We’re hurtling toward Cincinnati in a minivan. 3 lawyers, a paralegal, and a toddler. Rally tonight, then arguments all day tomorrow. Michigan, Ohio, then us, then Tennessee.
We’re going to try to convince a panel of three appellate judges, two George W. Bush appointees and one Clinton appointee, who are on the bench for life, that our clients should have marriage rights. Tomorrow’s one of those days that made us want to be lawyers in the first place.
I keep getting asked what I think is going to happen. My stock answer is that I don’t make predictions.
But here’s my prediction: we win.
Maybe we don’t win at the 6th circuit. Maybe we lose. Maybe we never get to the Supreme Court, or maybe we lose there too. Maybe we don’t win in a year or two years or ten. But we by-God win. Eventually.
Of all the cases we’ve pored over and tried to understand throughout the course of this litigation, there are only a few that lead me to this conclusion. Here’s a gross oversimplification:
Plessy v. Ferguson (1898), in which the “separate but equal” doctrine was endorsed by the Supreme Court.
Brown v. Board of Education (1954), in which the Supreme Court said Plessy was wrong.
Bowers v. Hardwick (1986), in which the Supreme Court said LGBT folks have no rights.
Lawrence v. Texas (2003), in which the Supreme Court said that Bowers was wrong.
Loving v. Virginia (1967), in which the Supreme Court said states could not prohibit interracial marriage, despite its bullshit reasons involving tradition, religion, procreation, and anything else a bunch of bigots could come up with.
With a minimal understanding of history and just a tad bit of insight, imagination, and tempered optimism, you can see where things are headed. We win. Our clients win. Y’all win. History always wins.