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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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 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. 

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.

You are presuming that the status quo is necessarily wrong. The status quo isn't just one thing. Allowing people who have some experience under their belts to vote hardly seems like a bad thing. The older voter will be more think about the unintended consequences of precipitous changes in the law than the young. But the young need to be there to challenge the old with new ideas.

Shameful as it is my grandmother, in her 70's, refused to vote for Obama for one reason only. Because he is not white.

That is why I bring up the age issue. Prejudice can be a hard thing to overcome and the elderly are least susceptible to change.

If one is too elderly and in firmed to operate a motor vehicle maybe they should not be allowed to vote as well?

Since the young are more likely to join some wacko anarchist or terrorist group than an oldster, at what age should we allow the young to vote? 

In the case of Proposition 8, I think the justices will vote 6-3 (with Roberts joining the liberals) to dismiss the case on the basis of the plaintiffs lack of standing.  That will, in effect, void California's law, but not apply to any other state.

In the case of DOMA, I predict a 5-4 decision declaring it unconstitutional on the basis of it violating the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.  That will affect every state; however, as in the case of abortion laws, it will not stop some states from finding creative ways of getting around the constitutional implications of the decision.  In that case, people will get married anyhow and dare the states to prosecute and fight appeals all the way back to the Supreme Court.  By the time that happens, though, I suspect the culture will have changed so much that it will be a moot question.

DOMA--or the full faith and credit clause.  States may be required to recognize other states' marriages but not be required to perform them themselves.


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