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Zombie

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June 25, 2013 - 9:36 pm
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So far this season, the Supreme Court has been in a punting mood, as most decisions have essentially “split the difference,” neither striking down nor definitively upholding any particular issue, but instead tinkering with legal niceties and inscrutable details (see their Affirmative Action and Voting Rights Act decisions for the most noteworthy examples of this attitude).

As a result, I predict that the Supreme Court will punt on gay marriage as well, and will either DECLINE TO RULE or possibly STRIKE DOWN Prop 8 but only on limited technical grounds that solely affect California.

I’d be pretty surprised if they went to one or the other extremes — force all 50 states to accept gay marriage; or alternately rule that the Feds have no basis to define marriage at all — which will be pretty disappointing for people on both sides of the aisle who want the argument to just finally be over (with their side winning conclusively, of course).

San Francisco already has a Gay-marriage-pocalypse Day official event set up for today, which will either turn into a wild ecstatic street party if the ruling goes their way, an angry riot if the ruling goes against them, or a confused half-satisfied but half-disappointed anti-climax if, as I predict, the Supreme Court takes the middle path.

What is your prediction — and what is your preferred outcome?

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Top Rated Comments   
I will not attempt to restate Zombie's reply to you except to say that the refusal of a state's executive branch to defend a constitutional amendment passed by popular referendum is the essence of lawlessness and defiance of the democratic process. This can easily cut both ways depending on the politics of the executive.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Nature has already decided the outcome. Gay couples make love to procreate exactly 0% of the time, due to technical issues, but that's not the same as a technicality.

The gov't can make it legal for me to fly without visible means of support, or even mandate such a thing on pain of death. 0% of people will fly.

Since the single defining characteristic that actually makes marriage marriage has been the only one thrown to the side of the road as a technicality, birth, there is no other legal definition. Even mutual love is not legally required, or sentience. Or is it? Does that mean I could marry a toaster and the state would have to recognize it? Does the state then say both must be human?

What is human? Do I take a Turing Test, or a Voight-Kamph Test? Couldn't I marry a mass of wires with blinking lights and a speaker that says "Hello?"

Will we now have "human marriage?" Who will get angry then, cuz they are always there, and they never shut up. Can I marry someone in a coma? What about the bed they're in? Who signs for each? Can I marry a Siamese Twin? What about a two-headed snake?

Can I marry the Crab Nebula? I could sign a document attesting that an alien there only I can communicate with had agreed.

I'd like to preside over the marriage of a cute little kitty cat and a scorpion.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Hmmmm -- but a "Lack of standing" ruling would have serious deleterious side effects which could undermine the rule of law totally aside from your or anyone's opinion of gay marriage, and have potentially serious side effects on cases of all sorts in the future.

Consider: In this case, the voters passed a state constitutional amendment, which was then challenged in federal court with the claim that the state Constitution would then violate the US Constitution. Bear in mind that this claim is unproven until and if the Supremes agree, which they may not.

HOWEVER, according to state law, the Governor and/or the Attorney General are required to defend the state's position in lawsuits, and in this case the state's position was determined by the voters to be -- no gay marriage. And yet our Guv and AG refused to defend the will of the voters in court, because they personally disagreed with the election results.

Without an official state representative defending the state law, an extraordinary exception was made that allowed the law's authors to defend it in court. Admittedly this was unusual, but there was no other option under the circumstances.

But if your "best case scenario" comes true and the Supremes rule that the law's authors ALSO had no right to defend the law, that means that NO ONE HAD THE LEGAL RIGHT TO DEFEND THE LAW IN COURT, despite the fact that 53% of the state voted for it.

This would be bizarre and unprecedented, and could lead to identical situations in any state on any side of the political spectrum.

Since anyone can challenge any law in court (with a good enough lawyer helping), that means that and any all voter-approved referendums can easily be baselessly automatically quashed simply by challenging them in a state in which the governor didn't like the election results. Without an official defender, the law -- whatever it may be, left/right/neutral -- could not be defended by anyone OTHER than the governor since the Supremes have now ruled that third parties have "no standing."

Thus, any governor or any state could essentially become a dictator ignoring the will of the people, simply by ginning up a challenge to a law they don't like and then turning around and refusing to defend it in court.

Beware of poisoning the process simply for a temporary partisan "win."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (24)
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America has ceased to be the leader of the world. All it can do is threaten other nations like a street thug and then come home and lose its mind completely, ending up in marriages with the same sex. The last 10 ten years, American economy has grown close to 0%. That much for American exceptionalism. Fools in 1951 asked for the American Dollar to be treated as the world reserve currency, and that beget all the problems that are besieging America right now. How is it that Americans who claim to live in a Republic, let 5 people who form the majority in a court of 9, make the law of the land? How is it that a court has the authority to overrule the Will of the People who reinstated the legitimacy of traditional marriage, an institution that predated not just the establishment of the nation and its Constitution, but that of the entire western civilization? What do those 5 justices think themselves to be, greater than all the sages and philosophers who have walked the earth over millennia? Holding US Dollars is to endorse all this nonsense. Diversify out of US Dollars and Dollar denominated assets, until sanity returns to the US.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Victory party going full bore at Castro and Market in San Francisco. Human Rights Campaign flag out in full force, replacing standard rainbow gay victory flag. Prediction from ground zero -- they will not stop at marriage. They will force all institutions to defer -- including churches. Their goal is erradication of any kind of sex roles. Ramifications to society are enormous.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
On the plus side, freedom-loving men won't have to suffer any more nagging to "man up and marry". We can marry our roommates, enjoy the tax benefits, and let women screw each other over in divorce court (when family law starts harming women, it will get changed).

It's time for conservatives to stop fighting change and start leading Reductio to its Absurdum.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Have you ever heard a perspective about homosexuality that was neither pro-gay or homophobic?

http://goo.gl/ZYt0E
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Under the California Constitution, state agencies are prohibited from not following a provision of the California Constitution based only on a trial court's ruling that such provision is unconstitutional. Such a ruling, to be followed by the rest of the state, must come from a court of appeals. Thus, under the California Constitution, Judge Walker's ruling is confined to the parties and cannot be precedent for all of California. of course, Jerry Brown will ignore the California Constitution and order all counties to issue marriage licenses to gays. If some county refuses (there are a lot of red counties in California) the issue could be teed up again with a real party - i.e., a California County - defending Proposition 8.

CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTION
ARTICLE 3 STATE OF CALIFORNIA


SEC. 3.5. An administrative agency, including an administrative
agency created by the Constitution or an initiative statute, has no
power:
(a) To declare a statute unenforceable, or refuse to enforce a
statute, on the basis of it being unconstitutional unless an
appellate court has made a determination that such statute is
unconstitutional;
(b) To declare a statute unconstitutional;
(c) To declare a statute unenforceable, or to refuse to enforce a
statute on the basis that federal law or federal regulations prohibit
the enforcement of such statute unless an appellate court has made a
determination that the enforcement of such statute is prohibited by
federal law or federal regulations.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I predict the Left Wing fundamentalists will egg on "gays" to sue churches who will not marry them. These churches will be forced to accept them or close entirely because they will not be able to afford any expensive litigation. This will drive Christians, especially Catholics, to pray at friends homes or in private. This is catastrophic to freedom of religion. You will see many churches just fold. And not far behind I predict those who oppose this will be taken to court and heavily fined if they do not comply. Welcome to a Brave New America. P.S. The wild card in this is the great religion of Islam. The fastest growing religion on the planet.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think it will depend on what the particular State and local laws are. In some cases, a clergy person acts as an agent of the State and signs the marriage certificate. In such cases, I believe the clergy can be required by law to perform same-sex-marriages in states that allow such. In other cases, if all that the is done is a religious ceremony for a couple that are congregational members, then I don’t think there can be any legal compulsion to perform SSM’s
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Fear mongering, it doesn't become you.

Unless there is an absurd amount of government interference, well beyond what is allowed by the Constitution, Freedom of Religion will remain. Sadly, given the recent scuffle over forcing religious institutions to provide prophylactics, it is possible, but only if the populace allows the continued overreach of federal power.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
My question is how will the dictionary define:
marriage, Husband, Wife, Mother, Father and while were at it is son & daughter still appropriate?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Well, the rulings are in. Not my preferred outcome, but I agree with another poster who said govnt should get OUT of the marriage biz altogether. The law is there is enforce the legal contract side of marriage, NOT to define what it is. My big question now: Since LGBTs can now marry (in the states where it's legal), will the Feds step in when churches refuse to perform those marriages? If so, wouldn't THAT be a huge violation of separation of church & state? Of course, libs/progs don't really believe in G*d or church, so why they'd want a religious blessing on their "union" is beyond me -- but they'll twist any/everything to their own ends. I'm betting that sep. of church/state will become both the "new" lightening rod as well as, at some point, another test case.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What really needs to happen is for government to get out of the marriage business entirely. The only authority the state should have is to issue contracts of civil union for legal purposes regarding matters of inheritance and spousal rights.
Any couple could then have any religious ceremony they wished conducted by any religion they felt comfortable with or none at all.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Looking at the "decline to rule" reasonings, I really don't see a rational basis for either. And the reasoning for a narrow California-only strikedown would cast the Court in even worse light than Roberts' worst nightmares.

Then again, so did upholding Obamacare...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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