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Proposition 8 attorneys to receive American Bar Association's most prestigious honor

LOS ANGELES -- The pair of attorneys who successfully argued that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional recently received an American Bar Association Medal, one of the most prestigious awards given within the U.S. legal profession.

As attorneys for the American Foundation for Equal Rights' (AFER), David Boies and Theodore B. Olson lead the federal case against Proposition 8 (Perry v. Brown), which placed a ban on marriage for gay and lesbian Californians. AFER, Olson and Boies achieved an unprecedented victory for marriage equality on Aug. 4, 2010, when a U.S. District Court concluded that, "Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis."

Boies (top left photo), who is the founder and chairman of Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLPwas, was recently named “Lawyer of the Year” by the National Law Journal and “Commercial Litigator of the Year” by Who’s Who.

Olson (bottom left photo) is a partner in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Washington, D.C. office and is an appellate and U.S. Supreme Court advocate. The National Law Journal has repeatedly listed him as one of America’s Most Influential Lawyers.

Last year, Time Magazine selected both Boies and Olson as two of the 100 most influential people in the world.

“Ted and David show that excellence in the legal profession transcends partisan and ideological boundaries,” said Chad Griffin, co-founder and board president of the American Foundation for Equal Rights. “Thanks to these two world-class legal minds the dark walls of discrimination are beginning to crumble. Ted, David and AFER will continue to fight for full federal marriage equality for all Americans.”

Awarded for distinguished service by a lawyer or lawyers to the cause of American jurisprudence, the ABA Medal is given only in years when the ABA Board of Governors determines a nominee has provided exceptional and distinguished service to the law and the legal profession.

Previous recipients of the ABA Medal are legendary justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, including Oliver Wendell Holmes, Felix Frankfurter, Thurgood Marshall, William J. Brennan Jr., Sandra Day O’Connor and Anthony Kennedy.

The award will be bestowed upon Boies and Olson during the meeting of the ABA House of Delegates at the Association’s annual meeting on Aug. 8.