Monday Reads: SCOTUS Slices the Cake Thinly

Good Morning

I’m not a big fan of the institution of marriage. It’s one of those things purposefully set up to make men unnecessarily comfortable and women overtly miserable even though men swear they’re continually put out by it. Women are really sold a fish story on how the marriage thing is in their interests. Few marriages actually wind up being happy and equitable but still, every one hopes for it. I always hope that the institution evolves and think expanding it to the GLBT community helps that along although I wouldn’t be adverse to it going the way of the dinosaurs.

I’ve worked in a man’s field forever and my biggest shock was the level of upmanship expressed by men in groups–when no women are present–on whose wife is the worst. It’s almost always lists of reasonable requests like helping out with work, paying for something that kids or the house requires or doing some activity beyond living at work or on the couch. For some reason, I’ve always been a fly on the wall during these prick sessions. Women share stories about what theatrics men undertake to avoid work. We also know large numbers of wives beaten and/or emotionally abused by husbands. That’s central to women’s gatherings. That plus discussions of everything we gave up and continually give up. I’m going through the DV support with two friends now and it never gets easier. We trudge along with the drudge. Men make their wives monsters for it.

These are the reasons I always have problems with the traditional, patriarchal, religious frame hammered to marriage. This creates some of its worst tendencies as an institution. It always worries me to see laws and legal decisions that add more nails. Man act oppressed by it while taking advantage of its built-in safety net for them to oppress.

Domestic violence is central to enforcing dominance and marriages can be rife with it. You always think it won’t happen to you. You are amazed when they try to tell the family that you made them do it. Well#MeToo One day it went beyond eye rolling and heavy sighs and the “how dare you bitch!” look and I was headed with the youngest in diapers to my parents’ house totally in bruises but only after he tried to stop me from dialing 911 over and over. The instances of domestic violence alone make me happily single, alone in blissful solitude, and never in need of the experience of anything else.

I heard Bill Murray one night express my exact thoughts about marriage both gay and hetero. He failed miserably at it and I personally believe his exwife. After having been mired in marriage for 20 years, all I could think was if the GLBT community really wants it they should have it and I hope they can make less of a mess of it. He said about the same thing.

To be honest, even a large percentage of my long time married friends basically say what I say. If I had it to do over again, I’d have the kids and skip the husband. I’ve been divorced now since 1995. I do not want one of them around useless, in the way, constantly looking put out or angry, and just waiting for you to commit some imaginary sin so they can hit you, turn people against you, and go on doing whatever it is that meets their needs. I’d never enter into that fucked up bargain again. I discouraged my daughters from it. I remember my mom endlessly wailing “But what about my needs?” At one point, I understood fully what “until death us part” really meant. I’d gotten life in prison.

The funny thing is that I’ve gotten to the point now where I truly never fill lonely or understand what that means when folks express the feeling. I’ve grown so comfortable being in solitude that I can’t imagine wanting anything else.

But, I’m old, overly experienced, and I understand everything that’s bundled up and pressed on folks to be married and have a family. I also understand how it functions as an institution that establishes property rights and control. All the Abrahamic religions use it to establish male dominance and supremacy under the grift of it being some kind of sky fairy blessing. I can understand why they hate having all of that taken away and they don’t want to share it.

So, we’ve established that I really don’t do weddings unless truly forced into it. I just cannot contain my strong urge to tell the bride to run because she’s about to do irreparable damage to her entire life.

That being said marriage is between two people and it’s not up to any one else to interpret it or deny their access to what they want from it or the Merger Day. Religion should only define it for those who adhere to that religion. But, that’s not what all religions preach or do.

SCOTUS is comprised of a group of judges with a majority belonging to a cult within Catholicism. That would be Opus Dei. That’s something that even creeps Popes and the Jesuits out and they know a lot about oppression of women and children within religious institutions. It was started in 1928 and adores the concept of “Corporal Mortification”. That should tell you how sick they are. It’s basically a cult. But, a bunch of them sit on the bench because the Republicans love religious fanatics. They vote. Religious diversity left the building when it comes to SCOTUS and the christofascists love it! So, does every other bigoted throwback religion.

They love it because they gradually get to enshrine their sick, twisted, religious views into law. Now, today’s ruling was written by Kennedy and it’s leaving a door cracked open for future dissent, but what it basically does is create a weird notion of ‘religious liberty’. This is not just about the guy that just couldn’t bake a wedding cake for a gay couple and the laws and lawsuits that followed. This is also about situation that followed. It’s about 3 bakeries refusing to make 2 hateful, ‘christian’ themed sheet cakes condemning gay marriage.

Does this decision basically allow hatred and bigotry in the name of religious sects basically infamous for that?

The Supreme Court on Monday ruled for a Colorado baker who refused to create a wedding cake for a gay couple.

In an opinion by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy that leaves many questions unanswered, the court held that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had not adequately taken into account the religious beliefs of baker Jack Phillips.

In fact, Kennedy said, the commission had been hostile to the baker’s faith, denying him the neutral consideration he deserved. While the justices split in their reasoning, only Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented.

Kennedy wrote that the question of when religious beliefs must give way to anti-discrimination laws might be different in future cases. But in this case, he said, Phillips did not get the proper consideration.

“The Court’s precedents make clear that the baker, in his capacity as the owner of a business serving the public, might have his right to the free exercise of religion limited by generally applicable laws,” he wrote. “Still, the delicate question of when the free exercise of his religion must yield to an otherwise valid exercise of state power needed to be determined in an adjudication in which religious hostility on the part of the State itself would not be a factor in the balance the State sought to reach. That requirement, however, was not met here.”

So, tell me, wtf does this mean? Here’s SCOTUS blog.

Almost six months to the day after the oral argument, the justices today handed Phillips a victory, even if not necessarily the ruling that he and his supporters had hoped for. Kennedy, the author of some of the court’s most important gay-rights rulings, began by explaining that the case involved a conflict between two important principles: on the one hand, the state’s power “to protect the rights and dignity of gay persons who are, or wish to be, married but who face discrimination when they seek goods or services”; and, on the other, the First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion.

As a general rule, Kennedy explained, the Supreme Court’s cases make clear that Phillips’ right to freely exercise his religion is not absolute, and can be limited by neutral laws that apply to everyone. But the critical question of when Phillips’ right to exercise his religion can be limited had to be determined, Kennedy emphasized, in a proceeding that was not tainted by hostility to religion.

Here, Kennedy observed, the “neutral and respectful consideration to which Phillips was entitled was compromised” by comments by members of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. One commissioner, Kennedy pointed out, “even went so far as to compare Phillips’ invocation of his sincerely held religious beliefs to defenses of slavery and the Holocaust.” Moreover, Kennedy added, the commission’s treatment of Phillips’ religious objections was at odds with its rulings in the cases of bakers who refused to create cakes “with images that conveyed disapproval of same-sex marriage.” Therefore, Kennedy concluded, the commission’s order – which, among other things, required Phillips to sell same-sex couples wedding cakes or anything else that he would sell to opposite-sex couples and mandated remedial training and compliance reports – “must be set aside.”

The majority left open, however, the possibility that a future case could come out differently, particularly if the decisionmaker in the case considered religious objections neutrally and fairly. “The outcome of cases like this in other circumstances,” the majority closed, “must await further elaboration in the courts, all in the context of recognizing that these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market.”

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented from the court’s ruling, in an opinion joined only by Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Ginsburg stressed that there “is much in the Court’s opinion with which I agree,” but she “strongly” disagreed with the idea that the same-sex couple “should lose this case.” In particular, she argued, neither the commissioners’ statements about religion nor the commission’s disparate treatment of other bakers who refused to make cakes disapproving of same-sex marriage justified a ruling in favor of Phillips.

So, this is an odd narrow scope. Really odd. Really narrow. Really wtf?

The Supreme Court has ruled that the state of Colorado’s enforcement of its civil rights law was flawed, while reaffirming that LGBTQ Americans should not face discrimination in the provision of goods and services and state law may continue to prohibit such discrimination.

“In today’s narrow ruling against the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the Supreme Court acknowledged that LGBTQ people are equal and have a right to live free from the indignity of discrimination,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Anti-LGBTQ extremists did not win the sweeping ‘license to discriminate’ they have been hoping for — and today’s ruling does not change our nation’s longstanding civil rights laws. Yet, the fact remains that LGBTQ people face alarming levels of discrimination all across the country and HRC’s efforts to advance equality are as urgent as ever. With LGBTQ people at risk of being fired, evicted or denied services in 31 states, HRC continues to build momentum for the Equality Act, to elect pro-equality candidates up and down the ballot, and to fight in every corner of our country to advance policies that protect LGBTQ people from being targeted for who they are or whom they love.”

This is basically an invitation to flood the court with wedding cake cases I guess. Does this create the inroads that religious bigots truly desire?

Like a good wedding cake, the Supreme Court’s 7–2 decision on Monday in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commissionhas a little something for everyone. Gay people, who were justifiably terrified that the case could undermine their right to equal service, get a reaffirmation of their “dignity and worth.” Religious-liberty advocates get a continued expansion of the Free Exercise Clause. Anti-gay activists get a victory—a midsize and possibly temporary but still very real win, in a case that few initially expected to even reach the Supreme Court.

Who loses? Everybody who hoped this decision would definitively settle the ostensible clash between LGBTQ rights and religious freedom. In the end, Masterpiece Cakeshop barely resolves anything and doesn’t even touch the free-speech claim at the center of the case. Instead, it punts that question, leaving lower courts (and American society) to continue fighting about how, exactly, Justice Anthony Kennedy should feel about it. A great wedding cake might leave you wanting more, but Masterpiece Cakeshop just leaves you craving something you can actually sink your teeth into.

Like I said, best wishes and good luck to all of you in or entering the marital merge thing! You have me hoping you prove me wrong!!!

Other SCOTUS Decisions

From WAPO: Supreme Court throws out lower-court decision that allowed immigrant teenager to obtain abortion

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a lower court’s decision that allowed an undocumented immigrant teenager to obtain an abortion over the protests of the Trump administration.

The action, which came in an unsigned opinion without noted dissents, throws out a precedent that might allow other teenagers in the same circumstance to obtain an abortion.

The five-page order directs the lower courts to dismiss as moot the teen’s individual claim seeking access to abortion services. The girl, known in court papers as Jane Doe, was able to terminate her pregnancy before the high court got involved. She has since turned 18 and is no longer in federal custody.

Her lawyer, Brigitte Amiri of the American Civil Liberties Union, described as narrow the Monday ruling that she said does not affect a broader challenge to the government’s policy for pregnant teens in federal immigration custody that is pending in District Court in Washington.

zombie-wedding-cake-topper-6-7674SCOTUS Bound Nonsense

Also from WAPO: “Trump says he has ‘absolute right’ to pardon himself of federal crimes but denies any wrongdoing”

President Trump on Monday asserted an “absolute right” to pardon himself of any federal crimes but said he has no reason to do so because he has not engaged in any wrongdoing.

“As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?” Trump wrote on Twitter.

In a subsequent tweet Monday, Trump also claimed that the appointment of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election had been “totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL!”

“Despite that, we play the game because I, unlike the Democrats, have done nothing wrong! Trump said.

Trump’s assessment of his pardon powers echoed that of his attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, who offered an expansive view of the president’s executive powers during interviews Sunday, arguing that Trump probably has the ability to pardon himself.

“He probably does,” Giuliani said Sunday, when asked on ABC News’s “This Week” whether Trump has the ability to pardon himself. “He has no intention of pardoning himself, but he probably — not to say he can’t.”

So, that’s it for me!

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

18 Comments on “Monday Reads: SCOTUS Slices the Cake Thinly”

  1. bostonboomer says:

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Interesting historical thread.

    • dakinikat says:

      That really is interesting! I remember all that but haven’t thought about it since my undergrad days. Those English fights with the divine rights of kings have always been so rooted in our laws.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    • quixote says:

      That attitude really bugs me. If FLOTUS has some kind of obligation to fulfill a function, WHY ISN’T SHE PAID FOR IT?

      I have a feeling a salary will become attached to it once we finally get a FGOTUS (First Gentleman etc etc).

  4. bostonboomer says:

  5. Pat Johnson says:

    Religion – no matter whose – is a license to showcase your bigotry without consequences.

    After all: who can argue with god?

    Blatant discrimination that makes the one practicing it feel superior to the rest of us.


    • dakinikat says:

      Religious beliefs should not impact any ones laws and don’t belong in the public arena. I just don’t understand why people can’t just keep it to themselves!

  6. Valhalla says:

    The Masterpiece case sounds like a classic designed-by-a-committee exercise. The only solid ruling seems to be that government officials shouldn’t express open hostility to religious beliefs during hearings. (I can’t wait to see how that plays out in thousands of government processes involving people who practice non-Christian religions).

    My guess is that this extremely narrow, weird ruling is the only thing the court could get a majority to sign on to. It’s mushy, unclear and provides no guidance to the judiciary going forwards. IOW, it does exactly the opposite of what SCOTUS decisions are supposed to do. It’s screaming out for a flood of new “cake” cases to hit the courts.

    • dakinikat says:

      The more I read it, the stranger it gets. Red RBG’s complaints about handing out a ‘win’ on this.

      • dakinikat says:

        Read Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Fiery Dissent Of The Masterpiece Cake Shop Decision


        It’s a pdf and her stuff starts on page 11.

        • Valhalla says:

          Just what we would expect from RBG — she cuts right to the heart of the law AND through the convoluted majority opinion.

        • dakinikat says:

          ” The past cases concerned a man named William Jack, and they were brought into this case in the form of an amicus brief. Jack, according to the brief, had been denied service at three Colorado bakeries after requesting two cakes shaped like Bibles that showed an image of two men holding hands covered by a red “X.” It also asked for several Bible verses condemning homosexuality. The bakeries, according to Ginsburg’s dissent, all refused to create cakes that held those messages.

          However, the bakeries had not denied Jack based on his religious beliefs, because they frequently created cakes displaying Christian themes. Instead, they declined to create the cakes as he desired because of the messages, which at least one of them called “hateful.””

  7. Minkoff Minx says:

    I loved the pictures in this thread. The post was excellent.

  8. Minkoff Minx says:

    Fox News used images of Eagles players praying to suggest they kneeled during the national anthem #FuckFoxNews #tRumpPropaganda

  9. dakinikat says:

    I have 3 friends from high school that do cartoons…. here’s today’s offering from John Buss: