It is no surprise that yesterday’s California Supreme Court ruling upholding the state’s same-sex marriage ban is being met with a swift legal challenge. But the attorneys mounting that challenge today comes as a bit of surprise.
This morning (afternoon for us East Coasters) Ted Olson and David Boies will file a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of two same-sex couples seeking to marry in the state. The action challenges yesterday’s state court ruling and seeks an injunction stopping Proposition 8 from being enforced.
As you may know, Olson and Boies faced off against each other in the 2000 case Bush v. Gore, with Olson representing Bush and Boies arguing for Gore. Today’s challenge, which is a project of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, marks the first time the two attorneys have worked together. Boies now is chairman of the law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner, and Olson is a partner at Gibson Dunn.
More surprising than the teaming up of the former rivals is Olson’s involvement in the case at all. Olson, President Bush’s first U.S. solicitor general, is a staunch conservative and member of the Federalist Society, which operates under the principle that “separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution.”
Olson told the Associated Press that he hopes this case makes it to the U.S. Supreme Court. “This is a federal question,” Olson said. “This is about the rights of individuals to be treated equally and not be stigmatized. … We believe this is the kind of matter where Americans must come together and recognize the rights of all citizens.”
Olson and Boies will formally announce the challenge at 9:30 a.m. PDT. You can watch the announcement live online here.