Skip to main content

View Diary: Antonin Scalia develops split personality disorder (175 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  How on earth could a federal law (0+ / 0-)

    that treats couples legally married in one state differently from couples legally married in another state not be a violation of equal protection?

    •  Very easily. (0+ / 0-)

      If there's a rational reason for it and it doesn't discriminate on the basis of protected status.

      The word “marriage” shall not include a legal union of more than two persons.
      The word “marriage” shall not include a legal union entered into by a person under the age of 15.
      The word “marriage” shall not include a legal union determined by a competent tribunal to have been entered into for the exclusive purpose of obtaining a government benefit.
      •  How does your first and third (0+ / 0-)

        example treat people who are married in different states differently? No state allows plural marriages, nor does any state specifically allow sham marriages.

        •  But they could if they wished to. Eom. (0+ / 0-)
          •  Sure, but that is still nonresponsive (0+ / 0-)

            to the question I posed.

            •  How is it nonresponsive? (0+ / 0-)

              In New Hampshire, you can get married at 13. If Congress passed a law denying recognition to marriages entered into under the age of 15, it would be treating some legally married couples in one state differently than legally married couples in other states.

              Similarly, if Rhode Island passed a law saying that it wouldn't recognize any marriage entered into by someone under the age of 15, a couple who married at the age of 13 in NH that moved to RI would find that their marriage was no longer recognized. (And please don't tell me Full Faith and Credit says otherwise--states have always had the prerogative to refuse to recognize marriages that are contrary to their public policy.)

              Because federal law, for the most part, incorporates the marriage laws of the state of residence, couples who legally married at 13 in NH would be treated as married by the federal government (for most purposes) if they stay in NH, but wouldn't be treated as married if they moved to RI. That's current law, and I don't see how it violates equal protection.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site