California Prop. 8 and DoMA have found their way before the Supreme Court of the United States. Seems like they'd rather avoid making a ruling altogether at the moment.

I've been gleaming bits and pieces of comments from the justices, but I am not entirely certain how they fit together yet. Some of the random quotes in the news are head scratchers. 

But [Justice Kennedy] also said he feared the court would enter "uncharted waters".

"We have five years of information to pose against 2,000 years of history or more," he said.

There is just too much wrong with that statement.

Personally, I think if a ruling comes, it will just tip in favour of same-sex marriage proponents, though it's a bit tricky. It concerns constitutionality and the impact of state's rights, as well as the direct impacts on Californians and the specific Proposition under review.

So, views? Predictions? Insight?

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This is sad, no differenr to they time when in South Africa you could not get married to someone from a different race. Goverment is not the one that has to live and share his life with this person, why should they be allowed to decide this. 

To clarify, the DOMA sections say:

Section 2. Powers reserved to the states. No State, territory, or possession of the United States, or Indian tribe, shall be required to give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State, territory, possession, or tribe respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other State, territory, possession, or tribe, or a right or claim arising from such relationship.

Section 3. Definition of marriage. In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word 'marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word 'spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.

- - - 

I predict the SCOTUS will void DOMA in states where lower courts rule that DOMA is unconstitutional (including California) and as a result married same-sex couples residing in those states will receive equal treatment under federal law on issues of taxation, marital visas, and so on. DOMA will stand in states that ban same-sex marriage. The end result will be that each US state is free to define marriage however it wants but the federal government must recognize all legal marriages from US states. 

I think the Supremes may punt on both issues before it over the legal technicality of "standing." You see, in both cases the state or federal attorneys who would normally be defending the laws before the court have opted out based on their own (or their administration's) belief that Prop 8 and DoMA are unconstitutional. 

The irony is that their absence, intended to assist in dumping the laws, may allow them to go on. Talk about unintended consequences.

In legalese, "standing" means having the right to argue before the court, which basically comes down to "do you have a dog in this fight?" Here's a less colloquial, more technical definition:

Standing is the ability of a party to bring a lawsuit in court based upon their stake in the outcome. A party seeking to demonstrate standing must be able to show the court sufficient connection to and harm from the law or action challenged. Otherwise, the court will rule that you "lack standing" to bring the suit and dismiss your case.

There are three constitutional requirements to prove standing:

  1. Injury: The plaintiff must have suffered or imminently will suffer injury. The injury must not be abstract and must be within the zone of interests meant to be regulated or protected under the statutory or constitutional guarantee in question.
  2. Causation: The injury must be reasonably connected to the defendant’s conduct.
  3. Redressability: A favorable court decision must be likely to redress the injury. (source)

I don't think that works for DoMA, though it was addressed in the Prop. 8 hearing at least twice. 

Well, in the case of Prop 8 (and I think I was wrong about this in my preceding post), by deciding that those defending it have no standing, the lower court's tossing out of Prop 8 would stand.

The early (and, again, we stress early) analysis of this morning's Supreme Court hearing on Proposition 8 suggests that the justices are more than a little wary about using the case to issue a sweeping ruling on gay rights. One of several possibilities being talked about by court watchers and legal experts is that the high court could decide to pass on ruling on the case all together, either by simply deciding that it's too soon to take up the issue or by finding that the plaintiffs don't have the legal standing they need to challenge the lower court's ruling that struck down the law. So what happens then?

In short, gay marriage would likely become legal again in California, although the door would be left open for another challenge at a later date. (source)

As for DoMA,...

DOMA, too, faces questions of standing because the Obama administration has declined to defend it, leaving it to Republicans in the House to step up. But even if the court strikes the law down, "the Court could write the decision narrowly, opening federal benefits to married gay couples but not broadly addressing the question of marriage as a fundamental right." (source)

I misunderstood what "BLAG" was the frist time I had read through the case. I thought they operated in a more official -- wrt DoMA -- capacity than they actually do.

I find it interesting that some of the justices' questions surround the idea that legal gay marriage is relatively new, that it's unclear at this point how it affects their children, etc., none of which strike me as constitutional issues. The justices SHOULD be arguing over equal protection under the law, not what the effects of gay marriage on society may be. That's for society to decide.

Society has decided already. Depending on how the question is worded 49 to 58 percent of Americans now favor marriage equality. And even that overlooks the grotesque mockery of justice whereby the rights of a vulnerable social minority are decided by a majority vote. 

And speaking of a grotesque mockery, Rush Limbaugh, the ideological leader of the Republican Party, has just equated marriage equality to child rape, saying that if same-sex marriage is legalized, “who’s to say you can’t have sex with a child?”

Go, Rush, go! I can hardly wait for 2016.

I, too, wonder if the GOP can rid itself of the crazies, ignorami, and fascists in time to have a chance of winning the Presidency back in 2016.

I, too, wonder if the GOP can rid itself of the crazies, ignorami, and fascists 

That describes nearly 100% of the modern GOP if you think about it.

The Republicans of old are no more. Lincoln ran on a ticket calling for more federal spending on national infrastructure. Teddy Roosevelt broke up monopolies and started workplace safety laws. Nixon established the Environmental Protection Agency. Reagan raised taxes 11 times, massively expanded federal spending, and quadrupled the national debt. George H.W. Bush raised taxes and gave us the Clean Air Act.

Could anything like that happen under the Republican party of today? Not a chance.

The GOP has lost control of its own narrative. No modern GOP candidate for President can appeal to its base without making shrill promises to cut taxes for the rich, let big business do whatever it wants, slap down the uppity women, gays, poor people, and racial minorities, and slash funding for government agencies until they can no longer function properly. 

For the GOP to ever recover they'll have to become reasonable again on some issues, and that means shedding the ideological fundamentalism that's holding them back. That's a tall order, but not impossible.

When a heavyweight like Karl Rove, a steaming turd dropped straight from the festering anus of Republican bigotry, says he could see a GOP candidate supporting gay marriage in 2016, it does make one wonder. Rove is almost as big of a swine as Limbaugh, but he's smarter and he's already dropping cues that the GOP should think twice about harping on marriage equality the next time around. 

They were already getting more evasive in the last primaries with a rapid shift from making 'preserving marriage' television spots to dodging questions on same-sex marriage.

Whenever the stats on gay rights issues are broken down by age, there is a pretty clear trend. Even amongst conservatives, the youth tend to be more indifferent, tolerant, or even accepting of homosexuality and LGBT rights. They may not be the dominant voter demographic right now, but it's only a matter of time. It gets murky what gains and losses various stances on "family values" issues will really have on a national level campaign.

Conservative politicians are already learning that there is a simple out in all but the most fervent bible thumping "Jesus for POTUS" crowds. Take a neutral stance on homosexuality (or avoid taking a stance), a positive stance on humanity, and a positive stance of freedom for individuals and a reduction in government interference.

The elderly more often than not vote to preserve the status quo.

And they vote in huge numbers.

If you cant vote until 18 maybe there should be a cut off age as well.

If you are not likely to survive into the next decade you cant vote?

Just a thought.


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