Perry: Week Three

Ted Olson (left) and David Boies adress reporters, as two of the lawsuit's plaintiffs look on.

Ted Olson (left) and David Boies adress reporters, as two of the lawsuit's plaintiffs look on.

As we enter the third week of the Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial, the Plaintiffs spent Monday finishing and resting their case.  The Defendants began their case supporting the constitutionality of Proposition 8, and it is not expected to last beyond this week. After some initial dispute over whether Yes on 8 campaign manager Frank Shubert could be called to the stand by the defense, Lisa Keen reported:

The plaintiffs then proceeded to introduce their remaining evidence—a number of videotapes and documents that demonstrate the tactics and messages of the Yes on 8 campaign. The evidence included videotapes of Proposition 8 proponents making often shocking claims against gay people – that they were attempting to “indoctrinate” children to homosexuality, promoting pedophilia, and aiming for the “annihilation of marriage.”

One video showed a young man from an ex-gay group claiming that, if Proposition 8 failed in California, it would have a “domino effect throughout the country.” A young woman sitting next to him said it would mean “pedophiles could marry six, seven, and eight-year olds.” She claimed that marriage equality in Massachusetts enabled a man there to petition for the right to marry a horse.

. . . .

After the plaintiffs submitted their remaining documents, the defense began its case in support of Proposition 8. Their first witness was Kenneth P. Miller, a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College, a private college outside Los Angeles. The defense offered Miller as an expert in the political power of gays and lesbians — a designation which plaintiffs’ attorney David Boies attacked.

U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker already has stated that he is looking for a week-long break after the cases have been presented before hearing closing arguments, so that he can review the trial and ask questions of the lawyers.  This move, while unusual, is not all that surprising in light of the fact that Walker began asking questions just a few minutes into Ted Olson’s opening statement three weeks ago.

The trial is to continue on Tuesday.

Law Dork coverage of the trial:

All Perry coverage at Law Dork can be found here, and my Twitter list of folks tweeting live from the trial can be found here. Liveblogging of the trial can be found at the Courage Campaign’s Prop 8 Trial Tracker and at FireDogLake’s Prop 8 Trial Hub.

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About the Author

Chris Geidner is the award-winning senior political & legal reporter at BuzzFeed and has written for Metro Weekly, The Atlantic Online, The American Prospect,, Salon and other publications, as well as at his blog, Law Dork. He has appeared regularly on television commenting on current affairs, including MSNBC, PBS, HLN & Current. Prior to moving to D.C. in 2009, he served as an attorney on the senior staff at the Ohio Attorney General's Office and had earlier worked for a leading Columbus law firm. An extended biography can be found here, and you can follow him on Twitter.