Theodore Olson, the prominent, pro-Bush attorney during the fight to make George W. Bush president in December 2001, was about the first Republican to come out in favor of ditching the Defense of Marriage Act. Now a bunch of Republicans have come out on his side of the argument. They are joining in an amicus brief -- "have signed a legal brief arguing that gay people have a constitutional right to marry, a position that amounts to a direct challenge to Speaker John A. Boehner and reflects the civil war in the party since the November election," according to the Times.
Given the political make-up of the current Supreme Court "top advisers to former President George W. Bush, four former governors and two members of Congress" should be enough to sway the decision. This effort is seen as another way in which the Republican party is at war with itself.
Others include: "a string of Republican officials and influential thinkers — 75 as of Monday evening — who are not ordinarily associated with gay rights advocacy, including some who are speaking out for the first time and others who have changed their previous positions."
Among them are Meg Whitman, who supported Proposition 8 when she ran for California governor; Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida and Richard Hanna of New York; Stephen J. Hadley, a Bush national security adviser; Carlos Gutierrez, a commerce secretary to Mr. Bush; James B. Comey, a top Bush Justice Department official; David A. Stockman, President Ronald Reagan’s first budget director; and Deborah Pryce, a former member of the House Republican leadership from Ohio who is retired from Congress.
Ms. Pryce said Monday: “Like a lot of the country, my views have evolved on this from the first day I set foot in Congress. I think it’s just the right thing, and I think it’s on solid legal footing, too.”
Jon M. Huntsman Jr., the former Utah governor, who favored civil unions but opposed same-sex marriage during his 2012 presidential bid, also signed. Last week, Mr. Huntsman announced his new position in an article titled “Marriage Equality Is a Conservative Cause,” a sign that the 2016 Republican presidential candidates could be divided on the issue for the first time. ...NYT
It would be ironic if the Republican party, excluding so many current elected Republicans, were to end up with credit for breaking through to marriage equality. The Times reports that amicus briefs don't usually change Court decisions. I suspect this one may.
Separating the Republican party from the "hatred" that has driven it for so long would be, in itself, a coup. 'Bye, McConnell! 'bye Boehner!
Tom Goldstein, publisher of Scotusblog, a Web site that analyzes Supreme Court cases, said the amicus filing “has the potential to break through and make a real difference.”
He added: “The person who is going to decide this case, if it’s going to be close, is going to be a conservative justice who respects traditional marriage but nonetheless is sympathetic to the claims that this is just another form of hatred. If you’re trying to persuade someone like that, you can’t persuade them from the perspective of gay rights advocacy.” ...NYT