Two Trial Styles

Ted Olson and Charles Cooper are at opposite ends of the Prop 8 case, but in delivering their closing arguments each gave flashes of deep felt conviction as legal rationale.

But their responses to questions from Judge Vaughn Walker, perpetually interrupting with contrarian queries, have been far different.

Olson grew emotional at times as he expressed the need for the court to step in to stop Prop 8 because it violates the constitutional principles of equal protection. But he was eloquent in laying out his argument.

Cooper, however, has grown flustered as Walker has shot him queries, particularly when he tried to play devil’s advocate on the Prop 8 proponents’ argument that there was a rational basis for voters to approve the initiative. Cooper’s chief point was that the state’s interest in heterosexual marriage has been procreation between the opposite sex partners.

When pressed by Walker to identify the evidence at trial for this point, however, Cooper struggled. The defense, for some reason, presented just two witnesses, something that Walker found lacking.

“Your honor, you don’t need evidence for this,” Cooper said.

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