Charles Cooper, lead counsel for the sponsors of California’s Proposition 8, spoke to reporters following oral arguments in Hollingsworth v. Perry before the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Pressed to summarize his arguments, Cooper said, “There’s no way to sum up my argument in a couple of sentences.” Really? Let’s give a shot with two and a half sentences, in Cooper’s own words:
Lucky for Cooper, Sotomayor cut him off before he was able to further eviscerate his own argument. If that is true, she inquired, “why aren’t they a class?” Cooper could not defend the point and instead proposed, “Our submission is that same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples are not similarly situated.”
Sound eerily familiar? In October 2010, Judge Vaughn Walker questioned Cooper at a pretrial hearing: “I’m asking you to tell me how [marriage equality] would harm opposite-sex marriages,” he said. Cooper responded, “Your Honor, my answer is—I don’t know. I don’t know.”
Clearly, proponents of Prop 8 still have difficulty defending their own positions. In fact, Cooper’s argument sucks so much that toadfaced Antonin Scalia ended up arguing the case for him. “The court asked some penetrating, measured questions of both sides,” Cooper told the press outside the court house on Tuesday. “Now it’s in the hands of the Court.” Dissect the full transcript and audio recording, revealing Cooper’s argument for what it is—flimsy and fallable.