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Arguing articulately before the Court


I tuned into the Prop. 8 webcast late, most of the way through the Deputy Attorney General's argument. Unfortunately, my impression of him was that he was kinda flailing. He stumbled a lot; he didn't seem to have good answers to the Justices' arguments; he looked kind of harried; his tone sounded to me kind of peevish and annoyed.

Next up was Kenneth Starr, in support of Prop. 8. Starr has a slightly professorial (I might even say fussy) and patronizing tone, but he's very articulate, very quick on his feet, and very reasonable-sounding. Regardless of the merit of his argument, he appears to me to be a far better arguer than the D.A.G.

And much as I want the AG's office to win and Starr to lose, my impression from a variety of articles over the past couple months has been that the AG's argument is widely considered pretty shaky. (Usually the legal scholars quoted in articles politely call it "novel.")

But at least the AG's office isn't arguing in favor of Prop. 8.

(For anyone who doesn't know this: There are three basic positions being argued. One group is arguing that Prop. 8 wasn't an amendment but a "revision," and thus required a higher standard than just a popular vote; one group is arguing that Prop. 8 is valid; and the Attorney General's office is arguing that the revision argument is wrong, but that "the amendment process cannot be used to extinguish fundamental constitutional rights without compelling justification.")

Best line from the parts I've heard came from Starr: "Like Lola in Damn Yankees, what this court wants, it gets."


Ha! "There's no exception to the rule... I'm irresistible, you fool... give in!" Hey, maybe if whatever Lola wants, Lola gets, then Prop 8 will be repealed!

The OT as well as the NT both proclaim: 'Man shall not lie with man, neither woman with woman, it is an abomination in the sight of the Lord your God.....

Anyone who wants to go up against this is left to his own devices...S

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