Following the wrap of testimony in the trial, the American Foundation for Equal Rights legal team held a press conference. The audio from it was interesting, but I was holding out posting it until the video became available.
Here is the legal team talking about the case and in particular the defense’s witnesses. Speakers include Chad Griffin, David Boies, and Theodore (Ted) Boutrous.
Boutrous in particular discusses how the Supreme Court again and again has ruled that marriage is a fundamental right, letting even murderers behind bars to get married and people who are complete strangers.
Here is the timeline we are looking at… Amicus briefs are due on February 3rd. Judge Walker is bringing the lawyers in to go over these briefs on Feburary 26th. He indicated as they were wrapping up today that at that time (the 26th) he will schedule the closing arguments. That likely means we will not have closing arguments until early March, with the ruling several weeks after that, depending on how long Judge Walker takes.
I know, the wait stinks, but I’d much rather Judge Walker be deliberative about this process and his ruling than it be rushed. No matter what way this goes, the wording in his ruling will influence what the appeals court and eventually the Supreme Court will say and do.
The hiatus does not mean we will be stopping around these parts. There will be fresh content throughout this break, so keep coming back and join in the comments. (more…)
Well, its noon and it’s over. I just had a person from Gibson Dunn come up and thank me for the blog. That means a whole, whole lot. And nice young man from Australia.
Now, our work really begins. Now we have to spread the substance of this trial everywhere.
And sooner than later, we need to thank AFER, Chad Griffin, Bruce Cohen, Kristina Schacke, Yusef Robb, Amanda Crumley, Rob and Michelle Reiner, Ted Olson, Ted Boutrous, David Boies and all of the partners, associates, colleagues and staff of Boies and Gibson Dunn.
Hopefully, we’ll hear from them soon.
We fully expect and hope that the wonderful, brave plaintiffs will be out front more and more.
Thank you to Eden, Julia, Robert, Sarah, Andy and the entire Courage staff, as well as Brian, Paul, Caitlin, Jennifer, and Laura for blogging their excellent trial analysis posts.
Boutrous: We have documents. Will keep them and not submit them to court unless court wants them.
Judge Walker: We have enough.
Boutrous: Court said relatively brief Amicus Briefs within seven days of presentation of evidence.
Cooper: we have no strident opposition to that, but think that court has enough to chew on, but we’d like to submit our own papers in response.
Judge Walker: Obviously. We’ll set a deadline for next Wednesday Feb. 3 to file applications for Amicus Briefs and either grant or deny as appropriate. Will set a fifteen-page limitation and will provide ample opportunity for response by parties. I will agree with Mr. Cooper that the record is abundant and I doubt that we’ll get much from these, but one never knows, so we’ll leave the door open.
Judge Walker: Here’s what I’d like. I’d like to take time to go over this material. I don’t think at this time it’s helpful to have post-trial briefs. You may very well find it useful to submit your proposed findings of law tied to evidence. You’ve already submitted your proposed findings of law. I realize that you do have a lot of material to go through. I’ll be guided by your suggestion for amount of time you need.
I’d like to review those and then set a date for closing argument. Then I’ll probably tee up some questions that have come to the fore to give you the opportunity to address in closing arguments. I would like to leave the date open now. But when the time comes, I’ll have the clerk call both parties with a range of dates so that you can work that out with your schedule.
Boutrous: 30 days would be fine with us.
Cooper: 30 days should be adequate, your honor.
Judge Walker: Why don’t we set February 26th. Alright February 26th and probably by that time I’ll have a much better idea of closing argument schedule.
Boutrous: On behalf of plaintiffs, want to thank court for making this easy.
Judge Walker: I want to extend my thanks to the lawyers for both sides for an extremely interesting, well-presented case. Obviously old hands, but I was struck by the expertise of the younger colleagues both in the courtroom and behind the scenes. The older hands should be very pleased. I’d just like to take a moment to congratulate you and tell you all personally (goes into courtroom to shake hands).
Man, David Boies just destroyed the defense’s first witness today on cross. I even had a friend and a former student of Professor Miller tweeting at me their embarrassment at his implosion. More specifically, Miller admitted that DOMA and DADT were legislated discrimination. And that was just the afternoon…
This morning the plaintiffs introduced evidence of Prop 8 proponents comparing gay marriage to 9/11 and a reference to polygamy or two. Oh and the tiny little revelation that NOM, the Catholic Church, LDS Church, and the Family Research Council all conspired together through ProtectMarriage.com to use fear and lies to pass Prop 8. It’s something we all knew, but it sure is validating to see it all laid out in Federal Court.
Boies gets to finish his fun in the morning, then it is on to their second and possibly last witness. I think they know they just hurt their case if they get any witnesses of their own on the stand, so they aren’t calling very many.
Now for the real show, the compiled liveblogging from Rick Jacobs from day 10 of Perry v. Schwarzengger. (more…)
It’s just after 0830 and we’re back for week three, day ten. I now feel as is I belong up here on 19, in the Ceremonial Court Room, with Teddy from FDL and seven or so others. Frank Schubert just walked in. For the record, he’s a genial guy and he obviously knows how to win campaigns. Let us not mistake skill for belief. He’s no William Tam or Andy Pugno (see Brian’s excellent post).
The Prop. 8 side has given notice that they want to call Frank, but the plaintiffs have objected. We’ll see what happens.
The first order of business this morning will be procedural and then we’ll have the plaintiff’s document dump, which I have a feeling will be more than fascinating.
For those of you not in San Francisco, it’s wet and cold again. Remember that that the first day of the trial, with that beautiful vigil organized by Molly McKay and MEUSA, was a cold, crisp and eventually very bright day. While I’m not much into omens, that was the right way to begin this trial.
One last point. At some point today or tomorrow, I’ll write a bit about the folks behind AFER, but I want to mention again the key person. His name is Chad Griffin. I have known Chad since the Dean Campaign, in 2002. He’s young (well, he’s recovering slowly from that), uncannily smart and has a natural talent for communications. While Rob Reiner had the idea to hire Ted Olson and gets full credit for same, Chad made all of this happen. He’s sometimes a bit reluctant to get too out front and that’s probably smart given today’s environment, but we all owe him a huge debt of gratitude.
We’ll be back to you, the community that cares so deeply about equality, to help get some ideas about how to build our movement during the coming weeks, months and even years before this winds up, almost inevitably, at the Supreme Court. We cannot rely on judges alone. We have to show our friends, neighbors, coworkers and all of America that we progressives, we who are gay or lesbian or bisexual or transgender, we who are straight and care about our nation, all want equality.
We’re waiting for the judge. And then off we go!
Judge Walker: Good morning. I hope you had a good weekend. Mr. Boutrous, I understand you have some things to bring up?
B: We understand that the proponents want to call Mr. Schubert. We do not think the proponents have the right to call Frank Schubert while having obstructed our inquiry with 76 objections to producing documents. In terms of calling Mr. Schubert to authenticate documents, we have no particular objection, but if
Judge Walker: When did you learn that Mr. Schubert would be a witness? As I recall on Friday, the defense was going to call Mr. Blankenhorn and Mr. Miller. They did not mention Mr. Schubert. (more…)
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