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View Diary: I rarely say this, but Maureen Dowd is a must-read! (179 comments)

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  •  DOMA is more promising case for favorable ruling.. (6+ / 0-)

    ...and IMHO provides much more comfortable ground for the court to move forward to build a solid foundation upon for a future broader ruling.  As much as marriage equality proponents would like the tidal change in attitudes toward same-sex marriage to receive immediate full constitutional recognition, the hard fact is that this IS a case which requires sharp revision, even reversal of hundreds of years of law where every prior constitutional, judicial, or legislative body always heretofore contemplated marriage as being a purely heterosexual entity.  Few prior abrupt tidal shifts on rights by the courts have come without provoking long-lasting powerful political reactions that threaten to undermine or undo the court's work, even the instances where there really was no other tolerably viable way forward, such as Brown v Board.

    What will likely happen is:
    - 1) Court punts on standing issue on prop 8, leaving the lower-court ruling overturning it in effect.  California effectively gets marriage equality, but no broad ruling yet.
    2) Court overturns DOMA on combination of equal protection/full faith and credit lines, holding that the federal government impermissibly discriminated against states recognizing same-sex marriage.  This opens the door to the next step, which is a future case which still punts on the issue of whether individual states may limit formation of marriages within their jurisdiction to only hetero couples, but holds that neither may they deny recognition to marriages validly formed in other states, i.e. gay couples married in Massachussets or California etc.  Further down the line within a half-dozen years or less, will then come a case where marriage equality wins the full federal de jure constitutional rights enchilada, after the facts on the ground have irreversibly established it de facto in even the reddest, currently most determinedly resistant states.  

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