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View Diary: Judge Walker Destroys Bigoted Arguments, Sets Up Equality For All (303 comments)

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  •  A comment from a lawyer friend (22+ / 0-)

    "I don't ever want to pinning my hopes on the personal feelings of judges. That said, Justice Kennedy, who's definitely the swing vote here, wrote the Lawrence v. Texas opinion that knocked me for a loop the first time I read it because it was far more sweeping in its language than it would have been had I written it."

    And my friend is gay, and significantly more liberal than I am.

    •  Kennedy has a choice (26+ / 0-)

      He's no fool.  I am cautiously optimistic about this because Kennedy has a libertarian streak and has historically come down mostly on the side of individual rights.

      But more than that, he is smart enough to know that this is the civil rights struggle of this generation.  He knows how history views the Dred Scott decision, when the Supreme Court basically ruled that black people were not human.  He surely is aware of the pain mixed-race couples faced and the fact that it was the courts, rather than the voters, who allowed them to formalize their love.  And he does know the law.  It's very hard to construct a cogent legal opinion opposing marriage equality without ignoring the clear meaning of the equal protection clause.

      Sophists like Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia will find a way to legislate their religious beliefs from the bench, while loudly proclaiming that they are doing no such thing.  They are aware of their prejudices and just don't give a shit - they are partisan warriors first and foremost, and their job is to rationalize their prejudices and promote their political agenda.

      Roberts and Alito lack historical perspective and are way to rigid to exercise much critical thought on this.  

      But I don't see Kennedy falling into these traps so easily.  He's of a generation in which many grew up internalizing a view that homosexuality is inherently creepy, and he may still carry some of that baggage with him.  But he's more self-aware than Roberts or Alito of his own biases, and he's more ethical than Scalia or Thomas about not using the bench to push his religious beliefs.

      "Die Stimme der Vernuft ist leise." (The voice of reason is soft)

      by ivorybill on Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 08:12:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Please don't dignify Scalia and Thomas (7+ / 0-)

        by saying

        Sophists like Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia will find a way to legislate their religious beliefs from the bench

        This isn't religious beliefs, this is simply bigotry.  A belief that some 'defined other' is unequal because of their difference.  

        Amercia's history of defining and discriminating against the other is long and shameful.  IMHO the LGBT community is the last of these 'others' and Judge Walkers devastating take-down of every last one of the bigots 'reasons' will be as much of a landmark in jurisprudence as Brown v Board of Education and Loving v Virginia.

        I'll vote Democratic again when 51% of Dem Congress critters grow a pair.

        by jaf49 on Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 08:37:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not just the equal protection part (0+ / 0-)

        If anything, I think they'll have to allow gay marriages to be considered marriage for federal purposes.

        After all, when there were laws against miscegenation, mixed race couples still filed joint federal returns, didn't they? Shouldn't a legal marriage in any state be considered legal by the feds?

        Isn't there a clause in the Constitution about contracts in one state being valid in all, or words to that effect?

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