On Monday, January 25th, the 10th
day of the Prop 8 case being heard in San Francisco, Ted Olson and David Boies,
attorneys for the plaintiffs, rested their case. Now, the defense team makes
Kenneth Miller, a professor at
Claremont McKenna College who teaches California politics and researches ballot
initiatives, was the first defense witness in the trial over the
constitutionality of Proposition 8, the voter-approved ban.
Miller said one indication of the
gay rights movement’s clout in California was that neither Republican Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger nor any other statewide office holders endorsed Proposition
8. But perhaps the best measure of the movement’s strength was the $43 million
amassed to defeat the gay marriage ban in 2008, he said. That was $3.4 million
more than initiative backers raised.
Boies pushed back at Miller, asking if he
thought Prop 8 was inherently discriminatory…
treatment. Whether it’s legally discriminatory, I don’t know," Miller
The New York
Times reports on the cross examination of Kenneth Miller, at
the hand of Attorney David Boies. Boies tried to illuminate Miller’s lack of
knowledge when it comes to LGBT discrimination, both currently and
Mr. Boies pointed out that during
his deposition, Dr. Miller did not know how many states had laws regarding
discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Mr. Boies continued to ask
Dr. Miller to answer a range of difficult questions, ranging from political
history to gay and lesbian politics and scholarship.
-What academic books and articles
are you familiar with regarding the discrimination against minority groups?”
Dr. Miller demurred.
-You mean you can’t think of any
titles?” Mr. Boies asked.
-No, I can’t,” Dr. Miller
Mr. Boies, minutes later, asked,
-Nationally, do you believe the African-American minority or the gay and
lesbian minority has the greater political power?”
Dr. Miller responded, -I’d have
to say I don’t know.”
Shannon Minter, who was a lead attorney in
the California Supreme Court case concerning legal same sex marriage, open up
and provides his take on the current Prop 8 case, as reported by the Advocate…
Aside from the judge and
litigants of the case, perhaps no one has been more present during Perry v.
Schwarzenegger over the past several weeks than Shannon Minter, legal director
for the National Center for Lesbian Rights (if you’re following the case but
haven’t seen his commentary via Twitter, take note: He’s at @nclrights).
As lead attorney in the California state
supreme court case that opened the door for gay couples to marry before
Proposition 8 slammed it shut, Minter is no stranger to the arguments that the
ballot measure’s defenders are using â ones that have ranged in this trial from
dubious to utterly baffling. Minter recently put his tweeting aside for a few
minutes to speak with Advocate.com about the landmark case as it heads into its
Interview touches on the matter of Paul Nathanson and Katherine
Young, handpicked and paid for by the defense, who then withdrew from the case.
Video depositions later revealed they made statements indicating the plaintiffs
were correct in this matter. Minter comments….
"I have never seen a
situation like that before in any case. Keep in mind that these were experts
handpicked and paid for by the defense. To have a party’s own experts make
admissions in depositions that the other side is completely correct about
issues that are central to their case is almost unheard of."
Minter has also been posting his updates of
the trial on Twitter. You can follow those postings here: http://twitter.com/nclrights
Mercury News provides a time breakdown of the 10th day of
the trial, including this entry…
4:52 p.m.: Plaintiffs’ lawyer and
prof spar over whether Prop 8 is discriminatory
Another day is done in the
Proposition 8 trial. Kenneth Miller, a Claremont McKenna professor and the
Proposition 8 team’s first witness, remains on the stand, under
cross-examination by plaintiffs attorney David Boies. As the afternoon
progressed, Boies moved on to sparring with Miller about the professor’s view
of whether Proposition 8 and other same-sex marriage bans amount to
discrimination. The lawyer and witness went around and around on the topic,
with Miller only conceding that it just defines marriage as between a man and a
woman and "excludes other forms of marriage." He also at one point
said "it creates a distinction between the two groups."