Ted Olson

Here’s the Ninth Circuit’s certification order, available on the court’s Perry v. Schwarzenegger portal page, and here’s a quick write-up, from Bay City News. Essentially the Ninth Circuit wants the California Supreme Court to decide whether the official proponents of Proposition 8, California’s ban on gay marriage, have standing to defend the initiative’s constitutionality in court, since the public officials who would normally defend it have declined to do so.

In his concurrence to the certification order and per curiam opinion, liberal lion Stephen Reinhardt had catty comments about the litigation skills and strategy of David Boies, Ted Olson, and their colleagues at Boies Schiller and Gibson Dunn….

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We’ve set up our liveblog of the Ninth Circuit oral arguments in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the Proposition 8 / same-sex marriage case. For a comprehensive account of what has happened in the litigation thus far, see this great FAQ by Chris Geidner, over at Poliglot.

You can watch streaming video of the arguments over at C-SPAN. And you can join our liveblog, after the jump….

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What are the differences between Washington lawyers and New York lawyers? One broad generalization — crude, but largely accurate — is that D.C. attorneys are all about power and prestige, and NYC attorneys are all about money.

It’s certainly true that, in the Biglaw world, New York-based law firms generally enjoy higher profits per partner than Washington-based firms. But D.C. attorneys aren’t doing too badly for themselves.

The latest issue of Washingtonian magazine, available now on newsstands, is the salary survey issue. It’s all about who makes what in the D.C. metro area, from the president to police officers to pediatricians.

And given the proliferation of lawyers in the nation’s capital, there’s a whole section on lawyers and judges. Thankfully for us, Washingtonian has made this portion available online….

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* While everybody else takes a Prop 8 victory lap, Ted Olson is back at work. [ABA Journal]

* BP’s static-kill operation looks like a success. We’re just waiting for the concrete to dry. That wasn’t so hard, was it? [Discover]

* Screw outsourcing; more firms should be doing crowdsourcing. [New York Times]

* A shareholder is not happy with the lawyers from the $3.2 billion Tyco settlement in 2007. [Forbes]

* Up here in the Northeast, the man who went on a shooting rampage at a Connecticut beer distribution company has been dominating the headlines. [New York Post]

* A former hot dog eating champ, Takeru Kobayashi, received probation for disturbing the hot dog eating championships on July 4th. He should have gotten a harsher sentence; the guy’s a real wiener. [CNN]

* Obama and Kagan will celebrate her confirmation at the White House today. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Here’s a celebratory video….

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Today Chief Judge Vaughn Walker (N.D. Cal.) issued his ruling in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the constitutional challenge to Proposition 8, California’s ban on gay marriage. The case was famously brought by Ted Olson and David Boies, two of the nation’s top lawyers (who previously faced off in Bush v. Gore, on opposite sides of the case). We first learned of the news at 4:35 PM today (via Chris Rovzar of New York magazine).

In his 136-page ruling, Chief Judge Walker — a Bush I appointee to the federal bench who is generally viewed as a moderate, not some crazy San Francisco liberal — ruled that Prop 8 is “unconstitutional under both the due process and equal protection clauses.” Accordingly, he “order[ed] entry of judgment permanently enjoining its enforcement.”

A permanent injunction? Expect Prop 8 proponents to turn to a higher court in 3, 2, 1…. But is the famously left-leaning Ninth Circuit going to be much help?

For excerpts from the opinion and more links, see below….

UPDATE: This post has been revised extensively since it was first published.

Note especially the update near the end of this post regarding Judge Walker’s STAYING THE ENTRY OF JUDGMENT.

We have also added a READER POLL, after the jump.

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This is the photo we gave you for our latest caption contest — a picture of David Boies and Ted Olson, adversaries turned allies, sharing a hug.

You voted on eight clever captions. Which one won?

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Earlier this week, we solicited funny captions for this photo (a great image for the July 4th weekend, given all the American flags):

You responded with around 70 comments. This was a smaller-than-usual number of nominees, but they were of high quality. There were about 25 or so that we saw as worthy contenders. Alas, to make the contest workable, we winnowed the entries down to a shortlist of eight.

Check them out and vote — warning: some crude / juvenile humor ahead (if you can’t handle it, stop reading now) — after the jump.

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I thought that the last 30 minutes of Ted’s rebuttal was the best 30 minutes I’ve seen in five decades of practicing law.

David Boies, discussing the closing argument of his adversary-turned-ally, Ted Olson, in Perry v. Schwarzenegger (aka the Proposition 8 case).

John McCain Senator John McCain Above the Law blog.jpgAlthough many believe he was carried down to earth by a choir of angels, the taxalicious Barack Obama was actually born in Hawaii. So he doesn’t face the same sticky question about presidential eligibility that John McCain confronts. From the New York Times:

The question has nagged at the parents of Americans born outside the continental United States for generations: Dare their children aspire to grow up and become president? In the case of Senator John McCain of Arizona, the issue is becoming more than a matter of parental daydreaming.

Mr. McCain’s likely nomination as the Republican candidate for president and the happenstance of his birth in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936 are reviving a musty debate that has surfaced periodically since the founders first set quill to parchment and declared that only a “natural-born citizen” can hold the nation’s highest office.

To address the question, the McCain camp hired the best legal talent money can buy:

But given mounting interest, the campaign recently asked Theodore B. Olson, a former solicitor general now advising Mr. McCain, to prepare a detailed legal analysis. “I don’t have much doubt about it,” said Mr. Olson, who added, though, that he still needed to finish his research.

So, what do you think? Take our reader poll. We realize you probably haven’t researched the issue. But not having completed his research — i.e., “my recent SCOTUS-clerk associate is still surfing Westlaw” — didn’t stop Ted Olson from having an opinion.
One ATL tipster had this quick take: “SCOTUS seems kinda gray, but going by the Insular Cases…it ain’t lookin’ good. Maybe an open thread for people to comment and discuss?”


McCain’s Canal Zone Birth Prompts Queries About Whether That Rules Him Out [New York Times]
Does John McCain Have a Birthplace Problem? [WSJ Law Blog]

Alex Kozinski David Lat.jpgWe now yield the floor to Laurie Lin. Who better to report on one of the year’s biggest social events than the writer of Legal Eagle Wedding Watch? Over to you, Laurie.
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Ambition and Old Spice wafted sweetly through the air last night at the Federalist Society’s 25th Anniversary Gala at Union Station — a kind of right-wing Golden Globes. Nearly two thousand G-ed up conservative lawyers packed the main hall to hear President George W. Bush blast the Senate on judicial confirmations:

“Today, good men and women nominated to the federal bench are finding that inside the Beltway, too many interpret ‘advise and consent’ to mean ‘search and destroy,’” Bush said.

Tickets to the black-tie affair were $250 — actually $249, because there was a new $1 Madison coin at every place setting — but that was a small price to pay to breathe the same oxygen as Ted Olson, Antonin Scalia, and Laura Ingraham.
More on the conservative legal fabulosity — including pictures of the people who didn’t hide when they saw us coming — after the jump.

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