That's right. Ted Olson, who led George W. Bush's legal team in the aftermath of the 2000 election, when Democrat Al Gore tried to steal Florida's vote from the then-Texas governor, and who was successful in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore, has filed a lawsuit in federal court, citing the 14th Amendment, that would strike down each state and federal law and state constitutional amendment banning homosexual marriage. President Bush then named him U.S. Solicitor General, the top litigator at the Justice Department. Olson's legal teammate now is David Boies, Gore's lawyer during the attempted electoral heist.
Mr. Olson certainly is entitled to his opinions, but he is more than slightly arrogant and presumtious when he says this, according to the New York Daily News:
"It's not about liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican. We're here in part to symbolize that. This case is about the equal rights guaranteed to every American under the United States constitution," said Olson, a prominent Republican.
Olson said he asked Boies, a Democrat, to join his team to present 'a united front' . ..."
Let's make one thing clear: Mr. Olson doesn't speak for all Republicans. He and Mr. Boies, don't speak for all Democrats. In 2006, Virginia voters ratified the Marriage Amendment with 57 percent of the vote. Neither U.S. Senate candidate that year got more than 50 percent. A significant amount of Democrats, including a large percentage of black and Hispanic voters, who voted in most cases for the Democrat senate candidate, cast their ballots for the Marriage Amendment. California's Marriage Amendment last year carried that state with 52 percent of the vote, but large blocs of black and Hispanic voters put the amendment over the top while simultaneously voting for Barack Obama (who, by the way, supports traditional, one-man one-woman marriage).
Just because two elite lawyers get together and create a great photo op based on their previous history, doesn't mean they are unifying two factions. In fact, they are doing quite the opposite. He is correct in one regard, though: this has "nothing to do with liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat." But it has nothing to do with "equal rights," either, and everything to do with special rights. Says the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins:
"The members of Congress who wrote that Amendment in 1866, and the state legislators who ratified it, could not possibly have envisioned or intended such an application, nor can anything in the Amendment be construed to imply such a 'right.'"
But what's really incomprehensible is Mr. Olson's sudden disregard for states' rights and federalism, something Mr. Olson apparently stood for when he was solicitor general. Since this issue is not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, it is not a federal issue. Why he thinks that concept, for which he has fought his entire career, doesn't now apply is puzzling to say the least.
However, there is one paradoxical angle here that should give us reason for optimism: Many homosexual activists don't agree with the lawsuit because a loss in federal court could be a swift, solitary blow to any legal action for years. While that thought may sound reassuring, however, we are sure if Mr. Olson and Mr. Boies fail, others certainly will find another angle. This is only one battle in what certainly now will be a long, protracted cultural war, where the weapon of choice will be lawyers.