That Is Why We Have Courts

The federal court case weighing the constitutionality of California’s vote to overturn marriage equality in that state began yesterday in San Francisco. It is going to be a humdinger of a case. Both sides are filled with passion. The stakes are high.

There is unclarity about whether video of the arguments will be allowed. The U.S. Supreme Court stopped, at least temporarily, streaming video while it considers the matter. That body has not been friendly to televised proceedings so I expect those who want an accessible courtroom will be disappointed.

But Ted Olsen, the conservative lawyer who made the choice to push the case for equality, did not disappoint during the opening arguments yesterday.

When Judge Vaughn Walker asked him why the court should intervene when the votes of the people were cast in an open election, Olsen said, “That is exactly why we have courts, why we have the Constitution and why we have the 14th Amendment,” he said, adding that while some groups “may not be the most popular people,” the court still should uphold their rights. “That is why we are here today.”