A lawyer who claimed same-sex marriage could “harm” society is leading the field to be Trump’s Solicitor General.
After the confirmation of extreme anti-LGBT Republican Jeff Sessions as Attorney General this week, a shortlist is now being drawn up for the Solicitor General .
The Solicitor General is the White House’s chief legal representative to the United States Supreme Court, and is responsible for setting out and defending the federal government’s policies.
Leading the field according to multiple sources is Charles J Cooper, the lawyer who led the defence for California’s Proposition 8 – a controversial 2008 law which banned same-sex marriage in the state and left thousands of existing same-sex families in legal limbo.
Mr Cooper stepped in to defend Prop 8 on behalf of the law’s sponsors after successive Governors of California and their legal officials refused to do so.
The attorney defended Prop 8 before the US Supreme Court, arguing that it was not unconstitutional to discriminate against gay couples because marriage had been “universally limited” to opposite-sex couples.
In a brief he claimed same-sex marriage “denigrates the importance of mothers and fathers raising the children they create together”, alleging that it would make marriage about “the desires of adults as opposed to the needs of children”.
The lawyer also claimed before the court that “redefining marriage as a genderless institution could well lead over time to harms [to] society”.
Probed on what “harm” he was referring to, Mr Cooper argued: “Redefining marriage will have real-world consequences, and that it is impossible for anyone to foresee the future accurately enough to know exactly what those real-world consequences would be. Among those real-world consequences, we would suggest are adverse consequences.”
Mr Cooper was not successful in the Prop 8 case – and says his views on same-sex marriage have since “evolved”, after his own daughter came out as gay.
Mr Cooper’s nomination allegedly has the support of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.