High Court Begins Arguments Over Marriage Equality   1 comment

Back in December, the Supreme Court announced that it would hear a set of cases involving both California’s Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act…today the High Court began the first of two days of arguments over the constitutionality of marriage equality as reported by multiple sources. Setting aside what is actually said today and tomorrow, there are, as Think Progress points out, five different possibilities on how the Court could rule(TP quotes in italics below)….

  • A Broad Decision: The best, and most obvious, decision would be for the justices to follow the Constitution and the clear command of precedent and extend marriage equality to all fifty states… This would have the effect of not only overturning Prop 8 and DOMA but would also invalidate the 30 or so state constitutional bans on same-sex marriage; it could be, in a sense, the Roe v. Wade decision of this generation.
  • California Only? The Ninth Circuit proposed a way to strike down Prop 8 while leaving most other states free to engage in marriage discrimination (the court said that voters were not permitted to withdraw the right to marry once it had been established by the state Supreme Court); the logic of the ruling was thus confined to California. In essence, this would confine the court’s decision to the 9th Circuit, since the Prop 8 case heard in California and the circuit declined to review the trial court’s decision; it would, however, keep existing bans outside the circuit in place for the time being.
  • A Constitutional Dodge? In both cases, the Court could potentially rule that it lacks jurisdiction to hear the case, a decision that would cast a cloud of uncertainty over the rights of gay couples. In this instance, the Court could simply say, in effect, that the trial court’s decision remains since the plaintiffs(those seeking to validate Prop 8) lacked constitutional standing to bring the case before the High Court; as in possibility #2, the Ninth Circuit decision would stand and Prop 8 would still be invalidated but for the same reasons as in #2.
  • A Conservative Stealth Attack? Several prominent conservatives are pushing a dangerous legal theory that would strike down DOMA on states’ rights grounds, and potentially endanger Social Security, veterans benefits and progressive taxation in the process. This could be the worst of the pro-marriage equality decisions since it would invoke a favored tactic of the Right: using the 10th-Amendment as a cudgel to shatter the modern social-safety net. In effect, a decision of this nature would be a Pyrrhic victory for progressives & liberals: a win for marriage equality at the expense of the social-safety net
  • A Loss. Ultimately, however, it is important to remember that this is a severely conservative Court, and even so-called swing vote Justice Kennedy is a severely conservative justice. Equality could lose. With all of the above, let’s not forget that, as Think Progress points out, the Roberts Court is a conservative Court; the same court that gave us Citizens United could very easily rule against marriage equality.

Later on I’ll take a look at how the justices could potentially rule but make no mistake; the reverberations from whatever the Court decides will be felt throughout the United States for years to come.


Posted March 26, 2013 by Matthew in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , ,

One response to “High Court Begins Arguments Over Marriage Equality

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Pingback: What To Expect From The Nine Supremes On Marriage Equality | Carolina Mountain Blue

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Dubious Goals Committee

We are just kicking our heels until the next ‘dubious goal’ is scored...

It Is What It Is

Dr. Rex .... Blogging for change.

Life Petaled with Love

Life has its shadows but LOVE prevails

Chitra's Healthy Kitchen

Recipes for healthy living

Amber Danette

Freedom for All Cetaceans, Peace for Animals, Namaste


* The Storyteller * Conceptual Artist * Character Designer * Illustrator * Animator * Inker *

In Saner Thought

"It is the duty of every man, as far as his ability extends, to detect and expose delusion and error"..Thomas Paine

Staycation Atlanta

Fun things to do in Atlanta, GA

The Wine Wankers

G’day, you’re at the best wine blog ever! We're all about wine; without the wankery.

LGBT HealthLink, The Network for Health Equity

Proud Program of CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers


ProFootballTalk on NBCSports.com

Life Is Color

By Strawberryindigo


My interviews with many authors

The Story of a Guy

Just a journey through the eyes of a guy

Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

A how to for everyone and anyone

Romantic Beauty

Romance Never Goes Out Of Style


Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight uses statistical analysis — hard numbers — to tell compelling stories about politics, sports, science, economics and culture.

%d bloggers like this: