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01/10/2010

NY'er turns dignified monocle toward CA'ns

by Jeremy Hooper

The New Yorker's a classy publication, so as you read the following piece, you might want to put on a cravat or cut the crusts off your bread. But read it you should, since it gives you a thoughtful take on the potentially crazy, potentially historic federal court case that's starting up tomorrow in California:

On January 11th, a remarkable legal case opens in a San Francisco courtroom—on its way, it seems almost certain, to the Supreme Court. Perry v. Schwarzenegger challenges the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the California referendum that, in November, 2008, overturned a state Supreme Court decision allowing same-sex couples to marry. Its lead lawyers are unlikely allies: Theodore B. Olson, the former NYersolicitor general under President George W. Bush, and a prominent conservative; and David Boies, the Democratic trial lawyer who was his opposing counsel in Bush v. Gore. The two are mounting an ambitious case that pointedly circumvents the incremental, narrowly crafted legal gambits and the careful state-by-state strategy that leading gay-rights organizations have championed in the fight for marriage equality. The Olson-Boies team hopes for a ruling that will transform the legal and social landscape nationwide, something on the order of Brown v. Board of Education, in 1954, or Loving v. Virginia, the landmark 1967 Supreme Court ruling that invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage
*Keep reading: A RISKY PROPOSAL [NY'er]

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