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#1 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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The arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice

Posted 26 June 2013 - 09:31 AM

Looks like there's occasional good news after all. The US Supreme Court ruling on the Anti-Marriage Act has come down, and the Neanderthals lost. Yippee!
http://www.nytimes.c...riage.html?_r=0


For those of you keeping score, Roberts, Thomas, Scalia and Alito constituted the anti-marriage faction. Kennedy wrote the majority opinion.

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Replies To: The arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice

#2 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: The arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice

Posted 26 June 2013 - 09:32 AM

It's interesting that Roberts opposed on DOMA, but moved to strike down Prop 8. He's actually writing the opinion on the latter.
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#3 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: The arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice

Posted 26 June 2013 - 09:40 AM

This is not uncommon, actually. That was a more complex issue, in terms of the possible directions it could take, and it's quite possible that Roberts voted with the majority precisely in order to write the opinion. I haven't had a chance to read the opinion yet, but it looks like it's pretty technical, and it seems likely that he wanted to control the scope of that decision.
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#4 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: The arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice

Posted 26 June 2013 - 10:10 AM

An interesting break - the pro go the route about mixed burdens and definitions, the dissenting roll the route of "well you people, your reps, and your president wanted this bill badly enough to get it passed.. does SCOTUS really want to step on 'We the People' when, clearly, the will of the people was to define this classification of folks?".

The opinion of the court:

Quote

page 22-23

DOMA’s principal effect is to identify a subset of state
-
sanctioned marriages and make them unequal. The prin
-
cipal purpose is to impose in
equality, not for other reasons
like governmental efficiency. Responsibilities, as well as
rights, enhance the dignity and integrity of the person.
And DOMA contrives to depr
ive some couples married
under the laws of their State, but not other couples, of
both rights and responsibilitie
s. By creating two contra
-
dictory marriage regimes within the same State, DOMA
forces same-sex couples to live as married for the purpose
of state law but unmarried for the purpose of federal
law, thus diminishing the stability and predictability of
basic personal relations the State has found it proper to
acknowledge and protect. By
this dynamic DOMA under
-
mines both the public and private significance of state
-
sanctioned same-sex marriages; for it tells those couples,
23
Cite as: 570 U. S. ____ (2013)
Opinion of the Court
and all the world, that their otherwise valid marriages
are unworthy of federal recognition. This places same-sex
couples in an unstable position of being in a second-tier
marriage.


SCALIA's dissenting opinion:

Quote

We have no power to decide this
case. And even if we did, we have no power under the
Constitution to invalidate this democratically adopted leg-
islation. The Court’s errors
on both points spring forth
from the same diseased root: an exalted conception of the
role of this institution in America.
I
A
The Court is eager—
hungry
—to tell everyone its view of
the legal question at the heart of this case. Standing in
the way is an obstacle, a technicality of little interest to
anyone but the people of We th
e People, who created it as
a barrier against judges’ intrusion into their lives. They
gave judges, in Article III, only the “judicial
Power,” a
power to decide not abstract que
stions but real, concrete
2

“Cases” and “Controversies.” Yet the plaintiff and the Gov
-
ernment agree entirely on what should happen in this
lawsuit. They agree that the court below got it right; and
they agreed in the court below that the court below that
one got it right as well. What, then, are we
doing
here?
The answer lies at the heart of the jurisdictional portion
of today’s opinion, where a single sentence lays bare the
majority’s vision of our role.
The Court says that we have
the power to decide this case
because if we did not, then
our “primary role in determining the constitutionality of
a law” (at least one that “has inflicted real injury on a
plaintiff ”) would “become only secondary to the President’s.”
Ante,
at 12. But wait, the reader wonders—Windsor won
below, and so
cured
her injury, and the President was glad
to see it. True, says the majority, but judicial review must
march on regardless, lest we “undermine the clear dictate
of the separation-of-powers principle that when an Act of
Congress is alleged to conflict with the Constitution, it is
emphatically the province and duty of the judicial depart
-
ment to say what the law is.”
Ibid.
(internal quotation
marks and brackets omitted).
That is jaw-dropping. It is an assertion of judicial su
-
premacy over the people’s Representatives in Congress
and the Executive. It envisions a Supreme Court standing
(or rather enthroned) at the apex of government, empow
-
ered to decide all constitutional questions, always and every-
where “primary” in its role

ALITO's dissenting opinion..

Quote

In any event, §3 of DOMA, in my view, does not en
-
croach on the prerogatives of
the States, assuming of
course that the many federal statutes affected by DOMA
have not already done so. Section 3 does not prevent any
State from recognizing same-sex marriage or from extend
-
ing to same-sex couples any right, privilege, benefit, or
obligation stemming from state law. All that §3 does is to
define a class of persons to whom federal law extends cer
-
tain special benefits and upon whom federal law imposes
certain special burdens. In these provisions, Congress
used marital status as a way of defining this class—in
part, I assume, because it viewed marriage as a valua-
ble institution to be fostered and in part because it viewed
married couples as comprising a unique type of economic
unit that merits special regulatory treatment. Assuming
that Congress has the power
under the Constitution to
enact the laws affected by §3, Congress has the power to
define the category of persons to whom those laws apply.



http://www.supremeco...12-307_g2bh.pdf
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#5 supersloth  Icon User is offline

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Re: The arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice

Posted 26 June 2013 - 10:21 AM

View Postmacosxnerd101, on 26 June 2013 - 10:32 AM, said:

It's interesting that Roberts opposed on DOMA, but moved to strike down Prop 8. He's actually writing the opinion on the latter.

from what i understand a lot of that has to do with the prop 8 ruling failing on standing rather than on the merits of the law itself.
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