American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

Ted Olson Previews Marriage Equality Cases at Supreme Court

AFER’s lead co-counsel Ted Olson sat down with The American Lawyer‘s Editor-in-Chief Robin Sparkman at LegalTech, where he was the keynote speaker, to talk about AFER’s Prop. 8 case and the federal challenge to DOMA, which are both before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Asked what would be the best outcome of the two cases, Ted responded:

 “The best outcome of those two cases is that once and for all—and maybe this is too much to ask—but once and for all, the United States Supreme Court will say that people are entitled to equal treatment under the law, and under the Constitution irrespective of their sexual orientation—that they cannot be fenced off from constitutional rights, from the fundamental right to marry and other fundamental rights simply because of their sexual orientation.

“We need to get to the point in this country where we treat people equally and with dignity. We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of American citizens who have been victims of the most awful kind of discrimination.”

And on whether Obama’s Justice Department will file an amicus brief with the Court:

“In a case this important, we believe the President himself will decide whether or not he feels the Administration should weigh in and what the Solicitor General should say… We are hopeful that the Solicitor General and this president will take the side of marriage equality, will take the side of our citizens who are entitled to equal protection under the law, which is what the President said in his inaugural address.”

But does the President’s historic inclusion of LGBT rights in his recent Inaugural address signal his position?

“It was obviously quite deliberate…whether there will actually be a brief filed in our favor on the Constitutional questions, I don’t know.”

The deadline to file a friend of the court brief in support of Prop. 8 has already passed. The Administration has until February 28 to file one supporting its unconstitutionality.

Update: Ted also spoke with TheLexBlogNetwork: