1. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Supreme Court strikes down part of DOMA

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by GingerCoffee, Jun 26, 2013.

    Thank goodness! Still more related decisions to go, but Kennedy cited equal protection and that's great.

    What I don't get are the four SCOTUS judges who hypocritically claim how important state's rights are when it suits them, but here claim the federal government doesn't have to recognize equal rights the states have enacted. We'll see what they actually write in the dissent, but I can't see how it won't be hypocritical.
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Not necessarily hypocritical, though it might be. I haven't seen the decision, of course, but I'm hearing that Roberts thought the Court didn't have jurisdiction under prior case law. Have to see his rationale to comment on it. To the extent they are dissenting for procedural reasons, it wouldn't be a hypocritical position unless they've previously been on the other side of the same procedural issue in other cases.

    Makes me wonder whether they're going to dismiss the Prop 8 case on procedural grounds.
     
  3. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Those four justices are always hypocritical. They just want what they want -- consistency doesn't matter. Happy about this decision, but still disgusted by yesterday's.
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Liberal justices are the same way, though. You can look through the history of Supreme Court case law and find all kinds of examples of such rulings from both conservative and liberal justices. You do get some that try to be consistent, and those usually end up being swing voters.

    Roberts is actually pretty consistent, which is why I'm interested to see his dissent (and which is why I'm also not surprised it is on procedural rather than substantive grounds).
     
  5. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    It sounds like they are. Still a win for equal rights, but not as extensive as it could have been.
     
  6. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I think Thomas, Alito, and Scalia will come out a certain way based less on jurisprudence than ideology. So will Ginsburg, and I think Sotomayor is going to be that way. Can't tell about Kagan yet. I think Kennedy, Breyer, and Roberts do the best job of avoiding it.
     
  7. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not nearly as much as those on the right.

    Roberts is interesting, though. His decision on healthcare was a Marbury vs. Madison-esque stroke of genius. I despise Alito, Thomas and Scalia far more.
     
  8. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Don't agree. Roberts always despised the voting rights act, and now says it has done its job.

    He's diabolically brilliant.
     
  9. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    That's easy to say, but until you read the opinion so you know what the grounds are for the dissent, you can't really make a meaningful comment on it. Overall, if you read Roberts on the Court he's pretty consistent and avoids falling into the trap of political ideology. If he didn't, the Obamacare mandate would have been struck down. But he did what the Court was supposed to do.
     
  10. GingerCoffee
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    When it comes to the Prop 8 decision, jurisdiction would at least make remote sense, SCOTUS doesn't have a role to make state law (I think the Civil Rights cases beg to differ but at least one of those justices has strong religious views that has been demonstrated in past decisions). But DOMA is a federal law that impinges on states' rights. The law at issue was the fed not recognizing a state law and I can't see how that is Constitutional, ergo it is SCOTUS jurisdiction.

    The federal government has no compelling interest in the whole 'preserving marriage' farce. That differs from drug and gun laws where a stronger case for federal law can be made.
     
  11. GingerCoffee
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    Prop 8 overruled!!

    The decision is "dismissed appeal". Proponents did not have standing.

    So apparently gay marriage can resume and a different challenge can still be brought, the attorney speaking is saying that's OK, the movement will be stronger by that time.

    The ruling says, no one can prove they were harmed by gay couples marrying. Like I said, the preserve marriage farce.

    :D
     
  12. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    No. He's set a trap for later. He basically invalidated both the Commerce clause and the necessary and proper clause. The only justification on which he allowed the ACA to stand is as a tax, a politically brilliant maneuver which makes it more difficult to deal with for its supporters. He plays the game very well.
     
  13. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    By way of update, apparently the jurisdictional statements made were only to the effect that the Court didn't have jurisdiction under this particular case to decide same-sex marriage per se, which isn't something I think anyone on the Court disputed. Reads to me at a glance like Roberts thinks DOMA was a Constitutional exercise of Congressional power, though I don't know what the rationale is (perhaps since it on its case only dealt with Federal issues, e.g. what rights Federal employees have; what Federal requirements there are for Full Faith & Credit, etc.). Nevertheless, I think it is safe to say I agree with the majority ruling, and furthermore that conservatives should agree with it as DOMA is a Federal intrusion into state issues.
     
  14. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I don't mean to snuff out a discussion on the details of this, but let me say something from the POV of someone directly affected by this. Today is one of the most important days of my life! It means that I am a true and equal citizen. I am no longer held down at a lower rung. The People have, and should have the right to believe what they believe, but the government should hold beliefs in equal measure, for all of the citizens it represents.

    My voice is heard, my right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is upheld.

    This isn't an abstract for me. This is my real life.
     
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  15. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    No he didn't.

    The Commerce Clause has been abused for a long time, and he was right - there's no way the mandate should stand up under the Commerce Clause. So the idea if you're the Court, then, is to give effect to the law if you can. Which he did, by calling it a tax. Congress should have cast it as a tax in the first place, but didn't do it for political reasons. I think everyone who was honest about the thing knew it was a Commerce Clause violation from the beginning. It's not going to have much of an impact on normal Commerce Clause cases. Prior cases like Lopez are more important in making sure the Commerce Clause is used properly.
     
  16. GingerCoffee
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    Or, he changed his decision as has been suggested, because it was going to make the SCOTUS look too much like they were legislating from the bench.

    I do have more respect for Roberts, though, than I do for the other three.
     
  17. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Ha. Got that one right as well. I was telling other attorneys in the office yesterday I thought DOMA would go down 5-4 at least, though I was optimistic that at least one of those '4' would be on the other side, so I guess technically I was predicting 6-3).
     
  18. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    That kind of back and forth and changing before the final decision goes on all the time. People were trying to use it to make him look bad because they couldn't attack him on the outcome. If first being on one side and then switching is grounds for serious criticism, then you can apply that to probably all appellate-level judges. Talk to clerks who work in these offices :)
     
  19. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I'm glad to hear it. Congratulations :)
     
  20. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Thank you! :) And thank you for holding back a sec before quoting me. My hands were shaking so baldy, the original post looked like I had suffered a minor stroke. :eek::p
     
  21. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Nope. Even in the earliest days of the union, Congress mandated certain healthcare related benefits for people in the Navy/sailing the seas. It's not a tax.
     
  22. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    The point is, one can speculate using different underlying assumptions.
     
  23. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    It's clearly a tax. And mandating benefits for people involved in the Navy (a part of the Executive branch), or even sailing generally, is not the same as extracting money from people who are doing nothing other than living. Further, benefits for Navy personnel wouldn't even be a Commerce Clause issue to begin with, so the example is irrelevant whether the mandate would be valid under the Commerce Clause. There is no basis under the Commerce Clause for the mandate.
     
  24. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I'm happy for you, and a bunch of my friends. Our local atheists and skeptics groups worked on the WA State campaign here.

    So I'm curious what the sentiment is on your island.
     
  25. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    It's very energetic from both sides. Less than two months ago a local anti-discrimination bill was signed protecting individuals from being fired for their LGBT status.
     

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