Sign Up to Receive Email Action Alerts From Issa Exposed

Liveblogging Closing Arguments


By Rick Jacobs

Sorry for the delay folks. I’ve been having connectivity issues. Don’t worry, none of the action is missing.

And with that here is the liveblogging!

Come to order. We all stood for the Judge.

Olson: Good morning your honor. Theodore B. Olson on behalf of the eh plaintiffs David Boies for the plaintiffs. Theodore Boutrous for the plaintiffs. Christopher Dusseault for the plaintiffs.

Terry Stewart fro SF. City attorney Dennis Herrera.

Judge: Any others for plaintiff?

Olson: No.

Charles Cooper, Howard Nilson, Nicole Moss, Peter Patterson, Brian Roth (?), James Campbell from Alliance Defense Fund.

Well we have some other defendants.

Alameda County clerk. Michelle and Manuel Madero on behalf of AG Brown. Lawyer for Schwarzenegger.

Judge: Any other lawyers?

Judge: Well, this is an impressive array of talent all focused on one person

J: Welcome back . Obviously I had hoped that we wood have been here before this. It’s appropriate that we are here now because June is, after all, the month for weddings. You have received the schedule. Let’s proceed.

O: Theodore B Olson on behalf of the plaintiffs. We conclude this trial where we began. This case is about marriage. The right to marry has been taken away from tens of thousands of Californians. This state has placed into the constitution stigmatization that is unworthy of marriage, not respected. Want to return to subject of marriage, what it means to marry and have right extinguished.

Four perspectives: Proponents of 8, plaintiffs, supreme court of US and subject of marriage.

In words of proponents lead counsel is that marriage has always been for procreation an narrowly defined as sexual activity to procreate. Sole reason for marriage is to meet child’s need.

Proponents said racial restrictions were never a restriction of marriage in response to your question.

You asked how does same sex marriage in any way denigrate marriage?

Lead counsel responded, it will change the institution. If the institution is institutionalized, will likely lead to more cohabitation, separation of parents.

[UPDATE: 11:31] O: Yes, because it’s taking rights away. Justifies strict scrutiny.

J: Focus on CA or across country?

O: Both. Want to include those four perspectives. Want to point out that plaintiffs have shifted.

J: Any difference?

O: Yes.

J: Cloverleaf case says that classification is irrational…if there is any rational debate over the rationality of the proposition, the voters …

O: Supreme Court looks at this issue in different ways. Strict scrutiny. What Supreme said in Cleveland case is that mere negative attitudes are not supportable. Was in case of retarded person. Proponents just don’t know if SS marriage will harm the institution of SS marriage.

Evidence from experts is that strengthens marriage. After three week trial with witnesses, Prop. 8 constitutional because CA voters don’t know if it would yield to problems with marriage.

J: They have

[UPDATE 11:39]

Right of persons in jail, not paying child support. Not right of any state which could easily be withdrawn if state changes mind on procreation. Right to marry to choose to marry never conditioned on or tied to procreation.

Very different from what the campaign said. They said, “protect our children.” That was in every campaign piece. Their “gays are not okay message” was abandoned in the trial in favor of procreation argument. Then they affirmatively argued that they had no idea or evidence that any prognostications would come to pass if marriage legal.

Their counsel said you’ll hear nothing but predictions?

J: But it’s the plaintiffs who bear the standard of proof?

O: Yes, I want to juxtapose..

J: Strict scrutiny?

J: Why can’t Californians take away that right?”

O: They can if compelling state interest…

J: Would this be different if CA Supreme Court had invalidated all marriages?:

O: It would be different because it would be less worse.

J: Why?

O: Because now you people who are in prison can marry and many others, but homosexuals cannot. If you reduced it to three categories of ss people who cannot marry it would be less capricious.

J: Why not?

O: Because supremes have said marriage is a fundamental right. If it were intermediate scrutiny, supremes said in VMI v. Virginia post rationalization won’t work. One of the reasons I showed you the shift in position is that shifted from ballot arguments to what happened in court. Did not want to saying court that gays are like …s. So they are saying deinstitutionalization and procreation. This si social institution of marriage, so valuable that supremes said most fundamental. Plaintiffs said, security, dedication, public commitment to the world, the most important decisions you make as an adult.

[UPDATE 11:52

O: They are taking away the right of a relationship, right of liberty and privacy. Have to have some statement that SS marriage will somehow stop people from procreating or hurting marriage?”

J: doesn’t CA accommodate LG people with all rights? Why isn’t that sufficient?

O: I’m going to play some testimony in a bit. We have heard proponents arguments. Now must view through prism of US Supreme Court. Supreme Court has said in 14 cases 1888, court has said that marriage is the most important relationship in life. It is the foundation of society, essential to pursuit of happiness, right of intimacy, older than bill of rights, a liberty right equally aviable to a person in a homosexual relationship as hetero.

[NOTE] New thread is up here.


  • 1. Ronnie  |  June 16, 2010 at 4:17 am

    me first

  • 2. Ben  |  June 16, 2010 at 4:21 am

    Let the F5's commence….

  • 3. Heather  |  June 16, 2010 at 4:22 am

    Love his June being wedding month comment! :-)

  • 4. Chris  |  June 16, 2010 at 4:22 am

    Straight veteran checking in from Texas. Glad to be back with you all.
    Love, Chrs

  • 5. K!r!lleXXI  |  June 16, 2010 at 4:24 am

    Good God, man!
    Another post!

    Watching liveblogging from RUSSIA (Kirill) with Raleigh, NC, (Felyx) on Skype!

  • 6. Lesbians Love Boies  |  June 16, 2010 at 4:26 am

    "J: Welcome back . Obviously I had hoped that we wood have been here before this. It’s appropriate that we are here now because June is, after all, the month for weddings. You have received the schedule. Let’s proceed."

    and it's Pride Month :)

  • 7. Asa John DeMatteo  |  June 16, 2010 at 4:27 am

    Thanks for blogging. My husband and I are, obviously, concerned with the outcome and like to have as much information as possible.

  • 8. Richard A. Walter (s  |  June 16, 2010 at 4:27 am

    We understand, Rick. And I have been following here and at AFER. Great work by everyone.

  • 9. New  |  June 16, 2010 at 4:31 am

    Good morning to you all.
    Can I marry my partner yet?

  • 10. John  |  June 16, 2010 at 4:33 am

    Racial restrictions "were never a restriction of marriage?"

    Did the proponets drop acid before coming to court? Or does "never" just mean "since 1967?"

  • 11. gayathomemom  |  June 16, 2010 at 4:35 am

    This pretty much sums it up, yeah? From live feed:

    "Now, you can have a religious view that this
    is not acceptable. You can have a religious view. It
    was true in the loving case. The argument was made that it's God's will that people of different races not be
    married. It's in the briefs and it was in the testimony
    in this trial, that people honestly felt that it was
    wrong to mix the races, that it would dilute the value
    of the race and do all of these terrible things. People
    honestly felt that way. But they were — they were —
    they were permitted under the constitution to think

    But they are not permitted under the constitution
    to put that law, that view, into the law, and to put
    that view into the constitution of their state in order
    to discriminate against individuals."

  • 12. New  |  June 16, 2010 at 4:36 am

    LOL. That's right
    Not only that, but it's June *2010* for socks sake!
    It's time! Gimme my rights.

  • 13. Kathleen  |  June 16, 2010 at 4:37 am


  • 14. New  |  June 16, 2010 at 4:41 am

    It's a shame they don't allow cameras in the court. proponents. Missed the opportunity to have a "Proponents Gone Mad" series in videotape right there! haha

  • 15. Katherine  |  June 16, 2010 at 4:42 am

    If this doesn't have a positive outcome for us, I will be so crushed.

  • 16. Bob  |  June 16, 2010 at 4:46 am

    Sorry, but this is barely understandable.

  • 17. Marc C (mediamaniac)  |  June 16, 2010 at 4:47 am

    In any circumstance this will not be the end. Either side will appeal the decision, that's a given.

  • 18. Straight Grandmother  |  June 16, 2010 at 4:49 am

    France is belted in and ready for the ride. I jsut took a sip of a cosmopolitan I made in honor of the occasion. usually i only drink them at Christmas.

  • 19. Victor  |  June 16, 2010 at 4:49 am

    Appreciate the service this blog provides – confused though. Sometimes I'll see specific comments about the blog before I actually see those things in the blog (i.e. the June wedding comment before I saw the Judge's remarks in the blog). Seems the comments sometimes update before the blog does – anyone else have that problem and is there anything I can do? Thanks!

  • 20. Marc C (mediamaniac)  |  June 16, 2010 at 4:50 am

    The real question is who will bear the burden of proof going in? If OB has made the case well, then we're fine going into it.

  • 21. Lesbians Love Boies  |  June 16, 2010 at 4:51 am

    One fear is that if the judge finds for SS marriage in CA they won't appeal. Some say they fear losing at the higher courts. Thus this becoming a national issue…and SS marriage might become all of our rights.

    My hopes, Judge walker finds for us and they appeal.

  • 22. Kathleen  |  June 16, 2010 at 4:52 am

    @Victor, people are watching live blogging on other sites in addition to this, and then sometimes post reactions to it here, before Rick has updated his feed.

  • 23. Straight Grandmother  |  June 16, 2010 at 4:55 am

    Katherine, me too Katherine, me too

  • 24. Victor  |  June 16, 2010 at 4:56 am

    @Kathleen – thanks – makes sense.

  • 25. Lesbians Love Boies  |  June 16, 2010 at 4:57 am

    "J: doesn’t CA accommodate LG people with all rights? Why isn’t that sufficient?"

    NO LG does not get all the rights that marriage offers! Someone had a link to the long list of rights that comes with marriage. Wish I could find that.

  • 26. HunterR.  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:03 am

    Checking in.
    In Santa Barbara, Ca., but from Mexico City. Dual citizenship here.

  • 27. Kathleen  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:03 am

    Court break for lunch. Finally some time to catch up on some of the blogs! I've been watching the live feed transcripts at AFER which is great for actual arguments, but I also appreciate the personal comments the live bloggers add. Plus I want to catch up on all the comments here!

    Also, I saw in the announcement at the end of morning session that they opened up another courtroom in SF. So hopefully, everyone who showed up was able to get a seat in one of the overflow rooms.

    To all our TT's there in SF – please come tell us what it was like for you!

  • 28. TheFullMonte  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:03 am

    MS. STEWART:And I want to just start by
    acknowledging that the fact that legislation costs the
    government money is neither necessary nor sufficient to
    prove a constitutional violation.

    Thats her opening argument???

  • 29. Billie  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:04 am

    Thank you so much for this. I'll be here in RI, watching for updates with my fingers crossed and hoping for the best. <3

  • 30. Kathleen  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:05 am

    The roll of City and County of San Francisco as Plaintiff-Intervenor has been very limited and specific. They were admitted as P-Is to speak specifically to the harm suffered by the government by the enactment of Prop 8.

  • 31. Kerri  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:08 am

    "essential to pursuit of happiness, right of intimacy, older than bill of rights" this means that if I suddenly become UNMARIED I will be very UNHAPPY that is for sure!

  • 32. Kathleen  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:09 am

    If you're watching here and haven't checked in with your location on the earlier post, let us know where you're watching from. I'm going to tally up the locations when the day is over and will report back.

  • 33. Lesbians Love Boies  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:10 am

    Hey Kathleen, I have been keeping a tally so far…here you go

    New Jersey
    New Mexico
    New York
    North Carolina
    North Dakota
    Rhode Island
    South Carolina

    Navajo Nation
    Fredericton, CA
    Toronto, CA
    Salt Spring Island, CA

  • 34. Kathleen  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:15 am

    Thanks! I was too busy watching 3 diff blog. :) (in between playing the "I always want on the other side of the closed door" game with my cat)

  • 35. Patrick Regan  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:15 am


    If this doesn't have a positive outcome, it will be a disappointment. But have no fear. The fight will not end here. For better or for worse, the fight will continue on. This is one battle in the war for our country. It's hard. We will win some battles and lose some battles. Winning this battle may make the war end quicker, but even if it doesn't we are winning the war.

    Change is coming. Young people like me are coming in a wave. Our support for love will conquer all the hate this country is under. It may be a long hard fight. There may be days when you can't continue, but know that there are more soldiers coming to the field. Reinforcements are on their way. It is my generation and younger who are starting to vote. They are starting to voice. They are starting to stand up for what is right. When you feel alone and beaten, remember that change is coming. The battles will come and go, but we are winning the war.

    I have optimism for this trial, but even if we don't win today, I know we will win tomorrow. Hang in there. We are all here to help you. I stand by you. I stand for us all.


  • 36. Lady Shockbox  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:15 am

    You'll want to add New Hampshire to that list, too. 😉

  • 37. Richard A. Walter (s  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:15 am

    Glad to see you here. Hopefully when BZ and I go to DC for our two trips to get married, we will have a chance to meet your son and son-in-law. And since we will be staying with friends in Richmond each time, hopefully we can meet your daughter and daughter-in-law.

  • 38. Ed  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:17 am

    louisiana native, in indiana…..that should count lol.
    Ed :)

  • 39. Patrick Regan  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:17 am

    chalk one up for Ohio too.

  • 40. Bryan  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:17 am

    Even though I'm in Ohio– we have one of the most restrictive state-level DOMAs in the country– following this trial has given me so much hope. Thank you for all of the work you've done. I can't suppress the feeling that history is being made today.

  • 41. Ethan  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:19 am

    Thanks for the updates, I'm watching from England (UK) with bated breath! Fingers crossed :)

  • 42. Richard A. Walter (s  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:19 am

    If they don't appeal, BZ and I will be contacting both law firms about bringing this to the federal court in the Eastern District of North Carolina. And we will be looking for all of our fellow North Carolinians who got married as part of the 18,000 couples, and any other couples who had to go out of state to get married. I am not about to give up on this until everybody, everywhere can marry the love of their life and choose their wedding destination rather than having their choice of wedding destinations forced upon them based on where it is legal.

  • 43. Rhonda  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:20 am

    Houston, TX here. My wife and I were married in CT on 4/8/10, and held another wedding here on the 17th. Asa disabled vet, I can't wait to see the outcome of this trial, and what effects it will have nationally.

    Great work, and thanks for the live blogging.
    <3 Rhonda

    # Mg: Gov Brown waives right 2 closing argument 29 minutes ago via HootSuite

    # Mg: Stewart blaming hate crimes on Prop 8. Yes,lots of hate being directed against good people by Ted and followers saying Prop 8=hate

    NoM tweets. Maggie doesn't know who is Govanator of CA?

  • 44. TheFullMonte  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:22 am

    Does it seem that the Judge is leaning in favor of the proponents or is it just me? I am getting a little nervous about some of his questions…

  • 45. Kathleen  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:22 am

    Woot. Maybe we'll show all 50 states and DC represented before lunch break is over!

    I have to say, even just following this here in my living room by myself, I can feel the excitement and energy level from all around the country and the world. It's brought tears to my eyes, once again being reminded of the profound affect this has on so many people's lives. I love you all!!!!

  • 46. DrPaulDavis  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:22 am

    Watching intently from the UK…thanks for keeping us well informed as I think this also has ramifications in other parts of the world also. Great.

  • 47. Richard A. Walter (s  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:23 am

    What!?! Nobody here to represent West-by-God-Virginia for me since I am pulling duty for NC? Where is my nephew when I need him?

  • 48. Billy  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:24 am

    Another Ohioan here 😀

  • 49. Kathleen  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:24 am

    @ TheFullMonte, It's Judge's job to challenge and ask questions to clarify the argument of whichever person is arguing at the time. You'll probably be left with the opposite impression when he questions counsel for Proponents during his closing statement.

  • 50. Brenda  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:25 am

    I am very interested in this having married my wife in CA just prior to the Prop 8 passage. But, I thought this was a live blog, it hasn't been updated in over an hour. Are they on lunch break or something?

  • 51. hotdog  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:26 am

    Victor, they're behind here. The court is out for lunch presently. You can read the entire days transcript so far on firedoglake. Firedoglake also has the folks heard after the plantiff's attorney ended closing argument.

    Can't recall who's up after lunch, but all current on firedog.


  • 52. Billy  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:27 am

    "Bryan" and "Patrick Regan" – where in Ohio you located roughly?

    I'm west of Dayton, near the OH/IN border. So glad to see fellow buckeyes here 😀

  • 53. Patrick Regan  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:27 am


    They have posted a new post here:

  • 54. Dave P.  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:27 am

    Wonderful post, Pat! Thanks!!

  • 55. Ed  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:28 am

    over at NOM's site…..let the spinning begin… the rate they are spinning, they will be in orbit shortly….


  • 56. Patrick Regan  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:28 am


    I'm in Stow/Kent/Akron area.

  • 57. Elfwreck  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:28 am

    Following from CA, in SF, just a few blocks away from the courthouse. (Boss does not believe that "Prop 8 trial nearby" counts as a good reason for closing the office.)

    About that "rights of marriage" list mentioned earlier: is a 75-page document with description & list of 1138 federal rights of marriage. has a short bullet-point list with some of the highlights.

  • 58. Richard A. Walter (s  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:30 am

    Thank you so much, Patrick. You give this middle-aged gay Jew a very big boost in his confidence wrt the next generation. I will sign up for your blog during this break.

  • 59. John B.  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:31 am

    "doesn’t CA accommodate LG people with all rights? Why isn’t that sufficient?"

    It isn't sufficient because those rights (presumably he's referring to domestic partnerships) disappear as soon as the couple leaves the state. States do not recognize domestic partnerships from other states. On the other hand, the marriage of a same-sex California couple will be legally recognized in at least some other states (e.g., Massachusetts) and countries (e.g., Canada).

    This is an argument I haven't seen raised, but it's a significant legal issue. For example I am legally married to another man in Washington, DC; I can now be assured that my marriage will be legally recognized in Massachusetts and Canada but will my marriage be recognized by the state of California if I travel or move there?

  • 60. hotdog  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:31 am

    Nevermind the stigma with associating folks to a lesser "equal" law. Seperate isn't equal. Any legislation apart from total equality will always foster disparaging treatment/stigma, etc. It's inherent in the law if the law isn't equal.

    Hahahahaha! I just looked up disparaging to see if I spelled it correctly and found an AWESOMELY appropriate def. (though I still don't know about my spelling).

    It's about marrying below one's class and lowering yourself/family by doing so.

    I never knew that. Always just used it as a way of describing institutionalized, unfair practices/treatment.


  • 61. Patrick Regan  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:32 am

    haha, that reminds me I haven't updated my blog in a very long time.

  • 62. Richard A. Walter (s  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:36 am

    @ Billy. Would you by any chance know where Charleston, WV is? If so then you have an idea of where I grew up. I grew up in St. Albans, WV. Shout out to Alan E.! Glad to see everyone here today.

  • 63. fiona64  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:39 am


  • 64. Lesbians Love Boies  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:43 am

    Thanks Fiona!

  • 65. Richard A. Walter (s  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:47 am

    That's okay, Patrick. I need to go and update mine too. You can click on my blue name just like I did yours. And yes, there are posts that will seem boring. But in a way, that was the whole purpose of starting mine. To show people that our married lives can be just as boring as theirs, and that we have the same worries as any other married couple.

  • 66. Bryan  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:52 am

    I'm in Dublin, a suburb of Columbus. I'm a student at OSU– Go Bucks!

  • 67. Gary  |  June 16, 2010 at 6:09 am

    Where did the live blogging go? It's been over an hour with no updates; not even to say if they already broke for lunch or not.

  • 68. Patrick Regan  |  June 16, 2010 at 6:16 am

    Check the home page of this blog. They've broken up the days argument over several posts. We are already after the lunch break an on another post.

  • 69. Straight Dave  |  June 16, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Surprised not to see Mass. yet. But put it on the list. I know I'm not the only P8TT'er here

  • 70. Energy and excitement &la&hellip  |  June 16, 2010 at 11:23 am

    […] Liveblogging Closing Arguments […]

  • 71. Richard A. Walter (s  |  June 16, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Hello, Straight Dave. Hope all is going well with you and your family.

  • 72. Elfwreck  |  June 16, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    LG people don’t have the same access to the rights of marriage. Even if DP had the same legal rights (it doesn’t, quite), there are restrictions on who can get a DP that don’t apply to marriages.

    Minors can marry (with parental consent). People not living together can marry. They can’t be DPs. Equal rights has to include equal access to those rights. CA’s domestic partnership laws don’t give gays & lesbians equal access to the benefits of marriage.

    (The argument of other states not recognizing DP/CU is not *legally* relevant because of DOMA. Repealing that is a different headache.)

  • 73. Lunch Break Summary &laqu&hellip  |  June 16, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    […] Liveblogging Closing Arguments […]

  • 74. Box Turtle Bulletin &raqu&hellip  |  June 16, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    […] today’s summary, I relied on liveblogging by FiredogLake, Equality California, and the San Jose Mercury […]

  • 75. Perry v. Schwarzenegger: &hellip  |  June 17, 2010 at 7:30 am

    […] today’s summary, I relied on liveblogging by FiredogLake, Equality California, and the San Jose Mercury […]

  • 76. If Family Feud covered th&hellip  |  June 21, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    […] followed the #prop8 tag. I read the Courage Campaign’s prop 8 trial tracker obsessively. They wrote 6 live-blogging posts. I read firedoglake.  I watched the AFER press conference, which you […]

  • 77. Rick Jacobs: Prop 8 Rulin&hellip  |  August 3, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    […] The trial testimony was widely disseminated. I live-blogged the entire trial for the Courage Campaign's Prop. 8 Trial Tracker, which generated more than four million views and […]

Having technical problems? Visit our support page to report an issue!