May 27th, 2009
05:00 PM ET
9 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. Obama Victim

    marriage is not a "right" is a priveledge granted and regulated by society within a given state,,,,,,,,,,,,,,just as any contract is regulated...............the people of California have chosen to regulate this priveledge in this manner................this is why we vote in this country...............they are free to move

    May 27, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  2. Michael in Ventura,CA

    It's time for all citizens of this State to have "equal rights under the law". No more sperate but equal!

    May 27, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  3. RNC = DNC = politics as usual

    So after Obama won the election by vote, his opponents can now go to court to overturn it? What was voting for again?

    May 27, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    @ MIssissippi Mike, who said "Californians don't want gay marriage, don't force it on them. It's what democracy is all about."

    Constitutional democracy you mean. The Constitution was written and signed to protect the minority from the tyrrany of the majority. Are you saying Arkansas could vote an Amendment that takes away Afircan Americans' right to vote? I certainly hope not, because that would be flat out idiotic. Well, the same applies here. Either the right exists and is protected and therefore inalienable and not subject to being taken away by a majority who thinks themselves better and more deserving of special treatment than the minority, or it doesn't. If it did, Prop 8 was a nullity (hint: get your tissues ready).

    May 27, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  5. Shari, NY

    Wow, John! Your comment reminds me of one of my teachers who used to say "GET THIS INTO YOUR THICK SKULLS". LOL! (Sorry, to make light of a serious matter).

    May 27, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  6. The Unshrub

    Gays should not have the right to marry ONLY IF we prevent those who are divorced from remarrying. If the bible thumpers want to use the bible in their reasoning, than we should follow the bible all the way.

    May 27, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  7. josie

    As an incest survivor, I deplore the comparison of marriage between two unrelated consenting adults with a marriage whereby an adult has groomed a child for "marriage".

    So stop insulting all incest survivors with that rhetoric.

    Just be honest – you don't like two members of the same sex getting married.

    We can agree to disagree on that part.

    May 27, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  8. JA/TN

    those racist comments are self describing for Rush and Newt

    May 27, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  9. Heaven forbid

    Ahh, for the beauty of nature! Yesterday, I looked up in the sky and saw a flock of birds flying in a perfect 'V' formation and wondered what if all animals got together and said "down with procreation". End of the world, it seems.

    May 27, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  10. The Unshrub

    Jeff – Texas

    You are an idiot.

    May 27, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  11. Enough

    Let them marry. Why should straight people be the only ones to go through the misery of divorce??

    May 27, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  12. Chris

    Let the gays and lesbians have their equal rights. But do so under a new terminology, called civil unions.

    I have no problem with these folks having all the benefits and privelages that marriage affords.

    But I do have a problem with them feeling they have the right to use the word 'marriage'. If this was only about rights, they wouldn't care about what its called.

    But so many of them are taking a hard line on the term, marriage, which makes for fuel for the fire.

    Take what you need and don't be greedy. They should live by that standard. Why piss off everyone by fighting loudly over a word, rather than the rights that mean so much more.


    May 27, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  13. Ian

    The majority of people in Nazi Germany would have voted to put Jews in concentration camps, does that make it right? Should the state not intercede when the people chose something that violates our basic constitutional rights? If everyone in America wanted to round up all black people or Mexicans and kill them would all you people say "Well that's what the people wanted"? This is why we have a constitution. You cannot trust the people ALL the time, otherwise what is the point of constitutional rights?

    May 27, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  14. Jake

    Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities, and the smallest minority on earth is the individual.

    May 27, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  15. Kyle

    In reality, this has nothing to do with so called "gay" marriage. It has to do with a direct and coordinated attack on Christian churches. If homosexual marriage is forced on the nation by judicial fiat, then not long after homosexual activists will begin to sue Christian churches for "discrimination" when the church refuses to "marry" them in an attempt to bankrupt every church in the nation except for those pseudo-churches which back their so called "lifestyle."

    May 27, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    @ Kevin in Ohio, who asked "why can't conservatives say the same thing to you? "

    Because this is an entirely different matter susbstantively speaking. This is not election of a person to office, this is the majority attempting to take rights away from the minority by altering a constitutional document. Why was the amendment necessary if the CA Constitution didn't protect the right of same-sex couples to the legal benefits of marriage? Hmmmm? Well, if that right existed in the CA Constitution, making it necessary to amend it to take it away, then CA just started a massive game of russian roulette. Whose gonna be next to lose their rights to a majority that doesn't like them? The whole point of a Constitution is to prevent this kind of abuse. Maybe CA's constitution was poorly written...but the Federal Constitution wasn' have fun crying in your soup when Prop 8 gets shot down.

    May 27, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    I'm sorry...I was wrong. I'm being an idiot today.

    May 27, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  18. Ian

    Everyone concerned with calling it "marriage" are fooling themselves. You really think "marriage" is sacred in our society!? I mean come on, look at all the people that hastily get married only to get divorced (50% of marriages). You think what Britney Spears and K-Fed had was "sacred"?

    May 27, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  19. I can see Canada from my house!

    @ Mississippi Mike, the reliable barometer of reactionary thought here:

    I completely agree with you. They should get over having a basic part of their freedom as Americans stripped from them because the LDS church and other organizations poured millions of dolars and thousands of volunteers to kill it the original ballot initiative. Its nice to know that so many people who profess to have the love of Christ in their hearts decided to be the new Pharisees and make that judgement on behalf of people they would never make any attempt to get to know. The people of California did not decide it, outsiders did, and the court decision can, should and will be overturned on appeal or in a new case.

    If it happened in Iowa, it will happen anywhere: even in ole Miss.

    May 27, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  20. keith

    I cant stand how Gay's and Lesbians try to equate their "stuggles" with that of an ethnic group. I am a black man, and when i walk into a room they know im black. This is something that I can not hide or choose not to reveal. Being Gay or Lesbian is a choice! I couldn't choose my color.

    May 27, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  21. Kevin in Ohio

    @ Jeff in TX

    Marry me?

    May 27, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  22. The Unshrub


    You think that equal but different works. Look what happened to the schools with segregation. It did not work, and it won't work here either.

    May 27, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  23. John

    Jrzshor and Randolfph – you are both IDIOTS!!!!!

    May 27, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  24. Randolph Carter

    Keith wrote: I cant stand how Gay's and Lesbians try to equate their "stuggles" with that of an ethnic group. I am a black man, and when i walk into a room they know im black. This is something that I can not hide or choose not to reveal. Being Gay or Lesbian is a choice! I couldn't choose my color.

    Keith, did you choose to be straight? I'm guessing no. Have a nice day!

    May 27, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  25. John

    Just because 52% of Californians did not want gay marriage to be legal does not mean that it's the right thing to do. This is a civil rights issue... How can you vote about whether to give a group of american citizens a right or not?

    At some point slavery was completely legal and supported by the majority of the people... But that's exactly why we have courts, to prevent tirany and ensure the rights of the minority... The courts have the power to make sure that every single american citizen has the same rights and responsibilities as everyone else.

    May 27, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
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