Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality

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The riveting inside story of the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on Proposition 8—by the two lawyers who argued the case
On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a pair of landmark decisions, striking down the Defense of Marriage Act and eliminating California’s discriminatory Proposition 8, reinstating the freedom to marry for gays and lesbians ...

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Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality

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The riveting inside story of the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on Proposition 8—by the two lawyers who argued the case
On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a pair of landmark decisions, striking down the Defense of Marriage Act and eliminating California’s discriminatory Proposition 8, reinstating the freedom to marry for gays and lesbians in California.
Redeeming the Dream is the story of how David Boies and Theodore B. Olson—who argued against each other all the way to the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore—joined forces after that titanic battle to forge the unique legal argument that would carry the day. As allies and not foes, they tell the fascinating story of the five-year struggle to win the right for gays to marry, from Proposition 8’s adoption by voters in 2008, to its defeat before the highest court in the land in Hollingsworth v. Perry in 2013.
Boies and Olson guide readers through the legal framing of the case, making crystal clear the constitutional principles of due process and equal protection in support of marriage equality while explaining, with intricacy, the basic human truths they set out to prove when the duo put state-sanctioned discrimination on trial.
Redeeming the Dream offers readers an authoritative, dramatic, and up-close account of the most important civil rights issue—fought and won—since Brown v. Board of Education and Loving v. Virginia.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 05/05/2014
The lawyers who overturned California’s Proposition 8 offer a carefully crafted, highly accessible play-by-play of the complex four-and-a-half-year legal battle over the gay and lesbian right to marry. In 2008, Rob and Michelle Reiner, Kristina Schake, Chad Griffin, and their new organization, the American Foundation for Equal Rights, solicited Olson as the lawyer most likely to take a challenge of the popularly enacted referendum all the way to the Supreme Court, despite his conservative reputation. Olson had already turned down the opposition and believed strongly that “marriage equality was a truly conservative ideal, based on bedrock values such as liberty, freedom, and equality.” He reached out to Boies, his opponent in Bush v. Gore in 2000, who became a respected friend, to join him—both for his consummate skill as a trial lawyer and as evidence of credible bipartisan support for marriage equality. Together they built a case with well-chosen plaintiffs. Here, they walk a fine line, showing themselves as incontrovertibly in the right, while not devolving into self-aggrandizement. Their clear explanations about the landmark case and the judicial process in general will leave readers well-prepared to follow the subtleties of the discussion as individual states take on the gay marriage issue. Agent: Stanley Pottinger, Velocity Press. (June)
Library Journal
In June 2013, when the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8, the nation had Boies and Olson to thank. Though they had argued against each other in Bush v. Gore, the two lawyers worked together from the 2008 adoption of Proposition 8 to guarantee marriage equality in this country.
Kirkus Reviews
The two principal attorneys who faced off over Bush v. Gore in 2000 joined forces in 2009 to fight California's Proposition 8, which outlawed gay marriage, and, now, to write this light account of their adventures in court.Coming on the heels of Jo Becker's polychromatic Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality (2014), this account by two A-team lawyers seems a bit wan by comparison. Although much of the text is in the third person, on two occasions, the authors pause to let an individual have a chapter. Both men have "Why I Took the Case" chapters, and later, each writes a paean to the other. Olson praises Boies' artistry as a cross-examiner; Boies praises Olson's strengths in closing arguments. The two talk about their ideological differences, too, but realize they both love fine wine, sailing and numerous other pleasures. They offer platitudes about how political differences should not separate us so severely. Two of the stars of Becker's book appear early—Chad Griffin and Rob Reiner—but they fall off the narrative train quickly as the authors roar through their federal lawsuit, the appeal and the Supreme Court appearance that resulted in a partial victory for the authors' side (Prop 8 died). The authors help us see what a massive (i.e., expensive) undertaking this suit was (millions of dollars) and give us some details about how many lawyers were involved and what they were doing. But the whole thing seems a bit airbrushed. Were there really no arguments? No egos? No mistakes of any consequence? They are fairly gentle, too, with their opponents, praising their diligence at times and their strategies. However, Boies and Olson do disdain the "expert" witnesses the pro-Prop 8 team assembled. (Some were so unqualified that their roles ended after their depositions.)More bromance than a rigorous account of what actually occurred. Turn to Becker's book instead.
Library Journal
★ 07/01/2014
Superstar lawyers Boies and Olson, opponents in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Bush v. Gore, developed a curious collaboration when they teamed up to argue against California's Proposition 8, a statute that overturned the previously granted right to gay marriage. Liberal Boies and conservative Olson combined their considerable talents owing to their mutual belief that Proposition 8 should be overturned and that gay marriage should be legalized on a permanent basis, and won the case at every stage of litigation. This fascinating book, told from the alternating viewpoints of the authors, chronicles the case from inception to conclusion. Particularly compelling is the authors' discussion of trial strategy, from taking depositions to using cross-examination to discredit the opposing counsel's expert witnesses. Ultimately, Boies and Olson succeed in establishing the human component to the litigation, introducing sympathetic plaintiffs who seek nothing more than the right to marry. VERDICT An excellent, timely account of the legal struggles to attain fundamental rights; certain to appeal to readers of Jo Becker's Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality and Evan Wolfson's Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality and Gay People's Right To Marry. [See Prepub Alert, 12/16/13.]—Lynne Maxwell, West Virginia Univ. Coll. of Law Lib., Morgantown
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670015962
  • Publisher: Viking Adult
  • Publication date: 6/17/2014
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 13,176
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Selected by Time magazine in 2010 as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World, David Boies is the most prominent trial lawyer in the United States and has litigated some of the highest profile cases in recent history, including Westmoreland v. CBS, United States v. Microsoft, and Bush v. Gore. Also selected as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time magazine in 2010, Theodore B. Olson is the premier appellate lawyer in the country. He has argued sixty cases before the United States Supreme Court, including Bush v. Gore and Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2014

    Highly Recommended - A superb analysis of a Supreme Court case!

    This is, on all levels, a remarkable book. It describes the process of appearing before the Supreme Court, assessment of pertinent law, and most important, the personal impact of legalizing gay marriage. It is well worth reading, regardless of your personal views on gay marriage!

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