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VodkaPundit

Bye-Bye, DOMA, Bye-Bye

June 26th, 2013 - 9:37 am

Did anyone else notice that the Supreme Court just knocked down a goodly-sized portion of Bill Clinton’s legal legacy?

Fancy that:

The justices issued two 5-4 rulings in their final session of the term. One decision wiped away part of a federal anti-gay marriage law that has kept legally married same-sex couples from receiving tax, health and pension benefits.

The other was a technical legal ruling that said nothing at all about same-sex marriage, but left in place a trial court’s declaration that California’s Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. That outcome probably will allow state officials to order the resumption of same-sex weddings in the nation’s most populous state in about a month.

The high court said nothing about the validity of gay marriage bans in California and roughly three dozen other states.

The only part I have any real trouble with is covered in that first graf — marriage shouldn’t come with any tax, health, or government pension benefits. It simply isn’t the government’s business to lavish things on people for being married.

What’s interesting is the non-idealogical split of the 5-4 vote. There aren’t many issues where the winning team consists of Chief Justice John Roberts and justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Antonin Scalia. It’s disappointing (but not entirely surprising) not to see Clarence Thomas in there making it 6-3.

The best part is Roberts’ ringing defense of federalism regarding California’s Prop 8. He wrote, “We have no authority to decide this case on the merits, and neither did the 9th Circuit.” Exactly right. Although I suspect Ginsburg and Kagan found themselves siding with Roberts out of a conviction favoring gay marriage, rather than a conviction that there are any real limits to what Washington may tell the states to do. It’s a good guess that’s one reason Roberts wrote the decision himself.

A SCOTUS win is a SCOTUS win, but a well-reasoned SCOTUS win is a thing of beauty and healthful to the Republic. But I’ll give my Twitter self the last word on this one.

Tweet

CORRECTION: I’ll give the last word to the President instead.

BMO

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All Comments   (12)
All Comments   (12)
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While I'm not excited about killing DOMA (the polygamists have already started to make noise) the legal reasoning is sound.

What I find amusing is that both sides of the aisle like the one decision, but hate the other, even when both uphold the principle of Federalism.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have no problem with gay marriage, and if I were asked I would vote against DOMA, but both of these decisions are absolute crap.

I can see justifications for the state incentivizing marriage, and I think it's important that pretty much every culture has some kind of marriage ceremony. It indicates to me that cultures that didn't were uncompetitive. And if the state can provide those incentives it must also define who isn't eligible. In a democratic republic that definition must be made by the representatives of the people, not 5 judges deliberately isolated from the public will.

The Prop 8 decision has just eviscerated the popular initiative in all sates. Now all a governor has to do if the people desire to thwart his will is have a friendly interest group sue in a favorable jurisdiction and refuse to appeal. In fact, I wonder if this decision won't be used to deny standing to anyone not part of the government.

Applauding these decisions because they wind up with results you desire is terribly short-sighted.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sorry, but I find your analysis completely off the mark and your accusation self-serving. Fact is, the Feds have ZERO authority in the marriage realm and today's decision reflects that.

And f*** their so-called "justifications" for anything not explicitly authorized by the Constitution.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Boy, you just can't that sort of trenchant constitutional law analysis anywhere else.

42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
You mean like tax policy, immigration, and the compensation packages of workers?
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sorry, I should be more specific. By workers I mean federal employees, including the military.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Barack Milhous tweet is hilarious.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
I actually thought that Obama tweet was a joke. "After twenty looooong yeeeeears, SCOTUS has fiiiiiinallllyy adopted a position I have held for months."
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh for god's sake, I didn't notice the "Milhous" and ...
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
How about we get government out of peeping our emails bugging our phones business? Too creepy to have Peeping Sam tagging along at all times.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
+1
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
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