The Supreme Court will hear arguments this week on two cases related to same-sex marriage, the first involving a California referendum that barred gay marriage, the other involving a federal law that prevents the government from recognizing same-sex unions. A variety of outcomes are possible, but it seems prudent to take stock of public opinion on same-sex marriage before the decisions come down...NY Times:
In the past, we have sometimes considered the possibility that support for same-sex marriage is increasing at a faster rate than before. The data seems to suggest, however, that the increase in support has been reasonably steady since about 2004.
As the Supreme Court on Tuesday weighed the very meaning of marriage, several justices seemed to have developed a case of buyer’s remorse. Some wondered aloud if the court had moved too fast to address whether gay and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry.As to what it all means, see our own Adam B and see also Tom Goldstein:
“I just wonder if this case was properly granted,” said Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who probably holds the decisive vote.
At least insofar as the oral argument is revealing, the puzzle of Hollingsworth is how the Court will “get to five” – how five members of the Court will agree on the judgment.More politics and policy below the fold, including doctor peer pressure.
This is a recurring dilemma when there is a threshold question in the case – here, the petitioners’ standing to defend Proposition 8. The problem gets even bigger when you add in the possibility that one or more members of the Court do not want to decide the case at all – here, Justice Kennedy’s suggestion that the writ of certiorari should be dismissed.
In a lot of cases, these issues don’t affect the outcome of the case, so the Court does not have to really confront them. If one Justice thinks a party lacks standing and another Justice won’t decide the case, then five of the remaining Justices may still agree on an outcome. The other two are irrelevant.
But when the Court is closely divided, things can get messy. Hollingsworth may be such a case.
Well, this seems like a big deal. Post and Courier (SC):
Lawmaker revises bill that would keep doctors from discussing gun safetyDoctors, especially pediatricians, were not silent on this. AFAIK every attempt to gag doctors so far has failed. More of the story here.
n Upstate lawmaker is changing a bill he introduced in the state House of Representatives that would ban doctors from discussing gun safety with their patients.
Rep. Joshua Putnam, R-Piedmont, said backlash from doctors around the state has forced him to reconsider the original intent of House Bill 3416.
More on today's Topic A from Peter Weber/The Week:
Neither proponents nor opponents can be completely sure, but here are six possible explanations for the rapid shift toward accepting same-sex marriageGavin Wright/NY Times:
In a sense, mobilization of business support for gay rights has been easier and faster than mobilization for racial equality. But the two revolutions are of course historically linked. By opening the American workplace to diversity, the successes of the 1960s and 1970s paved the way for subsequent liberation movements.