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Ted Olson’s Best Quotes From Prop 8’s Closing Arguments

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Like so many of us, I spent much of the latter part of this week focused on the closing arguments of Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the federal trial that will determine the constitutionality of Prop 8. I read the questions asked by, then the answers submitted to, Judge Walker. Then, Wednesday, the actual final day of the trial, I followed intently every word from both sides, and had this overwhelming desire to tweet so many of the statements, but it was hard enough to stay on top of the almost real-time transcript provided courtesy of The American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER,) who also provided the official transcript which I have gone through several times now, and pulled what I think are some of the best parts of the closing arguments for you to savor. I’ve added my personal thoughts after a few, in italics.

As you know, Ted Olson is the lead counsel for the plaintiffs, the pro-marriage equality side. Everyone, including Maggie Gallagher, the founder of the National Organization for Marriage, feels Olson’s work, along with David Boies, his co-counsel, was so expert we have a strong chance of winning. In fact, Maggie, already shilling for your money, said, “I expect Judge Walker will overrule Prop 8.”

With that, I give you some of Ted Olson’s best statements during Wednesday’s closing arguments. If you want to know what the other side said, read my piece at Change.org: “Gay People Cannot Be Allowed To Marry Because Straight People Cannot Be Trusted?

And we’re off!

Olson speaking to the judge:

For example, you asked, “How does permitting same-sex couples to marry in any way diminish the procreative aspect or function of marriage, or denigrate the institution of marriage for heterosexuals?”
Lead counsel responded: “Your Honor, because it will change the institution. If the institution is deinstitutionalized,” he said, “Mr. Blankenhorn will testify that will likely lead to very real social harms, such as lower marriage rates and high rates of divorce and nonmarital cohabitation, with more children raised outside the marriage and separated from at least one of their parents.”

Then, this important tidbit, which proves animus –“hostility or ill feeling,” which, if proved was the reason for the voters’ prop 8 decision, would require the judge to overturn Prop 8.

“It is revealing, it seems to me, that the deinstitutionalization message is quite different from the thrust of the proponents’ Yes on 8 election campaign. That, in the words they put into the hands of all California voters, focused heavily on: Protect our children from somehow learning that gay marriage is okay. Protect our children from learning that gay marriage is okay.
Those are the words that the proponents put in the ballot — in the voter information guide that was given to every voter.”

Certainly, many of us saw those ads on TV: Save our children! Horrors!

“The Supreme Court has said that: Marriage is the most important relation in life. Now that’s being withheld from the plaintiffs. It is the foundation of society. It is essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness. It’s a right of privacy older than the Bill of Rights and older than our political parties. One of the liberties protected by the Due Process Clause. A right of intimacy to the degree of being sacred. And a liberty right equally available to a person in a homosexual relationship as to heterosexual persons.”

Regardless of the outcome of this case, or even when — because it is when, not if — it goes to the Supreme Court, we must always remember what the Supreme Court has said about marriage. And every time someone from Maggie Gallagher’s NOM says that “gay marriage” is not a civil right, we can retort, “Neither is ‘straight marriage.’ But ‘marriage’ is.”

“[Marriage] is a right belonging to Californians, to persons. It is not a right belonging to the State of California.”

“No one aspires as a child to grow up and enter into a domestic partnership. But they do aspire as children to grow up and be married.”

“Proposition 8 discriminates on the basis of sex in the same way that the Virginia law struck down in Loving discriminated on the basis of race. They could marry whoever they want, unless that person was the wrong race.”

“So how does preventing same-sex couples from getting married advance the interest or protect the interest of procreation? They are not a threat to us.
What one single bit of evidence that they are a threat to the channeling function? If you accept that California has the right to do that in the first place. And I do not.
This is an individual constitutional right. And every Supreme Court decision says that it’s a right of persons. Not the right of California to channel those of us who live in California into certain activities or in a certain way.”

“[W]e had expert witnesses that talked about the history of marriage going far back. Not 30 years, but far back into history what marriage has always been. The Supreme Court said older than the Bill of Rights, older than our political parties. That’s not something new. It’s marriage. It’s not single-sex marriage or interracial marriage or anything like that.
Mr. Cooper says you have to accept the fact that — “First of all, you have to accept my definition. It has to be between a man and a woman. Then, if you have a marriage between a man and a man or a woman and a woman, it will change the marriage.”
Well, of course it will, because you started by defining the term that you wanted to define.”

“What we’re talking about here is allowing individuals who have the same impulses, the same drives, the same desires as all of the rest of us, to have a relationship in harmony, stability, and to form a family and a neighborhood, all of those things that the Supreme Court talked about.
And, now, tell me how it helps the rest of the citizens of California to keep them out of the club. It doesn’t.”

Indeed. It does not.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Kanye West Asks Jewish People to ‘Forgive Hitler’ in Antisemitic Rant to Proud Boys Founder

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Kanye West followed up his blatantly antisemitic rant on Alex Jones’ program by urging Jewish people to “forgive Hitler.”

The rapper, who now goes by Ye, appeared on the right-wing platform Censored.TV with Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes, who said off the top that he hoped to “talk him off the ledge” and prevent him from “becoming an antisemite or a Nazi,” but the rest of the program strongly suggested he was too late, reported Rolling Stone.

“Jews should work for Christians,” West told McInnes. “I’ll hire a Jewish person in a second if I knew they weren’t a spy and I could look through their phone and follow through their house and have a camera all in their living room.”

McInnes met with West, who again wore a black mask covering his entire head, and neo-Nazi Nick Fuentes, who recently joined the rapper for dinner with Donald Trump, and pointed out that Adolf Hitler had a historically bad reputation.

“We make our reputations, that was made by Jewish people,” West claimed. “But some of it’s incorrect. Also, the Holocaust is not the only holocaust, so for them to take that and claim — we have abortion right now. That’s eugenics, that’s genocide. That’s a holocaust that we’re dealing with right now, so because Jewish people control the majority of the media, along with banks, along with real estate, along with malls.”

McInnes argued that secular Jews were problematic “liberal elites,” just like Kamala Harris and Barack Obama, but defended Orthodox Hasidic Jews, and West said he “lumps them all together” and blamed them for pornography — which he compared to a “gas chamber.”

“They can control the narrative,” West said. “History is written by the winners.”

RELATED: Kanye West storms from interview after right-wing podcaster offers ‘slightest’ pushback on his antisemitism

 

Image via Shutterstock

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COMMENTARY

Trump An ‘Enemy of the Constitution’ Declares Nicolle Wallace, Blasting Call to ‘Terminate’ Nation’s Founding Document

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MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace slammed Donald Trump as an “enemy of the Constitution” on Monday after the ex-president, over the weekend, called for the U.S. Constitution to be terminated.

Trump demanded “the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution,” in light of his most recent – and false – claim the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

That was Saturday, on his Truth Social account.

On Monday, Trump denied having ever said it, despite the post still being up.

Wallace characterized Trump’s call to terminate the Constitution “an extraordinary statement even by the standards of a failed wannabe autocrat who plotted a coup against his own government and recently dined with white supremacists.”

READ MORE: ‘Venom’: Experts Shocked as Gorsuch Angrily Accuses Colorado of Forcing Anti-LGBTQ Baker Into ‘Re-Education Program’

“The disgraced ex-president made his contempt for our democracy as clear as ever, when he called for the United States Constitution to be ‘terminated.'”

Quoting The Washington Post, Wallace said: “Trump’s message on his Truth Social platform reiterated the baseless claims he has made since 2020, that the election was stolen, but he went further by suggesting that the country abandon one of its founding documents.”

She also played a clip of Republican Congressman Dave Joyce of Ohio from Sunday’s ABC News.

Rep. Joyce in the clip twists and turns but ultimately admits that if Trump is the GOP nominee for president in 2024 he will vote for him.

READ MORE: Anti-LGBTQ Slurs on Twitter Up Over 800% as Musk Allows Thousands of Previously Banned Users Back: Reports

“Well, again, it’s early I think there’s gonna be a lot of people in the primary I think at the end of the day, you will have — wherever the Republicans tend to pick up I will fall in behind because that’s –”

ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos interjected, asking,”Even if it’s Donald Trump, as he’s called for suspending the Constitution?”

“Again, I think it’s gonna be a big field. I don’t think Donald Trump’s gonna clear out the field like he did in 2016.”

“I will support whoever the Republican nominee is,” Joyce added.

“And I don’t don’t think that at this point he will be able to get there because I think there’s a lot of other good quality candidates out there.”

“He says a lot of things,” Joyce continued, refusing to denounce Trump.

“Let’s not speed past that moment,” Wallace urged. “This is exactly how Trump happened. All the Republicans in Washington and around the country said, [Trump] ‘says all sorts of stupid you know what. Dorsn’t mean he’s going to do it.'”

“He did all of it, all of it. And then some,” she chastised.

Watch below or at this link.

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'REGURGITATING RIGHT WING TALKING POINTS'

‘Venom’: Experts Shocked as Gorsuch Angrily Accuses Colorado of Forcing Anti-LGBTQ Baker Into ‘Re-Education Program’

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch appeared angry and even hostile at several points throughout Monday’s oral arguments in a case brought by a Colorado right-wing evangelical Christian website designer who is suing the state because she wants to be able to discriminate against same-sex couples who are getting married.

The case, 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, promises to be one of the most important of the term, and arguments extended more than two hours.

During one of the more heated moments, conservative Justice Gorsuch attacked Colorado Solicitor General Eric Olson, claiming the state forced an infamous anti-LGBTQ baker who also went before the Supreme Court, winning his 2018 case in a very narrow ruling, into a “re-education program.”

RELATED: ‘What the Hell, Sam’: Justice Alito Slammed for Making ‘Joke’ About Black Children in KKK Costumes

Jack Phillips, a business owner who refused to bake cakes for same-sex weddings, citing his religious beliefs, was required to attend a class so he could become familiar with Colorado anti-discrimination law.

The Supreme Court’s ruling at the time called it, “additional remedial measures, including ‘comprehensive staff training on the Public Accommodations section'” of Colorado’s anti-discrimination law.

Justice Gorsuch instead called it a “re-education program,” and slammed the state’s Solicitor General, Eric Olson, with it on Monday.

“Mr. Phillips did go through a re-education training program, pursuant to Colorado law, did he not, Mr. Olson?” Gorsuch asked the solicitor general.

“He went through a process that ensured he was familiar –” Olson responded, before Gorsuch cut him off.

“It was a re-education program, right?” the justice blared.

“It was not a ‘re-education program,'” Olson replied, holding his ground.

“What do you call it?” Gorsuch, dissatisfied, pressed.

“It was a process to make sure he was familiar with Colorado law,” Olson explained.

“Some might be excused for calling that a ‘re-education program,’” Gorsuch snapped.

“I strongly disagree, Justice Gorsuch,” Olson said, defending the law.

Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, who provided the clip above, warns: “It does not bode well for the future of civil rights law that Gorsuch believes a state imposes ‘reeducation training’ on employers when it reminds them how to comply with nondiscrimination rules.”

RELATED: 5 Things You Need to Know About the Supreme Court Ruling in the Gay Wedding Cake Case

“Astounding that Gorsuch, A Supreme Court Justice,” tweeted Adam Cohen of Attorneys for Good Government, “Refers to Colorado giving courses on following civil rights law, As ‘reeducation training.'”

“Like being taught not to discriminate against LGBTQ is the same as being sent to a gulag for protesting communism in the Soviet Union,” he added.

Professor Elizabeth Sepper of the University of Texas at Austin School of Law says, “Justice Gorsuch describes education about antidiscrimination law and compliance as a REEDUCATION PROGRAM. This is beyond offensive. It was a central and SOFT tool of many civil rights movements and was essential to targeting market discrimination.”

Columbia Law School’s Elizabeth Reiner Platt, the Director of The Law, Rights, and Religion Project responded, “OMG Gorsuch repeatedly insists that a training on civil rights law is a ‘reeducation program.’ Good grief.”

Attorney Andrew L. Seidel, Vice President of Strategic Communications for Americans United for Separation of Church and State tweeted, “WHOA. Gorsuch asks a very hostile question about sending the bakery to ‘a re-education program.’ He spits the phrase with venom and repeats it several times. He’s regurgitating right wing talking points.”

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