Tag: David Boies
By Eden James
Remember last Thursday night, when David Peck and Alan E. wrote about David Boies tearing up at a speech the night after Judge Walker’s ruling?
Well, we didn’t have the video then, but we do now. The Commonwealth Club has posted it and it’s well worth watching — or listening to while you do chores — if you’ve got an hour tonight to spend with the soothing sounds of the voice of David Boies.
Sit back, relax and enjoy David Boies break down the ins and outs of the AFER case — how they won and why :
And, if you didn’t read the original reports that came in on his speech from our intrepid Trial Trackers, here it is again, reposted from Friday:
(I love the Tracker community! Last night, David Peck and Alan E. — two Prop 8 Trial Tracker community members who comment often — posted first-hand accounts of an appearance by David Boies in San Francisco at the Commonwealth Club. The Commonwealth Club holds frequent public forums with notable speakers that are often broadcast on NPR and on their YouTube page. The San Jose Mercury News was there to cover it, but I was so moved by David and Alan’s personal accounts of what happened, I decided to highlight their coverage instead. The Club has not posted the YouTube video yet, but you can listen to the full speech and Q&A with David Boies here. If any of you see the video go live, we’ll add it to this thread ASAP. Enjoy! — Eden James)
UPDATE: Video posted of a 3-minute clip of the speech from the HuffPo:
A pumped-up David Boies said last night that it’s a “dead certainty” that the U.S. Supreme Court will take up the issue of same-sex marriage if a federal appeals court sustains the trial court’s landmark decision Wednesday overturning California’s Proposition 8. In an hourlong appearance before a capacity crowd of 300 at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club, Boies… (more at J.D. Lasica’s HuffPo)
By David Peck (or “Dpeck”)
(posted as a comment on August 5, at 11:59 p.m.)
Tonight, I went to the Commonwealth Club in SF and I got to hear David Boies speak and answer questions. It was a great experience. As an added bonus, I ran into our very own Alan from here at P8TT. Something to note – this event had been on the schedule for months and it was pure happy coincidence that it ended up happening one day after the ruling. The timing wasn’t planned.
As soon as the event began, before Boies even made it all the way to the podium, the entire room erupted into a spontaneous standing ovation. It was very moving, and there was more of that to follow a little later…
For the first part of the evening, Boies spoke from the podium at length about the trial, about the three major points that they set out to prove:
1. Marriage is a fundamental right – he said this one was easy since the SCOTUS had already said as much several times already, and he gave the example of when it was ruled that felons serving life sentences must be allowed to marry (and this also poked another hole in the “marriage is for procreation” argument to boot).
2. Denying marriage rights to SSMs harms these couples and their families.
3. Ending this discrimination does no harm at all to opposite sex couples nor does it harm the institution of marriage itself, in fact it strengthens it.
He went on to give his thoughts on many of the very same aspects of this issue that we all have been discussing here, including the topics in this very thread regarding the true role of the courts and the Constitution in protecting the equal rights of all citizens.
Of course I had expected him to be a very good speaker and to be good at constructing arguments and making a point, but I was struck by how down to earth, direct, and accessible his comments were. He also has a good sense of humor. And I have to say, it just really felt so affirming and so GOOD to hear these statements direct from Boies, and to hear him quote from Walker’s ruling.
And then near the end of his speech, he began to make a light-hearted comment about how his team maybe didn’t deserve so much credit because in the big picture, they had only stepped into the whole struggle for equal marriage rights at the end of the story – and then he had to pause for a few moments because he was getting quite emotional. When he resumed, he went on to say that this victory was for all of the people who had done the real fighting for equal rights and who had given so much, sometimes giving their very lives.
It was clear that this man isn’t just in this for the challenge, or the notoriety, or the money. He’s in it for all the right reasons. He’s in it for the principle at stake. I felt very fortunate to have been there to hear him speak.
The audience had been invited to submit written questions and after Boies finished speaking at the podium the host for the event read several of the questions for Boies to answer. Some were really good, but I’m starting to draw a blank. Alan, if you’re reading this, feel free to chime in, OK?
The event was recorded for radio broadcast but I don’t know the specifics. It’s definitely worth a listen so anyone who can find it, please post the info here.
(And then Alan chimed in a little later…)
By Alan E.
(posted as a comment on August 6, at 7:39 a.m.)
Last night, I got to go see David Boies talk at the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco.
When I first arrived, I was looking for an open seat. I found one and asked the person sitting next to it if it was open (many chairs had coats spread across to save them). To my surprise, the person I asked about the seat turned out to be Dpeck! We got to chat for a bit before the even started.
As soon as Mr. Boies walked in, the crowd gave a standing ovation. At the very end of his speech, Mr. Boies started to tear up, and that just got mine going, too. There was a Q&A session, but we had to submit our questions ahead of time. The moderator grouped the questions of similar type and asked them of Mr. Boies in lumps. This was fantastic because you didn’t get the same question over again, you don’t feel bad if your specific question doesn’t get asked, and the timing ans pace of the session was impeccable.
As Mr. Boies was walking out, I had to rudely interrupt a conversation I was in so I could shake his hand and thank him. I made my way downstairs, said goodbye to Dpeck, but decided to go to the bathroom before I started my trek home (having to pee while on BART sucks). Mr. Boies was just starting a press conference, but most everyone who was at his talk earlier had left. I noticed that no one was checking anything at the room, so I just walked in and started taking pictures with my phone and recorded a couple minutes.
Before he could leave, I stopped him to get him to sign my copy of the decision. I also had one more request, something I had been thinking about doing for months: I wanted to give him a great big hug. Of course he obliged. I walked out of there with a huge grin on my face and tears streaming. This was one of the best days of my life!
I’ll get a picture of my signed copy to post soon. You should definitely listen to the audio (it was shown on Channel 2 as well, last night, so there may be video somewhere).
(And a little later, Richard A. Walker added a poignant point…)
23. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan) | August 6, 2010 at 8:40 am
And let’s not forget all of the unsung heroes throughout the years leading up to this moment who have made this possible, beginning with our brothers and sisters at Stonewall who on 27 June 1969 said enough is enough and refused to be bullied anymore, all of those who have participated in studies and/or allowed their stories to be part of a case history and/or analysis so that reputable, peer-reviewed scientific efforts could go on and refute the previous stereotypes and superstitions about us. These people are also a very big part of today. And yes, I think that Harvey Milk is looking down on us today with an ear to ear grin!
If you would like to add a comment of your own, please treat this as a “Lesbians Love Boies” Open Thread…
By Julia Rosen
Following the wrap of testimony in the trial, the American Foundation for Equal Rights legal team held a press conference. The audio from it was interesting, but I was holding out posting it until the video became available.
Here is the legal team talking about the case and in particular the defense’s witnesses. Speakers include Chad Griffin, David Boies, and Theodore (Ted) Boutrous.
Boutrous in particular discusses how the Supreme Court again and again has ruled that marriage is a fundamental right, letting even murderers behind bars to get married and people who are complete strangers.
by Brian Leubitz
My tireless job of saving you the dirty task of wading over to the protect marriage website is never done, or so it seems. Fear not, for I have digested some of the nonsense, and will try to decode some for my fellow Trial Trackers.
Pugno’s post wrapping up the testimony phase of the case was pretty simple, and boils down their case to one, relatively comprehensible, paragraph:
Meanwhile, we have shown that limiting marriage to its longstanding definition is rational because marriage benefits children, not just the adults. Whenever possible, it is best for a child to have both a mother and a father. And man-woman marriage is the only human relationship that can biologically serve that distinctive purpose. A same-sex relationship can never offer a child both a mother and father. It’s that simple.
And their case is really that simple. Sperm meets egg. That’s it. Finito. But take a look around our vast, diverse country, past the world that Protect Marriage and NOM want to show you. You’ll see single parents, couples who married far past child-rearing age, couples who had no intention of ever having children, and yup, some same-sex couples who do have children. There is no doubt that child-rearing is critical to our nation, but we should be considering all children, not just the ones Protect Marriage wants you to see. I’ll let the defense expert David Blankenhorn take it from here:
Gay marriage would extend a wide range of the natural and practical benefits of marriage to many lesbian and gay couples and their children. … By increasing the number of married couples who might be interested in adoption and foster care, same-sex marriage might well lead to fewer children growing up in state institutions and more growing up in loving adoptive and foster families.
Blankenhorn acknowledges that the Prop 8 harms same-sex couples, but argues the damage to the “institution of marriage” would be far worse if gays and lesbians were to marry. Yet throughout this trial, they have presented no evidence that shows that gay marriage harms straight marriage. No expert who could point to any studies that clearly state the case for that supposition. Quite to the contrary, Blankenhorn looked lost on on cross-examination when David Boies questioned him about the subject.
Pugno, throughout this trial, has repeatedly referred back to the rational basis test, and it is true that is known as a rather weak test. But the fact remains that the Prop 8 team must, at the very least, show that there was a legitimate governmental interest. Religion, idealism, traditionalism, these are not legitimate governmental interests in and of themselves.
Look, I can deal with some people hating me. It’s their right. But as the legendary jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes said nearly a century ago, “The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.”
By Julia Rosen
David Boies became a hero around these parts for his thorough embarrassing of both Dr. Kenneth Miller and David Blankenhorn during his epic cross-examinations. One of our regular Trial Trackers in the comments, the poster formerly known as Barb, even changed her username to “Lesbians Love Boies”.
We loved that phrase so much that we made it into a t-shirt. It’s available on Skreend, with a portion of the proceeds going to benefit the Courage Campaign. Think of Skreened as a more ethical Cafepress that prints all of their gear on American Apparel. So all of you gay boys can buy one too and fit your gym bodies. Or if you haven’t been to the gym in a while, there are some sweet hoodies and tote bags available.
If you are wearing one and ever run into David Boies, please do take a picture of the two of you together. We’d love to post it.
[UPDATE] You asked for it in the comments and you got it. “Boys <3 Boies" is now available for purchase!
By Julia Rosen
Brian thought that he had the question of the day “This is a Witness for the Defense?”, but that was a little too rhetorical.
I’ve got a better one. Who was the worst witness for the defense, Dr. Kenneth Miller or David Blankenhorn? Which one did the most damage to their case. Or put another way, which one was the most helpful for our side?
I know, it’s a tough call. I’m sure we can all agree the real winner was David Boies and the plaintiffs.
This won’t be the last poll we put up. After all, there is a lot of time to kill between now and February 26th. If you have ideas for future polls you want to see run on the Trial Tracker, please chime in the comments.
by Brian Leubitz
Well, it looks like testimony has been all wrapped up. But David Boies’ demolition of David Blankenhorn — the defense’s second, and final, “expert” witness — will continue to reverberate through the record as this case proceeds forward. Was Blankenhorn an actual expert, well, let’s let him answer that:
DB: “I’m simply repeating things that they say.”
DB: “These are not my own conclusions.”
DB: “I’m a transmitter here of findings of these eminent scholars.”
And even those conclusions don’t actually support what the defense was going for with this witness. I’m pretty certain they weren’t looking for these choice nuggets:
“Extending marriage rights to same-sex couples would probably reduce the proportion of homosexuals who marry persons of the opposite sex, and thus would likely reduce instances of marital unhappiness and divorce.”
“Gay marriage would be a victory for the worthy ideas of tolerance and inclusion. It would likely decrease the number of those in society who tend to be viewed warily as ‘other’ and increase the number who are accepted as part of ‘us.’ In that respect, gay marriage would be a victory for, and another key expansion of, the American idea.”
“Because marriage is a wealth-creating institution, extending marriage rights to same-sex couples would probably increase wealth accumulation and lead to higher living standards for these couples as well as help reduce welfare costs (by promoting family economic self-sufficiency) and decrease economic inequality.”
Keep in mind, these were the words of the defense expert. Honestly, I can’t wait to see how Andy Pugno tries to tie together the mess that was the defense’s two expert witnesses. Honestly, I figured that after Boies got through with Prof. Miller, that he couldn’t top that performance. I was wrong. Blankenhorn was an absolute disaster for the defense. He had no credibility with the Judge, and his continued failure to answer questions won’t look good on a written record either.
Also, if you missed this link in the comments, one of our amazing Trial Trackers spotted this video of a gay marriage debate between Evan Wolfson, of Freedom to Marry, and Mr. Blankenhorn. If you’d like to see what Rick was talking about with Blankenhorn’s demeanor, check it out. But keep in mind, Wolfson wasn’t cross examining him, and Boies was nowhere in site.