Here’s a round-up of reactions to and accounts of the first day of the historic federal trial against Proposition 8:
Karen Ocamb at LGBT POV wrote a great piece on the news that really didn’t get reported, including some of her own observations about the general mood of the proceedings. Her entire blog is actually a great resource.
Ted Olson’s fantastic opening comments are here.
Teddy Partridge and David Dayen are committing all kinds of journalism with their live-blogs and reporting at FireDogLake.
Choire Sicha at The Awl points us to a hilarious exchange between Judge Walker and Charles Cooper, the lead attorney for the opposition, from one of Teddy Partridge’s liveblogs, one that went like this:
“Judge Walker: If the President’ parents had been in Virginia when he was born, their marriage would have been unlawful. Doesn’t that show a tremendous change in the institution of marriage?”
“Cooper: Racial restrictions were never a feature of the institution of marriage. [Laughter in our courtroom.]
Wow. Choire goes so far as to say that, based on that exchange alone, Cooper “is going to get his ass handed to him.” We’re crossing our fingers! The actions of the opposition (going insane over the proceedings being recorded, witnesses dropping like flies, losing it over the discovery process, etc.) lead me to believe that we’re about to see just how unprepared our opponents really are, in attempting to defend their indefensible positions in grown-up court. It’s one thing to use lies and insinuations to scare people, but being under oath and being asked to prove your assertions, is a different animal.
Also, from what I can see, the testimonials from the plaintiffs, i.e. the actual couples involved, were quite powerful. It would be amazing to see them on, AHEM!, YouTube.
ACG at Submitted to a Candid World brings some interesting legal perspective to bear:
What makes the suit even more unique is that the state of California is a defendant in name only. California refused to defend Prop8′ validity, and the attorney general filed an amicus brief… for the plaintiffs. The suit’ only real defendants are intervenors, private citizens with a glancing bystander’ interest in the litigation, from an organization calling itself “Protect Marriage.” They’re fighting tooth and nail, to the point of tossing out television cameras forcefully(query why they think that little bit necessary), to preserve their right to be free, apparently, from squeamishness about other peoples’ relationships. The intervenors have no real stake in the outcome of the case. If they win, they get nothing but a sense of satisfaction. If they lose, they may, one day, shiver to see two men, hand-in-hand and wearing wedding bands.
Elsewhere in his piece, we find that he’s a bit queasy about the idea of taking this case all the way to the Supreme Court. I agree and, yet, I disagree. But that’s just me, being of two minds again.
If you’d like to read what the anti-gay “thinkers” have to say to this, Maggie Gallagher is holding court in the bathtub with K-Lo, occasionally spittling out a few words at The Corner at National Review Online.
And that’s all I’ve got for now. If you want to follow today’s proceedings in real time, here are the key people tweeting the trial:
Dan Levine, a reporter for legal news publication The Recorder can be followed @FedcourtJunkie. Also NCLR’ Ilona Turner @ilona, The Advocate @TheAdvocateMag, American Foundation for Equal Rights,@AmerEqualRights , and the ACLU of Northern California @ACLU_NorCal are all live tweeting. The Courage Campaign is also tweeting the trial at @CourageCampaign.