SCOTUS Justices Hinting They Will Avoid Issuing a Broad Ruling Legalizing or Banning Same-Sex Marriage

prop 8

This morning the Supreme Court held oral arguments on the challenge to California’s Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage. At Business Insider, Eric Fuchs writes:

The first of two huge Supreme Court cases on gay marriage may be heading for a partial victory for supporters of the movement.

SCOTUS won’t uphold or strike down Prop 8,” SCOTUSblog’s Tom Goldstein predicted over twitter after the Tuesday hearing was over.

So what does that mean, and why would that be a partial victory for gay marriage advocates?

The hearing involved California’s voter-approved ban on gay marriage, known as Proposition 8, which was struck down by a federal judge and an appeals court. When California declined to defend the law, it was backed by a coalition of anti-gay marriage advocates and elevated to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court could decline to issue a ruling at all, however, by finding the anti-gay marriage advocates don’t have legal “standing” to defend the law.

If that happens, then the appeals court ruling would stand and gays could continue to get married in California.

You can listen to the oral arguments and/or read the transcript at The Washington Post.

I can’t say I’d be surprised if the justices punt this one. I know that the Scalia clique would love to ban same-sex marriage, but they probably couldn’t get the votes; and even if they did, they have to realize that the blowback from the public would be horrendous.

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Breaking News : Prop 8 is Unconstitutional!

Quick Reads: Breaking News

The decision is out!

Ninth Circuit Rules Prop 8 Is Unconstitutional | TPMMuckraker

A federal appeals court in California has upheld a lower court’s ruling that Proposition 8, the state’s ban on gay marriage, is unconstitutional.

In a 2-1 decision, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit announced its long-awaited ruling on Tuesday.

Proposition 8 was a 2008 ballot measure, approved by voters, that amended the state constitution to ban same-sex couples in California from getting married.

In 2010, U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker, presiding over a challenge to the law by two gay couples and the American Foundation for Equal Rights, ruled that the law was unconstitutional. Walker wrote that “Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license.”

Prop. 8: Gay-marriage ban unconstitutional, court rules –

A federal appeals court Tuesday struck down California’s ban on same-sex marriage, clearing the way for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on gay marriage as early as next year.

The 2-1 decision by a panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found that Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that limited marriage to one man and one woman, violated the U.S. Constitution. The architects of Prop. 8 have vowed to appeal.

The ruling was narrow and likely to be limited to California.

Court: Calif. ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional – US news – Life –

BREAKING: Ninth Circuit Strikes Down Proposition 8 – Poliglot

Court – CA Gay Marriage Ban Is Unconstitutional –

BREAKING: Federal Appeals Court Finds Proposition 8 Unconstitutional | ThinkProgress

And I figure we should also mention…

Komen official quits after Planned Parenthood flap – TODAY Health –

An executive with a major U.S. breast-cancer charity has resigned after a dispute over funding for the country’s best-known family planning organization and its providing of abortions, according to a letter obtained by The Associated Press.

Karen Handel, the charity’s vice president for public policy, told Komen officials that she supported the move to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood. She said the discussion started before she arrived at the organization and was approved at the highest levels of the charity.

“I am deeply disappointed by the gross mischaracterizations of the strategy, its rationale, and my involvement in it,” Handel said in her letter, dated Feb. 7. “I openly acknowledge my role in the matter and continue to believe our decision was the best one for Komen’s future and the women we serve.”

Karen Handel, Susan G. Komen official, resigns after Planned Parenthood dispute – Kate Nocera and J. Lester Feder –

It’s All Over But For The Severance Package and Non-Disclosure Agreement | TBogg

Looks like Karen Handel will be packing up her desk (novelty coffee mug, Jesus riding a dinosaur Precious Moments statue, stolen office supplies emblazoned with pink ribbons) because a job may be opening at the Komen Foundation very soon.


Let’s not get ahead of ourselves — Karen Handel hasn’t resigned (yet), but as pressure for her to quit grows, it seems like odd timing for the organization to post an ad that looks a lot like it’s an ad to fill the embattled Senior Vice President of Public Policy’s shoes. The ad is for a Director of Public Policy — are we just mincing labels here? Director, Senior Vice President — tomato, tomahto.

The ad seeks a candidate with a “health care policy background and existing relationships with Members of Congress and their staff.” The position is DC-based, and requires “7+ years of experience on Capitol Hill and/or in government affairs or nonprofit advocacy.”

Lingering baggage and public relations headache from previous Public Policy jobholder(s) is included as part of compensation package.

This is all the fault of those breast cancer surviving thugs, you know.

Now Handel will have to wrestle with nutbar Jill Stanek for the title of Most Glorious Martyr of The Great Baby Jesus Fetus Holocaust.

Every one has the right to live Happily Ever After …

marriageI’ve never been a big fan of marriage even though I sat in one for about 20 years.  Don’t ask and I won’t tell.  I’ve found it to be a major constraint.   I found compromise is a virtue only to those who lack ambition and leave it at that.

However, I know I’m not the least bit in the main stream about a lot of things; mostly about any kind of religion.  It takes a lot of commitment and intellectual compromise to support religions developed back before high level reading, writing, arithmetic, and science were invented.   I even think that the term “DARK AGES” and “Age of Enlightenment” are pretty self-explanatory but then if there’s a god gene, it just doesn’t seem to run in my family and hasn’t for a long time.

Still, I’ve noticed a generational thing surrounding the marriage issue as well as old time religion.  The older you are, the more you insist it’s one man, one woman, and it’s best for children.  I just think it’s unnecessary unless you really want to give away your assets, time, and dreams to some body else who can drag you through court and take even more by the time you’re done.  My kids have yet to get married and think it’s something best put off to when you’re nearly dead any way (say somewhere between 30 and 40).  The kids and I think any one who wants to be able to do it should be able to get married.  My parents were both pretty accepting of gay people, but their generation just can’t see gay marriage.  In that way, my family appears to be pretty typical.

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