30 June 2014

To the Chest Pounders Belong the Spoils!

Beautiful sunny day, the fish are hungry, and I am indoors reading the NYTimes this late in the morning?  Short answer: deer tick > antibiotics > extreme sun sensitivity >smartass goes fishing on sunny day > badly burned hands > unable to find on Ebay a light colored burka > smartass indoors reading NYT cover to cover while fish chortle. 

But there is a consolation prize: I stumbled across a book review in today's New York Times. 

It is a searing ridicule of the Theodore Olsen/David Boies self-congratulatory memoir they wrote about Perry, the same sex marriage case they claim they "won" in the Supreme Court.  In their joint effort, the authors assert they achieved a "victory that would echo throughout history.''  Says Olsen, "We have changed the world."

You have probably seen the odd couple on tv interviews promoting their book, and promoting themselves as heroes.

All absolute nonsense, explains Times reviewer Professor Dale Carpenter, the knowledgeable Minnesota Law School professor and accomplished legal author in his own right.  In fact, Perry was a District Court decision striking down "Prop 8", the referendum that banned same sex marriage in California. The Supreme Court ruled only on a technical "standing" issue and found there had been no effective appeal of the District Court decision.  In Perry, the Supremes never reached the merits--they said nothing about marriage equality in the State of California, or anywhere else.

And there were lots of people who brought about the national change of opinion on the subject of same sex marriage, but the evidence, says Professor Carpenter, suggests that Perry made no noticeable contribution to the trend.

My favorite quote from the review:

"The Proposition 8 case restored same-sex marriage to California, and the authors are justifiably proud of that. But Perry did not bring the promised nationwide victory, and it pales next to the Supreme Court’s opinion in United States v. Windsor, decided the same day, which invalidated the Defense of Marriage Act. Windsor, not Perry, is the decision that more than a dozen federal courts have relied on to affirm the freedom to marry. The authors do not even mention the lawyer who won that case, Roberta Kaplan. Rarely have so few overlooked so many to claim so much based on so little."

So excuse please, a touch of chest-pounding per moi.  Here's to my friend and partner Roberta Kaplan and her colleagues at Paul Weiss and elsewhere, who actually won the legal victory, and who, unlike Messrs. Olsen and Boies, have not claimed credit for the accomplishments of others.

Brava.

The entire NYT book review can he found at  http://nyti.ms/1k3sbpn 

A bientot.

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