Must read Frank Rich on Prop 8 and Judith Peabody

As usual, with Frank Rich, the whole column is a must read. But, these two paragraphs do an excellent job of summarizing the Prop. 8 trial:

Much has been said about the triumph of the odd-couple legal team, the former Bush v. Gore adversaries Ted Olson and David Boies, who opposed Prop 8 in court. But of equal significance is the high-powered lawyer on the other side, Charles Cooper. He was named one of the 10 best civil litigators in Washington in the same National Law Journal list that included Olson and, in his pre-Supreme Court incarnation, John Roberts. Yet, as Judge Walker made clear in his 136-page judgment, Cooper, for all his talent and efforts, couldn’t find facts to support his argument that full civil marital rights for same-sex couples would harm the institution of marriage, children or anyone else. Cooper only managed to summon two “expert” witnesses. In the judge’s determination, one undermined his credibility by giving testimony contradicting his own opinions while the other provided “evidence” rendered worthless by its lack of scientific methodology or even fundamental peer-review vetting.

Boies and Olson produced nine expert witnesses with the relevant professional and academic expertise lacking in Cooper’s duo and compiled an encyclopedic record of empirical findings that demolished the arguments for denying gay families equal rights under the law. In the understatement of The Economist, that record “now seems a high hurdle” for the Supreme Court to overturn. That could still happen, of course, and already there are signs of a campaign from the right to besmirch the likely swing justice, Anthony Kennedy. Though Kennedy was a Ronald Reagan appointee who wrote much of the unsigned decision in Bush v. Gore, that did not prevent him from being called “the most dangerous man in America” by the family-values czar James Dobson after Kennedy wrote a majority opinion decriminalizing gay sex in 2003.

The other side has no real evidence. That’s why Maggie Gallagher and Tony Perkins didn’t testify. They can lie to their supporters and to the media, but lying on the stand is perjury.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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