Please File Under “Oh, Snap!”

While I’m unpacking and getting settled, I thought I’d share this truly awesome Fox News clip. To catch you up, a federal judge in California recently ruled Prop 8 (an amendment to the California constitution denying the right of same sex marriage) as unconstitutional. The lawsuit was part of a push to bring same sex marriage rights in front of the United States Supreme Court, more or less immediately. While I have mixed feelings on this move from a practical standpoint, from an ethical standpoint… well… lets just say I have my pom-poms out and am cheering away.

One of the two lawyers involved in this fight is, rather awesomely, Ted Olson, the conservative attorney who argued for Bush in Bush V. Gore. This interview is Ted Olson on Fox News. Or rather, Ted Olson making mincemeat of the conservative opposition on Fox News. As he is a dyed in the wool conservative, Fox News can’t just yell him down. And boy oh boy, this video will make you yell at the scream in a, “Oh DAAAAMN!” kind of way. That, and it’s smart. Want awell crafted explanation of why marriage is a constitutional right to send around to your family? Well, here you go.

And yeah, you’re going to be snapping at the screen. You’re welcome.

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  • This is what I’ve been saying for some time now, so I’m excited that it’s finally become the main argument. Thanks for the video, Meg. I shared it on my Facebook page … which, I’m sure, will generate a lot of commentary on both sides. :)

  • Mayumi

    very good. he DEFINITELY won that argument.

  • Sophia

    Thanks for posting this! I went to youtube and found the full clip:
    and it has some additional gems! Hope unpacking and de-jetlagging is going well.

  • Gillian

    I applauded in the direction of my computer screen.

  • Oh snap, indeed! This just made my morning. It’s a little easier to get out of bed and go to work now! Hooray for such a rational and well delivered argument for a basic right.

  • This. Made. My. Day. !!!! I love it when humanity surprises you.

  • Rachel

    yay yay yay! That conversation (well, his half of it) gives me hope!!!

  • Ohhhh snap! Best thing I ever saw on Fox.

  • This is FANTASTIC. :) Thanks for sharing!

  • dev

    Awesome! And bonus points for throwing judicial activism back in his face.

  • Love.

    Although I kept wanting to smack Chris Wallace in the face. I wonder if his last comment indicates Ted Olson made him a believer? Probably not, but a gal can hope.

    • I pretty much always want to smack Chris Wallace in the face. My grandparents watch this drivel channel constantly and it makes me want to eviscerate someone.

  • liz

    arrrggh, no videos at work, no internet at home…. I FEEL SO LEFT OUT.

    • liz
      • meg

        And if you can’t see it, you just need to know that when Fox tries at one point to yell over him, he stops, pauses, and says, “Oh, I’m sorry, did I interrupt you?” Which made David yell “AHHHHHHHHH! HAAAAAAA!” at the screen.

        • Sara_B

          I think this was one of my favorite parts! Ted Olson was bound and determined to have a clear, calm, and civil conversation about his (awesome) opinion and no Fox News schmuck was going to stop that.

          Thanks for posting this! Definitely helped to start the day right.

        • Alyssa

          Thanks for the transcript! I will be watching this and giggling to myself after work….

        • I had a very similar reaction, followed by thinking, “I must remember to do that… it seems so civilized, but at the same time you get to say, ‘Shhh, my turn.’!”

        • That was definitely one of the best moments in the video!

  • I got that one via e-mail last week – awesome video. Definitely the best segment I’ve ever seen on Fox. It’s so great how rational and calm he is, and how well he drives his point home.

  • Kelly

    Awesome! Thank you, I will be sharing!

  • “Oh I’m sorry if I interrupted you” LOL. That totally made my day.

  • Erin

    “…we believe that a conservative value is stable relationships and a stable community and loving individuals coming together and forming a basis that is a building block of our society, which includes marriage. We believe that that is a conservative value.
    We also believe that it’s an important conservative value to sustain the rights of liberty of our citizens and to eliminate discrimination on invidious bases, whether it’s race, or sex or sexual orientation. It should be a liberal and a conservative value. It is a fundamental American value. All men and all women are created equal under the law. ”

    Ha!!!!! AWESOME. True political conservatism, not hijacked by selfish agendas. Love it.

    • CarMar

      Wish I could “exactly” this ten times!

  • So fantastic.

  • Mallory

    I also saw this last week. It gave me chills its so good.

  • Some of the pro-Prop 8 people have been complaining that there’s no point in voting anymore if judges can rule against something like that, but they’re missing the point that it shouldn’t have been voted on in the first place. Olson does a great job of explaining exactly why, also.

    Mildred Loving, the woman involved in the Supreme Court case that ruled for interracial marriage, was a big supporter of gay marriage. I think she died after Prop 8 but I think she’d be happy that her legacy is helping the cause of gay marriage.

    • Alyssa

      As a biracial kid, I’ve always been a fan of the Loving’s story and when I read her statement a while back, I became even more so.

      On June 12, 2007, Mildred Loving issued a rare public statement, which commented on same-sex marriage, prepared for delivery on the fortieth anniversary of the Loving v. Virginia decision of the US Supreme Court.[12] The concluding paragraphs of her statement read as follows:

      “ Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don’t think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the “wrong kind of person” for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people’s civil rights.
      I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.

      • Meg

        That is such a beautiful sentiment. Thank you for sharing, Alyssa.

        • Alyssa

          Totally stolen from Wikipedia. But it really makes you just wish you could go back and hug this awesome lady.

      • meg


      • thank you so much for adding this. The video makes me giddy, this quote reminds me why.

  • FK

    Yesssss!!!!! Delightful.

  • Thanks so much for sharing this! It is perfectly said.

  • AWESOOOME. Love it.

  • Great clip – thank you for posting!

  • Jen

    I love his calm, cool manner. And just that he knows he is right.
    And I’m just a complete sucker for watching Fox News get it handed to them by someone they thought was on their own team! AMAZING!

  • I love that this concise, calmly-stated position is coming from such a huge name on the conservative side of things. Given the opportunity, I would totally high-5 Mr. Olson.

  • LOVE!

  • kat

    Awesome interview! I’m staying optimisitic about this, even though I’m a little worried about pushing the issue to an absolute decision so quickly. My heart just aches for the people discriminated against.

  • I’m a practicing Christian/ Catholic (as in, I sought out a Christian graduate school education, I attend and facilitate spiritual retreats, etc…) who supports gay marriage for the very reasons Ted Olson has stated in this clip. And yes, I am snapping my fingers at my screen.

    I supported the gay community even back in middle school when we were asked to conduct a research project on any issue we wanted, and I went around interviewing my fellow pimply 12-year-old classmates about their attitudes toward homosexuality. This tells me that even though I lacked the words, the stats, the theology, and the political awareness at the time, my untainted, compassionate, and shy preteen gut told me that there was something fundamentally unjust happening in the world.

    Thanks for sharing, Meg.

    • meg

      Me too. Seventh grade project, baby.

      Yup, my parents are published biblical scholars, and they were part of the gay equality movement in Protestant churches in the early 90’s. They can tell you alllllll the reasons (with scriptural back up) for why they think Jesus calls Christians to fight for equality.

      Any way you slice it: religious, ethical, constitutional…. all of them call for equal rights, if you ask me.

      • Kibbins

        Oh, I clapped at the video, and I just clapped at your comment. There are a lot of closed-minded conservative Christians in my life, and I just love to see that there ARE people who think it through!!! Yay for glimmers of hope!

  • MinnaBrynn

    I’ve got to watch that again. What a great interview. Thanks for bringing this to my attention (we’ve got no tv and our only “news” radio that comes in currently is of the Rush Limbaugh variety).

  • BG

    Oh, wonderful. Wonderful wonderful! I appreciate how calm and clear Mr Olson is, and I also appreciate how he articulates the argument in terms that are hard to deny, regardless of your political stripe.

    I often find myself making emotional arguments on this subject which are, I think, more easily dismissed than Mr Olson’s eminently practical and rational reasons. Having his logic in my back pocket makes me feel that much more prepared when I find myself discussing why on EARTH you would want to deny a group of US citizens one of their constitutional rights.

  • Mary Kate

    Amazing. “Oh, I’m sorry did I interrupt you?”

    I can’t watch Fox News because it gives me crippling anxiety, so I’m glad you shared this!

  • amandover

    Can I just point out – when Ted Olson says, “Well, judicial activism is what people call decisions they don’t like,” Wallace says, “Exactly!”
    Am I missing something? Is this not a repudiation of those who use the term? Like most Fox News anchors and conservative pundits?
    I’m all for the end of the “Judicial Activism” battle cry.

    Thanks for posting!

    • meg

      I know. When he said, “Exactly!” I was like, dude, you are not so bright.

  • Jes

    oh Meg.

    I saw this first thing this morning – it literally made me all teary. I re-posted it to my Facebook wall…that’s a big deal…most of my friends are ultra conservative about that issue and it makes me heartbroken.

    THANKS for sharing.

    you are so wonderful.

  • Class of 1980

    What is sad is that the level of knowledge about our Constitution has fallen so low, that some people need to have it explained to them. Not to mention the level of logic. But there it is. And yes, I probably will show the clip to people who don’t understand that their basic rights should not be decided by votes.

  • Janey

    What also gets me is the cry of, “Where in the constitution does it give the right to ….”. It makes me just want to scream, “Well, folks, READ THE DARN THING!!!!” It’s in the 9th amendment that states, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” Because, you know, our founding fathers were smart enough to know that some day, some how, some people would try to deny the rights others.

  • Love it.

  • Christina

    Meg, I’m curious to hear about this: “While I have mixed feelings on this move from a practical standpoint”… If you feel like sharing.

    • meg

      In short, I’d say there is a more than 50% chance that we’re going to lose this case in front of the Roberts court. If that happens, we’re set back DECADES, because then the discrimination is set in legal federal precedent. The gay community of California was mostly *not* enthusiastic about this case going forward, because of this. My fingers are crossed, but I’m very concerned… and far from alone.

      • JoAnna

        There is another equally important case that may end up reaching the US Supreme Court before Perry v. Schwarzenegger. On July 8th a Massachusetts judge ruled that DOMA violated the 10th Amendment and falls outside of Congress’ authority, there is a companion case as well challenging DOMA. Both of the Massachusetts Cases may end up heading to the Circuit Courts and possible the US Supreme Court before Perry v. Schwarzenegger.

        Here’s to hoping that between these cases that the US Supreme Court cannot deny that rights are being violated…

        • Although I think that case was judged based on states rights, which may set an unintended ripple of states refusing federal law (i.e. the health insurance reform bill) that may liberals may not like.

      • Marisa-Andrea

        Meg, I agree. Kennedy is going to be the swing vote and he really could go either way. I don’t think it’s a slam dunk like some may think… In this kinds of cases, timing really is half of the battle.

  • BAM! That was a wonderful way to end my day. I really, really hope my grandparents were watching that.

  • I kind of can’t believe my eyes. Love that guy!

  • Angela

    This is f*cking awesome. It makes me love Constitutional law that much more (which totally makes me a nerdy law student, but I just gotta own it).