Ted Olson, the lead attorney arguing
that California's gay marriage ban, Proposition 8, is
unconstitutional, is helping Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan prepare for an
upcoming debate against Vice President Joe Biden.
“Joe Biden has been in elected office
for more than 40 years,” Ryan spokesperson Brendan Buck said.
“There are few people in politics with more experience debating the
issues than Joe Biden, so we are taking this process seriously. Mr.
Olson is one of the most skilled, intelligent and successful
litigators in America – just the kind of opponent needed to prepare
the congressman for Mr. Biden.”
The news, first reported by
POLITICO.com, has drawn heavy criticism.
Jerame Davis, executive director of the
National Stonewall Democrats, charged that Olson was contradicting
himself by assisting Ryan, the GOP running mate of Mitt Romney.
Romney supports a federal constitutional amendment which would ban
“After he spent as much time, money,
and reputation on overturning Prop 8 as he has, it's shocking to
learn that Ted Olson would lift a finger to help the Romney-Ryan
ticket during debate prep,” Davis told gay weekly the Washington
Blade. “I honestly never expected Olson to so blatantly
contradict his own argument by supporting a ticket that would stand
squarely in opposition to what he calls one of the most important
cases of his career.”
Olson, a Republican, served as U.S.
solicitor general under former President George W. Bush and
represented Bush in the Supreme Court case Bush v. Gore.
Zeke Miller reported that Olson and Ryan had already held one
session in the past week.