, raised previously, about whether the proponents of the law have legal standing to bring the appeal when the state defendants have not done so. Finally, they argue, there are additional reasons why the courts could strike down Proposition 8, including its claimed abridgment of the affected couples’ right to marry.
The proponents, represented by Charles Cooper of Cooper & Kirk, will be able to present the Supreme Court with a response to today’s filing, and the court will then consider once the justices return from their summer recess whether they will take the case in the coming term that begins in October.
BREAKING: US Ninth Circuit Court Of Appeals DENIES Rehearing Of Prop. 8
Here’s a piece of the ruling:
The full court was advised of the petition for rehearing en banc. A judge requested a vote on whether to rehear the matter en banc. The matter failed to receive a majority of the votes of the non-recused active judges in favor of en banc consideration. Fed. R. App. P. 35. The petition for rehearing en banc is DENIED. The mandate is stayed for ninety days pending the filing of a petition for writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court. If such a petition is filed, the stay shall continue until final disposition by the Supreme Court.
Click here to read the full ruling.
Prop. 8 Attorneys, David Boies and Ted Olson, Team UpTo Get Bully Rating Changed
The Advocate reports:
Attorneys David Boies and Ted Olson, who successfully challenged California’s ban on same-sex marriage, are now urging the Motion Picture Association of America to lower the R rating for the documentaryBully.
Last night while being interviewed at a special screening of the film cohosted by Boies, Olson, and actresses Meryl Streep and her daughter Mamie Gummer, the two attorneys praised the film, a nonfiction chronicle of American schoolchildren being bullied by fellow students, as one that all teenagers should see. The two men even suggested that there could be legal consequences for the MPAA if they don’t reconsider the restrictive rating for the documentary.
“How ridiculous and unfair and damaging it is to have a film of this power and importance that is being censored by a rating system that has got simply no rational basis,” Boies said. “You can kill kids, you can maim them, you can torture them and still get a PG-13 rating, but if they say a couple of bad words, you blame them. I hope, for heaven’s sake, that they find some rational basis before we have to sue them to revise the rating system.”
Olson suggested that students be permitted to see the film, which will be released March 30, so they can understand the damage caused by bullying.
“This is an irrational decision, and I’ve heard it defended as ‘[The MPAA] really can’t do anything about it because if we make an exception here, they’ll be all sorts of people lined up wanting to have exceptions made with respect to their movies,’” Olson said. “What a reason for not doing something. So they better shape up, or here we come.”
During the event at New York’s Paley Center for Media, Streep learned that her daughter had come to the aid of bullied classmates. TheNew York Daily News reports that actress Regency Boies, David Boies’s daughter, remembered the times her classmate Gummer came to the aid of fellow students who were being tormented.
“I saw her on more than a few occasions come to the rescue of some of our classmates that were being ridiculed when none of the rest of us were brave enough to confront them,” Boies said, adding that she knew Gummer’s actions were a product of the integrity and the kindness that Streep had instilled in her.