NRO: Cooper Shines in Prop 8 Arguments


Bill Duncan over at National Review Online agrees Chuck Cooper was great:

"One thing I haven’t seen mentioned much in the commentary on the oral argument (much of it blinkered by ideology) is the really superb job the attorney for the defense, Charles Cooper, did. Brian Brown at the National Organization for Marriage noticed. (Full disclosure: I co-authored an amicus brief for NOM in the case.) Cooper’s straightforward case for marriage was refreshing. His argument got right to the heart of the case — the reasonableness of treating the unique sexual relationship of a man and a woman different from other kinds of relationships.

He was particularly effective in responding to some of the novel legal theories floated by the judges. In his rebuttal argument, Cooper’s command of the precedent helped deflate the idea that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Romer v. Evans prohibited the people of California from correcting the California Supreme Court’s reading of the state constitution regarding marriage. He was able to remind the court of a passage in that case disavowing the idea that merely changing an existing legal arrangement was enough to make a law invalid.

In regards to standing, I thought Judge Randy Smith made clear the essential problem with the plaintiffs’ argument. The governor and attorney general — who have no constitutional role in approving an amendment to the state constitution — would be given, by their inaction, the power to negate the amendment."