News & Politics

Head Lawyers in Prop 8 and DOMA Cases Not in Court Wednesday

Ted Olson and Paul Clement were both absent when the rulings were handed down.

Two people were conspicuously absent from the crowd at the Supreme Court this morning:
head lawyers in the Prop 8 and DOMA cases,
Ted Olson and
Paul Clement.

Olson, a GOP stalwart, became an unlikely leading advocate for same-sex marriage when
he took the case with co-counsel
David Boies to get California’s same-sex marriage ban thrown out. He waited at the Supreme Court
both Monday and Tuesday this week for the justices to decide the Prop 8 case. But
today, when they finally handed down their ruling, he wasn’t there.

Clement defended the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act in the high
court’s other big same-sex marriage case. He was also missing from the court today—maybe
for the best, since the court overturned the law.

So where were these two power lawyers? They’re in
Philadelphia, where they’re facing
off with each other at the US Third Circuit Court of Appeals in
a case about sports


Talk about bad timing.

Senior Editor

Marisa M. Kashino joined Washingtonian in 2009 as a staff writer, and became a senior editor in 2014. She oversees the magazine’s real estate and home design coverage, and writes long-form feature stories. She was a 2020 Livingston Award finalist for her two-part investigation into a wrongful conviction stemming from a murder in rural Virginia.