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Hollingworth V. Perry Transcripts, Audio- Standing Big Issue

Supreme_Court_US_2010The Huffington Post was kind enough to post both the complete audio and the complete transcript from the oral arguments in Hollingworth v. Perry. One thing that has to be said is that Chuck Cooper, the lawyer for the anti-gay side of the argument, came off rather poorly. Here’s a section from the case regarding standing in this case- and it may indicate that the Justices are a bit less than certain regarding the standing of Cooper to argue this.

JUSTICE SCALIA: I guess the attorney general of this State doesn’t have any proprietary interest either, does he?

MR. COOPER: No, Your Honor, nor did –

JUSTICE SCALIA: But — but he can defend it, can’t he –

MR. COOPER: — nor did –

JUSTICE SCALIA: — because the law says he can defend it.

MR. COOPER: That’s right, Your Honor. Nor did the legislative leaders in the Karcher case have –

JUSTICE KAGAN: Could the State –

MR. COOPER: — any particular enforcement –

JUSTICE KAGAN: — could — could the State assign to any citizen the rights to defend a judgment of this kind?

MR. COOPER: Justice Kagan, that would be a — a very tough question. It’s — it’s by no means the question before the Court, because — because it isn’t any citizen, it’s — it is the — it is the official proponents that have a specific and — and carefully detailed –

JUSTICE KAGAN: Well, I just — if you would on the hypothetical: Could a State just assign to anybody the ability to do this?

MR. COOPER: Your Honor, I think it very well might. It very well might be able to decide that any citizen could step forward and represent the interests of the State and the people in that State –

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Well, that would be — I’m sorry, are you finished?

MR. COOPER: Yes, Your Honor.

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Okay. That — that may be true in terms of who they want to represent, but — but a State can’t authorize anyone to proceed in Federal court, because that would leave the definition under Article III of the Federal Constitution as to who can bring — who has standing to bring claims up to each State. And I don’t think we’ve ever allowed anything like that.

MR. COOPER: But, Your Honor, I guess the point I want to make is that there is no question the State has standing, the State itself has standing to represent its own interests in the validity of its own enactments. And if the State’s public officials decline to do that, it is within the State’s authority surely, I would submit, to identify, if not all — any citizen or at least supporter of the measure, certainly those, that that very clear and identifiable group of citizens -

The rest of the section is quite interesting. Here are the transcripts and audio:

Hollingsworth v. Perry Oral Arguments



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