court orders

Equality California + ACLU Turned Over Their Prop 8 Docs So Olson + Boies Would Hate Them Less


After initially refusing to turn over their internal documents the same way Protect Marriage — an actual defendant in Perry v. Schwarzenegger — had to, Geoff Kors’ Equality California and the ACLU of Northern California (not actual plaintiffs) late last week finally caved to January’s demand and submitted their papers so the Yes On 8 team could have a look-see at their “highly confidential” Excel spreadsheets and Outlook emails. Why give in without extending their already drawn out legal fight? Well, there was Judge Vaughn Walker’s threat of a $2,000-a-day contempt of court fine. But mostly because EQCA and the ACLU, already viewed with contempt (see what we did there?) by the real plaintiffs represented by Ted Olson and David Boies, could have held up this summer’s expected ruling on the constitutionality of Prop 8, and thus further gotten in the way of what’s already expected to be a years-long legal battle.

So EQCA and the ACLU gave up their papers — and submitted them via CD-R. What, does nobody have a USB flash drive up in these parts? We hear there are these cool new things called “floppy disks” they could’ve tried.

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  • Wade MacMorrighan

    I’ve been wondering what the hold up was about… it almost seemed like they might have had something to hide. but, because they are not involved in the suit, why the hell did Protect Marriage want to see what they were doing? Did they demand docs. dealing with campaign strategies be turned over to this evil PM sumbitch?!

  • Sam

    They should have kept fighting. This sets a disturbing precedent: namely that if someone sues over the result of a ballot measure, all confidential, internal campaign documents suddenly become public record, even the documents of people and organizations that are not involved in the lawsuit.

    This is like if Hillary Clinton sued John Edwards over something in his campaign and John Edwards then demanded that Barack Obama turn over every bit of strategy, planning and effort that went into his campaign. Not good.

  • Wy

    I didn’t care for this order when it was handed down and I can’t say I’m pleased (or surprised) to hear they won’t be appealing it. However it is quite clear the request by the defendants was simply an attempt to prompt just that reaction and thereby delay any final ruling in the actual case. I do not think this was unexpected or unforseen by Boies and Olson and may be part of the reason they resisted adding these organizations to the list of plaintiffs.

    Compliance with the order is not setting or affecting legal precedent. Binding precedent would have to be set by a higher court upholding or striking down the order. The lack of any appeal on record at this point does not reflect on the chances of a successful appeal on a similar ruling for another party at a later date.

    In any event the funny thing about any decision used as precedent is that when used to support or deny a request, the ideology of the party using it is not a factor in its chances of successful application.

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