The Supreme Court decisions striking down DOMA and Proposition 8 weren’t just great for the LGBT community. It was great for lawyers looking for employment too because of all the unresolved legal issues. Now, the attorneys who successfully brought the challenge to Prop 8 want to go back to the Supreme Court and settle everything once and for all. Theodore Olsen and David Boies are joining the challenge to Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage, with the goal of convincing the Supreme Court that same-sex couples should be able to get married no matter where they live.
The Virginia case has a few advantages going for it. For one, it’s moving swiftly through the legal system. For another, the ban on same-sex marriages is depressingly thorough. “The more unfairly people are being treated, the more obvious it is that it’s unconstitutional,” Olson told the Washington Post. Finally, polls show a majority of Virginia residents now support marriage equality.
The Supreme Court basically punted on whether marriage equality is a right, leaving it up to the states to determine. Olsen and Boies want to turn the Court’s own arguments against that reasoning and establish the right to marry as an absolute one not dependent on geography.
“Given what was said in DOMA [decision] and given the record we made in California and given what we’re going to establish in Virginia, we’re going to be able to persuade a majority of the court that this is the right thing,” Olsen said.
The Court wasn’t ready to go that far in June. But given how fast everything has moved since then, Olsen and Boies are counting on the justices to realize that the piecemeal approach should be a short-lived transition. Given the attorney’s track record, who would want to bet against them?