Some interesting links if you want to qucikly get up to speed on the Proposition 8 trial in San Francisco. First, some background: Ted Olson, a respected Republican Supreme Court advocate and former Solicitor General and David Boies, equally respected litigator (and who were last in court together on opposite sides of Bush v. Gore) have teamed up to challenge the anti-Gay-marriage provision added to the California Constitution, I gather asserting that it is irrational. They are trying the case in federal court, with everyone agreeing that it is Supreme Court bound.
A side issue of interest: The ditrict judge set up a mechanism for the trial to be played in district courthouses in California and New York, and, on delayed broadcast, over YouTube.The pro-prosition-8 forces objected all the way to the US Supreme Court, saying this would be intimidating to them (From the New York Times: “Charles J. Cooper, a lawyer representing opponents of same-sex marriage, argued that a stay was needed to prevent ‘harassment, economic reprisal, threat and even physical violence’ against witnesses prepared to testify in favor of Proposition 8. Some witnesses said they would withdraw if the trial was broadcast, the brief said.”). Today, the Supreme Court stayed the broadcasting so the full court could consider the issue, with a stay to expire on Wednesday. Justice Breyer disstented (alone) that he would not have granted the stay because no irreparable harm was shown.
Today was the first day of trial. Olson’s opening statement is quoted here. The LA Times describes the first witnesses, and is blogging the trial. The day was liveblogged by a lawyer opposed to Proposition 8; it’s somewhat tough sledding as a read, but gives a real feel for what was going on in the courtroom, with details of the interchange between the judge (who is very hot, in the sense of being very well prepared, smart, and full of tough questions for the advocates) and the lawyers.