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View Diary: Supreme Court puts Utah marriage equality on hold for now (363 comments)

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  •  What would you call ruling a marriage as invalid? (0+ / 0-)

    Doesn't that mean it was against the law?

    •  against civil law, perhaps, but not criminal law. (0+ / 0-)

      There is a difference between saying that a court cannot issue a marriage certificate to two same sex partners (civil law, like a contract) versus saying that two same sex partners trying to marry would be sent to jail (criminal law). If I understand FCJ correctly, then 'ex post facto' only applies to criminal law.

      •  Really? So this would be legal? (0+ / 0-)

        Say I run a mortgage firm, and I loan people money.  I give out mortgages at 6-8%.  The next year, Congress passes a law stating that mortgages cannot be more than 5%.  

        Can my clients then sue me in civil court for defrauding them under the now current law?  Must I give back the money?  Or does the civil contract they signed stand, under the terms of the law at the time of signing?

        •  That's a different clause of the Constitution. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Darmok, craigkg, Norm in Chicago

          Congress cannot enact laws impairing contracts, so they probably couldn't do anything about existing mortgages.  They could, however, probably cap mortgage interest rates for future ones.

          "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

          by FogCityJohn on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 12:37:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  However, falsely claiming your are married (0+ / 0-)

        when you aren't in order to fraudulently obtain benefits is a crime.  Thus those 900 couples could be charged with theft by fraud, scheme, or device and end up in prison should those marriages be retroactively invalidated.

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 11:55:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The ex post facto clause ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Darmok, craigkg

      applies only to criminal statutes:

      Although the Latin phrase "ex post facto" literally encompasses any law passed "after the fact," it has long been recognized by this Court that the constitutional prohibition on ex post facto laws applies only to penal statutes which disadvantage the offender affected by them.
      Collins v. Youngblood, 497 U.S. 37 (1990)
      Article I, § 10, of the Constitution forbids the States from passing any "ex post facto Law." In Collins v. Youngblood, 497 U.S. 37, 41, 110 S.Ct. 2715, 2718, 111 L.Ed.2d 30 (1990), we reaffirmed that the Ex Post Facto Clause incorporated "a term of art with an established meaning at the time of the framing of the Constitution." In accordance with this original understanding, we have held that the Clause is aimed at laws that "retroactively alter the definition of crimes or increase the punishment for criminal acts."
      California Dep't of Corrections v. Morales, 514 U.S. 499 (1995)

      Ruling that a marriage is invalid would mean that the marriage was contracted in violation of the law.  That's not a matter that's subject to the ex post facto clause, however.  That clause applies only to criminal laws, as the quoted Supreme Court cases make clear.

      "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

      by FogCityJohn on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 12:45:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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