Lawyers Theodore Olson and David Boies, who represent the American Foundation for Equal Rights, an advocacy group for same-sex marriage, said the high court should not find California’s Proposition 8 constitutional simply “because it was enacted through the democratic process and therefore reflects ‘the will of the people.’”
“Needless to say,” the other side “has it backwards,” they said in their Supreme Court brief. Case law shows that courts must protect minorities “from majoritarian prejudice or indifference,” even when such court actions “upset the majority.”
Elected officials on both sides of the debate have filed briefs with the Supreme Court over the California and federal cases.
In one case, 212 congressional Democrats issued a brief asking the high court to overturn DOMA.
“There simply is no legitimate federal interest in denying married same-sex couples the legal security, rights and responsibilities that the federal law provides to all other married couples,” said the lawmakers, who included Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat.
That brief was filed after the Obama administration weighed in with a brief calling on the high court to strike down California’s Proposition 8, although the U.S. brief stopped short of asking the court to invalidate all state statutes defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
The Obama administration has announced that it would stop enforcing the Defense of Marriage Act because of doubts about its constitutionality, and congressional Republicans have stepped in to defend the law in the court battle.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on the Proposition 8 case on March 26 and the DOMA case, Windsor v. United States of America, on March 27.