Lund Comments in WSJ on SCOTUS Counsel

Commenting in the Wall Street Journal, Professor Nelson Lund described attorney Charles J. Cooper, who defended Proposition 8, the gay-marriage ban passed by California voters in 2008, before the Supreme Court, as a legal "originalist."

Lund, who formerly worked with Cooper, characterized him as one who staunchly defends the letter of the law. He described Cooper's thinking as being that "you had to obey the law, and not what you wanted the law to be."

Cooper, who is generally considered to be a champion of conservative causes, argued against former solicitor general Theodore Olson, also considered to be a conservative, in Hollingsworth v. Perry on March 27. 

The Other Lawyer in Gay-Wed Case, The Wall Street Journal, March 26, 2013. By Geoffrey A. Fowler.

Mr. Cooper's low profile is partly by design, say people who have worked with the 61-year-old Alabama native, known as Chuck. He has avoided discussing this case in the media, and his argument is rooted in deeply conservative views of both the justice system and the historical definition of marriage, they say. Keeping with his practice since the case began, Mr. Cooper declined an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

"His Proposition 8 strategy has been notable in part because he has avoided putting homosexuality—or even the policy of same-sex marriage—on trial. Instead, he argues that the high court should allow citizens to deliberate the issues through democratic processes and should let states make their own rules about marriage."

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