How Ted Olson Ended Up Challenging Prop 8

The New York Times profiles Ted Olson, who with David Boies is leading the federal suit to overturn Proposition 8. His presence has rattled those on the left and the right, for a variety of reasons, and he’s got some blowback from conservative colleagues.

But how did he end up on the case?

Jo Becker writes, “Last November, [Rob] Reiner and his wife, Michele, invited two
prominent Democratic consultants, Chad Griffin and Kristina Schake, to
lunch at the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Ten days before,
voters had passed Proposition 8, an amendment to the California
Constitution negating a State Supreme Court decision that had briefly
legalized same-sex marriage. Mr. Griffin, who had come out eight years
earlier, said he felt like he had been gut-punched.

“As the
friends commiserated and discussed what to do next, an acquaintance
named Kate Moulene stopped by. In a phone conversation later that
afternoon, she suggested that Ms. Reiner contact her sister’s former
husband, a leading constitutional lawyer. His name was Ted Olson, she
said, and “knowing him as I do, I bet he’d be on your side of this.”

““Ted Olson?” Ms. Reiner recalls exclaiming. “Why on earth would I want to talk to him?””

Griffin met with Olson in D.C. and he joined the case soon after.

Olson has taken some ribbing from one of his other clients, David Bossie, the notorious right wing operative who Olson is representing before the Supreme Court next month in a suit involving Bossie’s “Hillary, the Movie,” a movie highly critical of Hillary Clinton. After giving Olson’s wife a kiss at a recent Federalist Society lunch, Bossie said to him, “I’m
not going to kiss you, even though apparently you wouldn’t mind.”

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