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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-12 02:06 AM
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Words matter. Words frame issues and manipulate our thinking without our realizing it.
Edited on Mon Dec-10-12 02:59 AM by No Elephants
Take "gay marriage."

That makes it sound as though we are going to have some new species of marriage.

That is not the reality, just as the Lovings of Virginia did not want a different kind of marriage. Their kind of marriage used to be referred to as "mixed marriage."

The Lovings did want a "mixed marriage." Each of them simply wanted to marry the person he or she loved. They wanted a marriage, period. But, since the law denied them that because of the way they were born, they had to fight for government to recognize their marriage. They just wanted to be treated equally under law, regardless of how they were born.

That is exactly what members of the GLBT community want at long, long last. So, it is not a fight for some odd thing called "gay marriage." It is a fight for equal treatment under the law of all humans.

Dec 9, 10:10 PM EST

Hope and fear in gay marriage cases at high court

Associated Press

I don't know if Mr. Sherman specializes in reporting on legal matters. If he does, he should hang his head in shame because he is not at all helpful to the reader in terms of analysis.

I am not at all hopeful about the Supreme Court review of this case.

For one thing, there are many similarities between the Loving case and the current cases, as I recognized in the beginning of this post. Constitutionally, though, there is a world of difference, especially to someone like Scalia, who claims to be an originalist, but decides cases as though he were a Teabagger politican instead of a judge.

The Lovings won their case under the 14th amendment. The Fourteenth Amendment was clearly intended to make sure that state law treated African Americans the same as state law treated everyone else. Hence, Scalia can easily distinguish "gay marriage" cases from "mixed marriage" cases on an "original intent" basis.

Do we have evidence that people in the 1860s ratify this amendment intending to ensure that state laws afforded African Americans equal rights? Clearly, yes. Do we have any evidence that people in the 1860s ratified this amendment intending to give members of the GLBT community equal rights? I could make the argument that the amendment means what it says--equal rights for everybody. However, I very much doubt Scalia would buy that lawmakers intended to abolish state sodomy laws, let alone state marriage laws, about gay people when they ratified this amendment.

So, while you can compare Brown v. Board of Ed (racial integration of schools) and Loving v. Virginia (right of an African American woman to marry the man she wanted to marry), the reporter's failure to explain to readers how those decisions differ from the rights of gay Americans is signifcant.

The reporter should also have researched if the Justices have said anything in the past to indicate how they might rule, whether in dicta in earlier cases or off the bench. I have not researched it, but I know that Scalia, while giving a speech, said that there is no Constitutional right for gays to marry. And so has Kagan, which is even more ominous because she was not nominated by a Republican President.

And, as the author does mention, 30 out of 50 states have recently voted to keep matters as they are. That is four states short of enough to amend the U.S. Constitution and not every state has voted on the matter. This is far from the ideal circumstance for non-elected Justices to interpret the 14th amendment in a new way. especially on a conservative Court that is predominantly Roman Catholic and either conservative or center right, with the sole exception of the frail Justice Ginsburg.

I hope to heaven that this decision comes down on the side of equal human rights for all humans. But, I am not optimistic. If I could have decided matters, I would have done everything in my power to keep the issue in state court unless and until liberals controlled the SCOTUS (note: not simply Democrats, but liberals).

Given how things are going, the SCOTUS may never again be as liberal as the Warren Court, or even the Rehnquist court.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-12 06:51 AM
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1. Kagen.
Kagen is just one more President Obama mystery. I guess she is "middle of the road". When the court is packed with dinosaurs, that is. We wouldn't want to disturb the delicate sensibilities of Pat Robertson.

I don't like to think about it. The conservatives see only rights that are specifically enumerated by the constitution while I see rights that go far beyond those specifically named. I mean conservatives want to place us all in a box, then tighten the confines of said box to further hem one in and deny the rights of men. Scalia for one, is guided almost exclusively by his radical political/religious perspective.
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