May 27th, 2009
05:00 PM ET
5 years ago

Bush v. Gore lawyers target same-sex marriage ban

SAN FRANCISCO, California (CNN) – Opponents of California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages launched a new court challenge Wednesday, led by lawyers who were on opposite sides of the case that settled the 2000 presidential race.

Attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies have asked a federal judge to block California from enforcing the ban, known as Proposition 8. Though California's Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8 in a ruling issued Tuesday, Olson and Boies argue that the ban violates the U.S. Constitution.

"It is impossible to reconcile the restrictions that Prop. 8 imposes on the right of gay men and lesbians to marry with the U.S. Supreme Court's conclusion that the Fourteenth Amendment protects the right of all citizens to make personal decisions about marriage without unwarranted state intrusion," their lawsuit, filed on behalf of two same-sex couples, states.

Boies and Olson filed suit Wednesday on behalf of two couples who were denied marriage licenses under Proposition 8. A federal judge in San Francisco has set a July 2 hearing date on the matter.

California's Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the marriage ban Tuesday, but left intact about 18,000 same-sex marriages conducted before voters approved the ban in November.

Olson was the lead attorney for George W. Bush in the 2000 Florida recount. He served as solicitor general in the Bush administration after the Supreme Court ruling that effectively decided the election in Bush's favor.

Boies, meanwhile, was the top legal strategist for former Vice President Al Gore, that year's Democratic presidential nominee. Before that, he was the Clinton administration's top lawyer in the anti-trust case against computer software giant Microsoft.


Filed under: Same-sex marriage
soundoff (130 Responses)
  1. Vance, Boulder, CO

    Let's live and let live. How about this for some "common ground"; We completely get rid of the word "marraige" in all, local, state, and federal legislation. Let's replace it with "civil union".

    "Marraige" can still be used, however, it can be up to that religious institution SOLELY for religious recognition.

    Let's meet half way, and stop dividing the country by such a meanial issue.

    May 27, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  2. Myles

    states should have power to decide.I am gay man, but the people of California should deal with the voice of the people...They voted and the numbers dont lie, the people of cali say no to gay marriage

    on that being said, unless marriage is defined by our gvt(they should have no role), then its unconst law anyways

    But look at all the unconst laws...seatbelts, property rights, income tax..the gay marriage is the least impt..

    May 27, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  3. The Party of NO is only “pro-life” so they will be able to kill the “babies” 18 years later as soldiers in an elective religious war.

    What I am waiting for is Alabama to pass a state Constitutional amendment outlawing inter-racial marriages. Shelby will be leading the campaign.

    Then let's see what happens when the Alabama Supreme Court upholds it.

    If discrimination can be voted in by the majority for one minority group and upheld, then there is a precedent for future discrimination being voted in by the majority.

    The courts are supposed to protect minorities from the tyranny of the majority!

    May 27, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  4. Felonious Monk

    At one time only land owners could vote.

    At one time women could not vote.

    At one time a white male could own black individuals.

    Freedom marches onward.

    May 27, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  5. jrzshor

    "the Fourteenth Amendment protects the right of all citizens to make personal decisions about marriage without unwarranted state intrusion"

    so that means that the following is also ok:
    1. more than one spouse
    2. marriage to animals (single or in multiples- at least one citizen is involved)
    3. marriage to one's pet rock or other well loved object-i love my ipod!
    4. marriage to imaginary friends
    5. marriage to minors of any age (p.s. minors are citizens too!)

    lawyers. got tolove 'em as they do have the best imaginations.

    May 27, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  6. Robert

    If Marriage is Legal between Same Sex, then, Why is it not Legal between Siblings, Mother and Son, Father and Daughter?

    May 27, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  7. typical!!

    As far as "churches" or religious beliefs are concerned, I could care less and would NEVER get married with the rules of society's back stabbing, hate mongering, hypicritical, and bigotted organized religions in this country. Just equal rights under a goverment that has seperated itself from "churches".

    May 27, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  8. rand

    Since the word "Marriage" is religiously based, the government should have NOTHING to do with this. ALL those who wish to commit to each other should have a government issued "Civil Union" contract. The religious component should be up to the couple and the religious institutions willing to bless them.....or not.

    So much money and time and energy being spent on hatred, especially by those who should be the most tolerant, accepting and loving. Those "Good Christian Folks".

    May 27, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  9. Jon

    People like Britney Spears (married and then annulled the next day, now divorced from another man with 2 kids as the victims) do more to damage traditional marriage in this country than gay marriage ever could. If you want to ban gay marriage and not come off as a total hypocrite, you have to ban people like Spears from marrying as well to protect the "sanctity" of marriage, whatever that means.

    May 27, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  10. BJ

    Jason...the court did not back anything that was unconstitutional...Prop 8 amended the constitution.

    And there is no way the US Supreme Court even hears this case...Obama is against same sex marrige.

    May 27, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  11. Linda from Minnesota

    Still waiting for some conservative Christian to tell me how marriage between gays/lesbians is a threat to my marriage. All I hear is "the bible says so". Well, what about those who don't believe? There are people who don't believe, neocons, and you are discriminating against them. Please – tell me how gay marriage is a threat to mine. Give me a good, solid, reasonable argument, I am willing to listen. Hmmm, still waiting because there is no good, solid, reasonable argument. Its discrimination pure and simple.

    May 27, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  12. Nick D.

    The will of the people should NEVER allow the tyranny of the majority to suppress any minority group, especially in the United States where we have court systems and constitutional amendments to keep it from ever happening again. This fight will NEVER end until equal rights are achieved. NEVER.

    May 27, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  13. Randolph Carter

    John wrote: Marriage can be only between a MAN and WOMAN.
    Marriage cannot be between:
    1…Man and Man…2…Woman and Woman…3…Mother and Son…4…Siblings…5…Father and Daughter…6…Man/Woman and Dog or Horse or other animals or birds…7…Man/Woman and a Car or a Truck or other Things…8… Man/Woman and a Rock.

    So I should take back that ring I bought for my truck? Have a nice day!

    May 27, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  14. eholl

    The hatred being spewed on all the blogs by homophobes is frightening. I am starting to feel that the U.S. is just a small step away from rounding up all the gays, putting them in camps, and doing away with them. Who cares what someone else does in their bedroom. Get rid of state sponsored marriage altogether and only do civil unions. That would solve this problem. Church and State should be separate. Unfortunately, religious groups don't want that either. They want a christian theocracy.

    May 27, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  15. divorced and amazed at the hysteria

    @John,

    Well it may not be easy, but I did #8 for 7 years!

    May 27, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  16. RobK

    I wonder if it will be legal for a mother to marry her daughter in order to get tax benefits? Or two babies to get married? Or a father to marry his daughter? Why the restriction on multiple wives? The reason that the state became involved in the religious marriage ceremony is to support a stable environment for nurturing children. If that reason doesn't exist anymore, if it is not in the national interest, then the state should get out of the marriage business entirely. Leave it to the church.

    May 27, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  17. Irene

    This is not about what people want. People didn't want civil rights for blacks in the 60's. This is about civil liberties or the lack of them. It is also about the separation of church and state, which the GOP have a hard time understanding.

    May 27, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    @ John, who said something crazy about men marrying rocks.

    The only slippery slope involved here is that if we fail to recognize the right of same-sex couples to be treated equally by our laws, "Proposition 9" might very well seek to amend the Constitution to ban interracial marriage or marriage between Germans and Jews or some such nonsense. You guys really don't get it, do you? BY FAILING TO RECOGNIZE THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS, YOU RISK SOMEDAY LOSING YOUR OWN. You won't always be part of the "popular crowd."

    May 27, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  19. Mississippi Mike

    Let's hope they lose again. Californians don't want gay marriage, don't force it on them. It's what democracy is all about.

    May 27, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  20. Irene

    If marriage is so sacred, then why are divorces legal?

    May 27, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    @ Yves Charlemagne, who asked "Why are people not taking such people like Limbaugh and others of his elk be taken to task for such comments?"

    Because when all is said and done, after Rush and Newt and their ilk are done making money off saying it, the media makes money off printing it...over and over and over and over and over again...and the only way to get away with that is to pretend it has merit.

    May 27, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  22. Kevin in Ohio

    For all the left wingers who constantly say to conservatives "You Lost, Get Over It"...... why can't conservatives say the same thing to you? The people of California voted, the courts upheld the vote, so that should be it. Do overs until you win???? Sounds like sore losers to me.

    May 27, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  23. SkiDoc

    And some say that the media isn't liberal? Contrast the coverage of the gay protesters to a people-supprted law, and the coverage of people-supported tea party protests to people-hurting tax laws!!

    May 27, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  24. Chris in NC

    This is an interesting situation. On a personal level I support gay marriage/civil union...whatever the term d'jour is. The fact that this was put to a popular vote amongst the citizens of California...that definitely adds a twist to things. Right or wrong, it was decided on "by the people". The idea of letting each state make its own decisions vs. the federal government imposing things on us....very tricky waters, indeed!

    May 27, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  25. Lisa

    Why on Earth do you people care if two men or two women get married?

    Really. I really want to know. What the hell difference is it going to make in YOUR life? In YOUR marriage?

    WHY? WHY DO YOU CARE SO MUCH?

    May 27, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6