|Source: Americans for Equal Rights
The legal firepower duo David Boies and Theodore Olson have earned our â€śPersons of the Weekâ€ť acknowledgment. Through their efforts, the legislative momentum is now lopsided heavily in favor of marriage equality, although the battle is far from over.
When Olson and Boies first took on the case, many noteworthy LGBTQ advocacy groups questioned the teamâ€™s timing, and are still fearful that an unfavorable US Supreme Court ruling could prove to be the movementâ€™s undoing. But now that the process is underway, opponents of Proposition 8 are joining forces to ensure that equality for all becomes a greater reality in this country.
Boies has held many positions of distinction, including serving as Chief Counsel and Staff Director of the US Senate Antitrust Subcommittee in 1978. In 1986, representing the Democratic National Committee, he won a permanent injunction against the Republican National Committee targeting minority districts with efforts to challenge voter qualifications. He also recovered $1.2 billion from companies that sold junk bonds to failed savings and loan associations.
Boies first crossed swords with conservative Olson in connection with litigation relating to the 2000 election Florida vote count. Boies represented former Vice President Al Gore, while Olson represented George W. Bush. Although Boies and Olson were both born in Illinois, the similarities between the two seemed to stop there, making their 2009 partnership in the fight against Proposition 8 all the more surprising.
The distinguished team, however, has proven to be a winner. Olson, former US Solicitor General, has argued numerous cases before the Supreme Court and has earned many honors. Life hasnâ€™t always been easy, however, as his third wife, Barbara Olson, was a passenger on the hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, Olsonâ€™s birthday.
Relentlessly strong throughout this and other difficulties, Olson, as well as Boies, have been confident from the start that they could move the fight against Proposition 8 to the Supreme Court and win it. They now appear poised for the coveted victory.