Law and Public Policy

Ted Olson and David Boies Talk Prop 8 Case on Aspen Ideas Festival Stage

March 27, 2013  • Institute Contributor

While the Supreme Court deliberates whether or not it will rule on Proposition 8, California’s ban on gay marriage, we take a moment to recall the roots of the case. In 2010, opposing chief counsels for Bush v. Gore, Ted Olson and David Boies, spoke in conversation at the Aspen Ideas Festival about why, as a Republican and a Democrat, they came together to challenge the ballot measure—fully intending to eventually make the landmark case in front of the country’s highest court.

“I think that one of the messages that I hope that Ted and my participation in this case sends is that this is not a conservative or liberal issue,” said Boies during the on-stage dialogue with Olson and moderator Jeffrey Rosen. “It’s not Republican or Democratic issue. This is a human rights issue. This is civil rights issue. This is a constitutional issue. This is something that everybody, whether you’re a conservative or a liberal, ought to have the same view on. Nobody in this country ought to be in favor of discrimination, and I think that the combining of our two backgrounds helps to send that message.”

Watch here as Olson explains how the duo initially debunked their opposition’s closing arguments piece by piece.