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03/24/2011

Olson & Boies have 'impressive streak of losses'? What, at Scrabble or something?

by Jeremy Hooper

This is the National Organization For Marriage's big talking point regarding the Ninth Circuit's decision to not lift the stay (thus not letting CA gay couples get married) while the Prop 8 federal trial continues on appeal:

"This is good news for the people of California--and congratulations to the Dream Team of David Boies and Ted Olson for continuing their impressive streak of losses in actions not in Judge Walker's courtroom," said Brian Brown, president of NOM. [SOURCE]

What an astounding crock! Because where is this "impressive streak" of losses of which Brian Brown speaks? Olson and Boies' goal in the Prop 8 trial has been the elimination of that unconstitutional ban itself. Step one of that mission was legendarily accomplished, much to NOM's dismay. Yesterday's decision regarding the stay is mostly procedural -- about process and precedent, not at all a consideration of the merits of marriage equality. It's something those of us on the right side of history see as continued injustice, yes. And we would've liked to have seen Californian gays treated with the dignity they deserve. But this stay decision came about because of the hangups of this kind of appeals process, not any sort of bad lawyering on Olson and Boies' part (or any great deed on the proponents' side).

Once again we have NOM trying to change a reality: To create a false narrative rather than deal with the one called reality. So okay, let them. But if their strategy is to inflate largely procedural setbacks like yesterday's so that those kinds of decisions are on par with historic victories like Judge Vaughn Walker's Aug. 2010 ruling? Well that's kind of like comparing the benefits of eating one apple with the rewards of investing in Apple stock in the year 2000. The former might satiate an afternoon hunger pang, but the latter will secure a much brighter future.

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