the brilliant

Children Should Hire David Boies to Argue Why They Should Be Able to Stay Up Past Their Bedtime. He’s That Good

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The unconstitutional nature of Prop 8 has been hashed, rehashed, and turned into a piñata more times (on this website alone) than we care to count. And yet, seeing Ted Olson and David Boies pop up on Bill Moyers’ PBS program — just as we learn no cameras will be allowed at Perry v. Schwarzenegger‘s closing arguments — gives us 40 brand new minutes of pullquote opportunities. This whole segment is worth watching if you have the time, but allow us to share our favorite part:

Says David Boies: “If you didn’t tell the majority of the voters they were wrong sometimes under the Constitution, you wouldn’t need a constitution. The whole point of the Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment is to say, ‘This is democracy. But it’s also democracy in which we protect minority rights.’ The whole point of a Constitution is to say there are certain things that a majority cannot do, whether it’s 52 percent or 62 percent or 72 percent or 82 percent of the people. They can’t say, for example, that blacks and whites can’t go to school together — even though 82 percent of the people may think that. They can’t say that women aren’t allowed to vote, or are not allowed to work in the workplace, or not allowed equal rights or equal wages — even though a majority of people might vote that way in some places.”

Okay, we have a second favorite part, also from Boies: “There are certain rights that are so fundamental that the Constitution guarantees them to every citizen regardless of what a temporary majority may or may not vote for. And remember, what Ted said is very important. Nobody’s asking to create a new constitutional right here. This is a constitutional right that has already been well recognized by the Supreme Court. And what the Supreme Court has said is that even a democratic-elected legislature in Wisconsin cannot decide by majority rule that marriage scofflaws. People who don’t pay their child support, who abuse their children, abuse their wives, cannot get remarried again. They said marriage is so fundamental that you can’t take it away, even for people who have abused an initial marriage. Missouri, the legislature, democratic-elected legislature voted majority rule, overwhelmingly, that imprisoned felons could not get married. Supreme Court says, ‘No, even though they can’t live together, they can’t be together, marriage is such a fundamental human right that you can’t take that away.'”

(Scroll to about 5:30 to see Olson and Boies’ interview begin)

(video via, h/t TNCRM)