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David Boies and Ted Olson on the Virginia marriage equality case

Super Lawyers Magazine interviews legal legends Ted Olson and David Boies about the marriage equality movement

On the same day that Super Lawyers sat down with Ted Olson and David Boies to talk about Bostic v. Rainey, their challenge to the gay-marriage ban in Virginia, the state’s attorney general Mark Herring announced he would not defend the ban.

Things moved quickly from there. On Feb. 4, Boies and Olson argued before U.S. District Court Judge Arenda Wright Allen. Nine days later she struck down the ban. Her opinion was immediately stayed, as have similar opinions in Utah, Oklahoma and Texas. Bostic now continues to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, where briefs are to be filed by March 28. Arguments are set for mid-May.

Our full interview with the two legal legends will appear in the DC (May) and New York (September) editions of Super Lawyers. Here’s a sample:

Q: Last year, when you argued Prop 8 before the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Scalia asked, “When did [same-sex marriage] become a federal constitutional right?” Is that still a legitimate question?

Olson: It’s a question. I said, “When did it become unconstitutional to prohibit people from different races of getting married? When did it become unconstitutional to make children go to different schools based upon their race?” Well, the Supreme Court decides cases when they get there, and when they understand the damage that discrimination does when it’s against classes of our citizens based upon their characteristics—the color of their skin or, in this case, their sexual orientation—then the Supreme Court decides it. But it’s because we realize that these are a class of people that are distinguished because of who they are—their immutable characteristics. You don’t choose to be homosexual or heterosexual. It’s a characteristic that’s a part of chemistry and biology. And we’re putting them into different boxes and treating them differently. We realize over time that that’s unconstitutional and that’s unacceptable.

More Articles on Super Lawyers:

Ted Olson: Q&A: Ted Olson

David Boies: Boies v. Bush v. Gore

View Lawyer Profiles:

David Boies

Theodore B. Olson

View Transcript

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Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

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