Seventy-five prominent Republicans are set to file a joint Supreme Court brief supporting the overturn of Prop 8. The brief is being filed “with the blessing” of AFER attorney Ted Olson, who is himself a well-known conservative Republican.
Legal analysts said the brief had the potential to sway conservative justices as much for the prominent names attached to it as for its legal arguments. The list of signers includes a string of Republican officials and influential thinkers — 75 as of Monday evening — who are not ordinarily associated with gay rights advocacy, including some who are speaking out for the first time and others who have changed their previous positions.
Among them are Meg Whitman, who supported Proposition 8 when she ran for California governor; Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida and Richard Hanna of New York; Stephen J. Hadley, a Bush national security adviser; Carlos Gutierrez, a commerce secretary to Mr. Bush; James B. Comey, a top Bush Justice Department official; David A. Stockman, President Ronald Reagan’s first budget director; and Deborah Pryce, a former member of the House Republican leadership from Ohio who is retired from Congress.
Also signing the brief is former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who last week endorsed same-sex marriage. Missing from the list (so far), are Laura Bush, Colin Powell, and Dick Cheney – all of whom were featured in the first version of the national advertising campaign launched last week by a coalition of pro-marriage groups. Former McCain presidential campaign adviser Steve Schmidt is on the list.