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I am not a lawyer and I don't play one on television. My job requires that I be somewhat conversant with certain legal concepts and that I be able to read contracts and other things written in legalese, but I don't think I ever read a legal brief for a court case until marriage equality began to become an issue.

We may be prone to think of legal briefs as obscure, dry things, making points that only the sorts of folks who care about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin could possibly find interesting. Here's the thing: we'd be wrong.

Once the battle for marriage equality began being fought in the courts, I've found myself reading all sorts of things that I never would have imagined myself reading. The current battles over California Prop 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act provides me almost endless hours of amusement (and sometimes ire, if I happen to be reading the arguments of the opposing side). And, not infrequently they afford an education.

Apart from the legal arguments filed by the attorneys on both sides, a huge number of amicus curae briefs has been filed on the Prop 8 case, particularly on the side of those who are of the opinion that Prop 8 is unconstitutional and should be overturned. The Office of the City Attorney of the City and County of San Francisco, one of the parties in the suit seeking the overturning of Prop 8 has a page on their website helpfully documenting the more than fifty amicus briefs which support their position. Many of these briefs have struck me as being worth reading and one in particular makes  for some good historical perspective (not to mention a call-out against a specific party that has decided its mission consists mainly of keeping gay men and lesbians from marrying). Follow me beyond the squiggle and I will explain.

The City Attorney's site helpfully categorizes the amicus briefs by their focus. There are briefs focusing on equal protection, on due process, on, yes, "responsible procreation," on standing and procedure and a whole set given the heading of "Identity Groups (Religious, Business, Labor, Teachers, Other)." Among the latter is a brief submitted by a coalition of religious organizations including the California Council of Churches, Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis, two different councils within the United Church of Christ and, for obvious reasons, the California Network of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCCs have a mainly gay and lesbian membership and were formed mainly as a result of former rejection of LGBT individuals by mainstream Protestant denominations).

The brief includes a very interesting argument based on religious liberty (and you thought that the Catholics, the Mormons and the Evangelicals had exclusive rights to that one, didn't you?) and even more important to me, recalls the history of another important California Case related to marriage: Perez vs Sharp which, in 1948, struck down California's law against interracial marriage. I'd known of this case for quite some time as it is widely viewed as among the most important antecedents of Loving vs Virginia. The case is also significant in another respect. It turns out (and this I did NOT know) that the case was decided in part on the grounds of freedom of religion!

Back in 1947, Sylvester Davis and Angela Perez tried to get married. Davis was African-American while Perez, despite her Spanish surname, was classified as "white" under California law. The Los Angeles County Clerk refused to grant them a marriage license based on the state law prohibiting interracial marriage. The couple appealed, through their attorney, directly to the California Supreme Court.  Both Davis and Perez were Catholic. As was their attorney Daniel Marshall, who was president of the Catholic Interracial Council of Los Angeles.

Because I don't seem to be able to copy and paste from the current brief I'll  paraphrase here except where statements sufficiently important that a verbatim quote seemed necessary; in those latter cases I HOPE I've transcribed them accurately. The plaintiffs' attorney noted that the Catholic Church (where the couple wanted to be married) did not prohibit interracial marriages but California law, in prohibiting Davis and Perez from obtaining a marriage license, was preventing them from fully participating in their own religion. The California Supreme Court found this argument persuasive and ruled in their favor. Although the Catholic Church didn't participate in the case (the Los Angeles Archdiocese was in fact opposed to the suit), sixteen Catholic bishops and apostolic administrators filed an amicus brief later on, in Loving vs Virginia citing, in fact, the very precedent of Perez vs Sharp.

As the current brief says:

If Perez is correct, then Prop 8 is an unconstitutional abridgement of California same-sex couples' religious liberty to marry, and of their faith communities' and and clergy's right to celebrate and solemnize their marriages, just as California's law denying legal recognition to mixed-race unions violated a Catholic couple's religious liberty.
And here is where it gets even more interesting. More recently, a group called "Catholics for the Common Good" filed a brief in support of Prop 8, ironically citing the role of Mr. Marshall in pursuing Perez vs Sharp. The Lovings were Baptists, yet a group of Catholic clergy found the principle of religious liberty so important that they wanted to weigh in on the right of a Baptist couple to marry within the church of their choice. All of the signatories to the brief I'm now citing support civil marriage equality and permit their clergy to solemnize the marriages of gay male and lesbian couples. The brief rightly tweaks the Catholic Church for wanting to have it both ways. It was religious liberty to permit the Lovings to marry; yet somehow the Church's rights would be inhibited if gay and lesbian couples were allowed to celebrate their marriages within religious denominations that allowed them to do so. To quote the brief again:
The Catholic bishops believed then [when Loving was being argued] that religious liberty protected the marriage right not only of Catholics but of non-Catholics as well. From its amicus brief filed in this case, however, it appears that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has since concluded that religious liberty protects only marriages that their own Church approves, and not the marriages of same-sex couples that - but for Proposition 8 - would be solemnized in Reform and Reconstructionist synagogues, and in Unitarian Universalist, United Church of Christ and Metropolitan Community churches.
I find it fascinating, amusing, and somewhat delicious that the thrust of the arguments above constitute a serious tweaking the Catholic Church for, if not actual hypocrisy then at the very least a lack of logical and temporal consistency.

There are other aspects to the brief I've been discussing. It goes on to differentiate how arguments in favor of marriage equality based on freedom of religion don't implicate the arguments used against polygamy or those against the use of peyote as a religious sacrament (prohibitions against both of which have been upheld on various grounds notwithstanding appeals to freedom of religion). Those arguments are interesting but secondary to the points I find most important here; there is something to be said for a the thoroughness which the amici have used in constructing their brief.

The amici finally point out that if religious denominations wanted to argue that their freedom to disparage or discriminate against LGBT individuals is being infringed upon, Prop 8 would not be the vehicle to challenge it, as California anti-discrimination laws otherwise conferred full protection on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals before Prop 8 was passed and continue to do so now. Many of the arguments made in favor of Prop 8 fail to consider the fact that the purported "harms" caused by same sex marriage are not at all affected by prohibiting gay and lesbian couples from obtaining the legal right to use the term "marriage" when referring to their legally-recognized relationships and that it is not the conferring of that right but its withdrawal that renders Prop 8 fatally flawed under the Constitution since it is the withdrawal of that right which is being currently being contested.

I particularly like the final statement:

Fears that same-sex couples' marriages pose grave threats to religious liberty are not grounded in reality.
To sum up then, you can find great history lessons in legal briefs. You can also find where the real arguments on constitutional issues (rather than the supposed ones) actually lie. Thanks for reading.

Originally posted to sfbob on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 02:58 PM PST.

Also republished by Kossacks for Marriage Equality, Milk Men And Women, LGBT Kos Community, and Street Prophets .

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Comment Preferences

  •  I read about the Perez case (15+ / 0-)

    and knew about the religious liberty defense that it contained. (and I'm not a lawyer)

    I'm surprised that this didn't come up sooner in terms of the casework and specific legal precedents.

  •  I remember that too (17+ / 0-)

    Thank you for the very careful parsing of the brief, and I have absolutely nothing to disagree with you about here. Great diary, and I'm republishing it to a couple of places.

    -7.75, -8.10; . . . Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall (h/t cooper888)

    by Dave in Northridge on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 03:10:59 PM PST

    •  Thanks Dave (12+ / 0-)

      I think there is probably ALWAYS the possibility of digging deeper but at some point you have to stop digging and start talking.

      There are so many interesting briefs out there on the subject. I'm thinking that the court is bound to notice that while the briefs filed in support of Prop 8 cover the same ground in approximately the same manner (I tried to read them all; there's only so much b.s. I can tolerate), there are far more briefs on the marriage equality side and what is even more compelling is that those latter briefs tend to cover different aspects of the case and to use different, though certainly congruent, arguments.

      •  Also, too, less unintentially funny (6+ / 0-)

        I'm sorry, but the whole "we need marriage for straights only because straights are sometimes in too much of a horny rush to use a condom" argument is just beyond silly.

        ad astra per alia porci

        by harrije on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 05:29:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well there is that (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          harrije, Dave in Northridge, Ahianne

          Some of the arguments made to rebut this very silly argument include the assertion that it is an insult to heterosexuals as well as to gay people.

          •  The petitioner's brief was absolutely an insult (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ahianne, sfbob

            As Bois and Olsen pointed out, the Hollingsworth crew spent 60-some-odd pages expounding on marriage without once mentioning the word "love."

            Given their cold, loveless, "just churn out babies already" view of love, I almost wish SCOTUS had granted their length request for a few more pages in their brief -- so they would have had room to adequately defend the dowry system and the bride's father's inalienable right to force his daughter into a marriage of his own liking.

            (Those arguments would fall squarely under the umbrella of "traditional marriage" and even "biblical marriage," though a far more traditional kind of marriage than most Americans would be comfortable with in the 21st century.)

            ad astra per alia porci

            by harrije on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 11:32:14 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  great read. thanks. (8+ / 0-)

    I hadnt heard about the religious liberty angle in regard to Loving.

    •  I've always thought it was pertinent (10+ / 0-)

      I belong to a synagogue that is affiliated with Reform Judaism. It is a congregation that has in fact had a substantial impact on Reform Judaism as a whole.

      The Reform movement was not the first branch of Judaism to embrace the notion of the legal and spiritual equality of women and of LGBT individuals; that honor belongs to the much smaller Reconstructionist movement. The Reconstructionists (an offshoot of Conservative Judaism)  began authorizing the ordination of women and of openly gay and lesbian rabbis sometime in the late 1970's and, I believe, also began advocating for the civil equality of gays and lesbians back then. By contrast the Reform movement didn't begin making similar moves until the 1980's. In fact, Rabbi Yoel Kahn, who was my synagogue's first full-time rabbi, was very influential in pursuading the Reform movement to embrace LGBT equality. Reform Judaism has advocated for marriage equality in the civil sphere since 1996.

      In 2000, California voters approved Proposition 22. Prop 22 was worded identically to 2008's Prop 8. The difference was that Prop 22 inserted the same language as Prop 8 did into the Civil Code rather than into the California Constitution. The state legislature twice passed a marriage equality ordinance, only to have it vetoed by then-governor Arnold Schwartzenegger. Governor Schwartzenegger based his veto on the existence of Prop 22 (there were skeptics about this but in fact when Prop 8 was passed, Schwartzenegger wsa the governor who originally refused to defend it in court so I think that whatever else we can say about The Governator, he was certainly not a homophobe). It struck me when Prop 22 passed that, in the unlikely event that I wished to obtain a marriage and have it solemnized at my synagogue, the effect of Prop 22 was to inhibit my right to exercise my religion in that way, just as it did in the admittedly small number of Protestant denominations that were willing to recognize same-sex relationships on an equal footing 13 years ago. I find it refreshing that various denominations (including others that filed a brief separate from the one I discuss above) have come to embrace marriage equality not only as a civil right but as a value they embrace as being in accordance with their own theological background. For that reason it doesn't surprise me that the case against Prop 8 and presumably  against similar bans in other jurisdications should be made on the basis of religious liberty. What did surprise me was the part religious liberty played in the Perez case; I hadn't previously known about that aspect of it.

  •  a comment or two on the precedents (10+ / 0-)

    at least for the Supreme Court, those justices who want to reject marriage equality will have to deal with the issue of marriage as a fundamental right.   What they will do is note that both Warren's opinion in Loving and Douglas's opinion in Skinner v Oklahoma including the notion of procreation, which is a physical impossibility for same sex couples who therefore would not have been included in the reasoning of the Court in those two decisions.

    If someone like Scalia or Thomas were to make this argument, they would effectively have pushed Kennedy to the liberal side, since his willingness to accept gay sex and overturn sodomy laws is by its very nature a rejection of the idea that sex has to be for procreative purposes.

    The follow-on to attempting to tie that to marriage is that we do not require proof of fertility in the granting of a marriage license, which means we implicitly accept that marriage is for purposes beyond the procreative, and if the right to marry is fundamental it remains so even when procreation is not possible.  Now to deny marriage to a couple who can legally have sexual relations that cannot possibly lead to procreation, already established by the Court in an opinion written by Anthony Kennedy, regardless of who may think it is "against nature," means the same equal protection argument should be applicable to marriage equality.

    However, the Court may in the Prop 8 case decide it narrowly on the basis that a right that had existed was being taken away, and that the proposition in question attempted to nullify the marriages that already existed.   I would suggest that deciding it on this narrow basis would gain at least 6 votes, because I suspect Roberts would join Kennedy on this.

    That comes to the separate issue of DOMA.  Once the Court has in any fashion upheld same sex marriage, which I think it must in the case of Prop 8, then DOMA is on weak grounds under the Full Faith and Credit clause.  While marriage has traditionally been a state function, age limits and blood relationships allowable in one state does not mean the marriage is not recognizable in another state, nor does the Federal government make distinctions among those marriages.  Add Full Faith and Credit and Equal Protection arguments together, I think you lock down Kennedy's vote.

    And surprisingly, Scalia might even join, because he made clear that once you accepted sodomy as legal, there is no logical legal reason not to accept same sex marriage.  

    I am not a lawyer, nor did I stay in a Holiday Inn Express.  Nor do I purport to have inside knowledge of the thinking of the Justices.

    I am merely speculating.

    And posing arguments that I think could be effective.

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 04:22:59 PM PST

    •  Thanks for your comment Ken (7+ / 0-)

      There are all sorts of complexities inherent in both cases.

      One thing I find interesting is that, were DOMA to be decided separately and favorably in advance of Prop 8, laws that provide for domestic partnerships or civil unions would be on even weaker ground and Prop 8 in particular would be in trouble for the sole reason that, in the absence of DOMA, federal law would recognize "marriage" but not some other status in the allocation of rights and responsibilities.

      I would be pleased yet shocked were Scalia to come around for the sake of logical consistency. Given some of his recent statements however I think he will base his arguments more on his prejudices than on logic no matter how contorted his reasoning has to be.

      There are so many different and interesting amicus briefs on the Prop 8. One of them comes from a group of family law experts (I read that one after posting this diary). That brief notes that whatever the case may be with respect to DOMA, in California, both statute and established precedent make it very clear that procreation has no part in establishing the right to marry.

      One of the other, less likely briefs arguing against the validity of Prop 8 comes from (hold your breath here) the Cato Institute! That brief actually takes a very expansive reading of the Fourteenth Amendment as the basis for overturning Prop 8; I thus cannot imagine them NOT making a similar argument with respect to DOMA.

      •  Yes, that's why (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sfbob

        I actually wanted a decion on DOMA from SCOTUS first.

        •  I didn't really finish my thought above (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ahianne, skrekk

          which for me is not unusual :)

          The followup would be that, were DOMA to be overturned, any state that offered its gay and lesbian citizens a status separate from full marriage equality would, in so doing, be DENYING them access to federal rights they would possess if they were considered married at the state level. It is possible I suppose that the federal government could determine, as has been done with common-law marriages in the past, that domestic partnerships and civil unions which conferred all of the rights and benefits of marriage at the state level were entitled to federal recognition as marriages but that outcome is by no means clear. Nor of course is there any reason why there is some actual reason to confer the same set of rights and benefits as marriage and yet withhold the status of marriage. It is in fact an irrational distinction.

    •  That argument also isolates Roberts, though (7+ / 0-)

      C. Justice and Mrs. Roberts are naturally childless -- they opened up their hearts and homes to two adopted children, and all the power and respect for them doing that.

      But an argument that pushes for marriage only as a vehicle for natural procreation is likely to hit a tender spot with the Chief Justice, if only because his own marriage cannot be validated on those grounds.

      ad astra per alia porci

      by harrije on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 05:33:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The procreation argument was voided (0+ / 0-)

      with Turner v Safley.

    •  A couple more observations on the above (0+ / 0-)

      I've read elsewhere that "Full Faith and Credit" is not a useful basis in deciding this case for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it would be more pertinent to Section 2 of DOMA (which is not being contested) than to Section 3 of DOMA. Which of course is different from Prop 8 in various respects. But the more important distinction there is that states do in fact have limited ability not to recognize marriages legally performed in other states, Full Faith and Credit Clause notwithstanding. There is something about an exception for matters of "public policy." There is a further distinction which is even more of a subtle one rather beyond me as a non-professional. If I can make an attempt it comes down to the fact that "Full Faith and Credit" pertains to court actions rather than administrative actions. So a state could refuse to recognize a marriage legally recognized in another state but couldn't refuse to recognize a custody decision issued by the court of another state.

      As far as procreation having been mentioned in Loving and other important cases, that is certainly something the defenders of both Prop 8 and DOMA could latch on to but the context in which procreation is invoked is very important to consider. In addition, particularly with respect to Prop 8, "procreation" can readily be shown, at least with respect to California law, to consist of far more than conception and birth as a result of sexual intercourse. So the term has to be read expansively. In Loving I believe the specific reference had to do with the choices made pertinent to procreation. In California those choice could equally consist of adoption, IVF and surrogacy. The whole "responsible procreation" argument pretty much falls apart because "responsible" has nothing to do with the issue, while "procreation" which may be pertinent, is already covered by California law in such a way that it cannot be tied solely to heterosexual intercourse.

  •  I'm not persuaded with this argument (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, sfbob, cocinero, Calamity Jean

    There is a difference between what is permitted by a religious faith and what is mandated.  For example, the prohibition against polygamy is Constitutional because the LDS church did not require polygamy, it merely permitted it.  One remained true to the faith with a monogamous marriage.  Similarly, one could remain a true Catholic by marrying someone of the same race.

    I am more persuaded by an argument that denying gays the right to marry means that they would live together without the sacrament required by their church, in other words, the law is forcing them to sin under the strictures of their (non-fundamentalist) faith.

    "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

    by Navy Vet Terp on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 04:38:51 PM PST

    •  You make an interesting argument. n/t (3+ / 0-)

      What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

      by commonmass on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 04:43:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Those arguments were in fact made in Perez (3+ / 0-)

      It was LA County's legal representative that made the argument that Roman Catholic doctrine, while it did not prohibit interracial marriage, also didn't require it.

      What's important here however is that, regardless of how we might view things, the California Supreme Court's decision (which was somewhat fractured) actually was based in part on the argument regarding religious liberty as much as on a Due Process or Equal Protection basis. As noted in the current amicus brief, the court, which at that point in time consisted of seven justices, was split. Three of the justices ruled against the plaintiffs. Three other justices ruled in their favor and a fourth issued a separate, concurring opinion which, based on the guidelines of the time (I'm not sure if they are the same now) resulted in Perez winning and the anti-miscegenation law being overturned. The three justices who issued the ruling opinion did so based on a religious liberty argument while the fourth justice based his opinion on religious liberty as well as on a basic right to marry.

      The role of religion in the civil sphere is most certainly a complicated one. Justices who might at one time have injected their own religious beliefs into their arguments would hesitate to do so now based on subsequent jurisprudence and interpretation of the Establishment Clause. A good deal of precedent has been set in the years following WWII.

    •  I have mixed feelings about the latter part (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Navy Vet Terp

      of your argument.

      There is a good deal of  contingency and choice in cohabitation. One would not be required to live in sin because no couple is required to cohabitate. So the law isn't forcing them to live in sin. Living together without benefit of marriage is a choice, as is the decision to engage in sexual intercourse with or without cohabitation. I think it might be difficult to persuade a court that living together without sacrament wasn't a consequence that couldn't readily be avoided by not living together at all. And the negative consequences, as such, could be laid at the feet of the religious institution rather than being blamed on the law.

    •  Actually the religious argument is completely (0+ / 0-)

      irrelevant and will be ignored by most of the court.   Otherwise no one in America would be allowed to divorce and remarry since the Catholic church prohibits it.

      Regardless of whether the court understood the distinction between marriage and holy matrimony in 1967 (or the CA court in 1948), they most certainly do today as a result of Lemon v Kurtzman in 1971.

      It's an historical irony for the Catholic church to be arguing what it is today, but it will be ignored by SCOTUS.

  •  Thank you, Bob. (6+ / 0-)

    To me, it's a no-brainer that the pro-equality argument and religious liberty go hand in hand--which is why I have to laugh when I hear opponents suggest it somehow infringes on theirs.

    What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

    by commonmass on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 04:41:08 PM PST

    •  agreed - I've always wondered (5+ / 0-)

      about that argument, how other people getting married infringes on your religious liberty. If you go to a church that doesn't support equality, then you won't see gay weddings.

      On a tangential note, there are now 5 Reconciling Methodist chuches in Austin. That's Texas, y'all. Even though the denomination as a whole isn't for equality, if we can do this at churches in Texas, we will eventually drag the denomination into the 21st century. When that happens, my church will be one of the 1st to have weddings for GLBT folks.

      Equality for all -- it will be here someday. Within my lifetime.

    •  It's a no-brainer only if one confuses marriage (0+ / 0-)

      with holy matrimony, otherwise it's an irrelevant argument.

      For example, certain LDS sects will perform religious weddings for polygamists, but it isn't a violation of religious liberty for the state to refuse to register multiple marriage licenses for a polygamist.    It's only a violation of religious liberty when the state prohibits those religious weddings, as Utah tried to do recently:
      http://jonathanturley.org/...

  •  Papal infallibility works when logic fails (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sfbob

    The Catholic church knows the answer before it knows the question. Papal infallibility solves all those thorny problems that come up when this approach proves illogical.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 04:47:59 PM PST

  •  Fascinating. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites, cocinero, sfbob

    Despite their sanctimony, the bigots never had a lock on the religious argument.  However, this turning of the tables on the question of religious freedom is a happy surprise to me.

    -5.13,-5.64; If you gave [Jerry Falwell] an enema, you could bury him in a matchbox. -- Christopher Hitchens

    by gizmo59 on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 04:59:15 PM PST

  •  Thanks for sharing this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, sfbob

    with us.  Very interesting and enlightening.

    I appreciate the work you put into this.

  •  This argument could be extended (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sfbob, Ahianne

    nationally under the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment. Denying marriage equality denies the free exercise rights of churches to sanctify same-sex marriages. If it works under the CA constitution for Prop 8, maybe the reasoning can be extended to other states under the U.S. constitution. Other states also have similar provisions in their state constitutions.

  •  Nice read. Gladly T&R'd (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sfbob, Ahianne

    BTW, this would probably make someone an excellent sigline

    Fears that same-sex couples' marriages pose grave threats to religious liberty are not grounded in reality. -- Office of the City Attorney of the City and County of San Francisco

    You can't assassinate the character of any of modern conservative. You'd have to find where it was buried, dig it up, resurrect it, then kill it. And killing a zombie isn't really assassination, is it?

    by ontheleftcoast on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 09:18:40 PM PST

    •  As I've been reading the various briefs (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ahianne, ontheleftcoast

      I've run across some very simple and succinct and catchy statements such as that one.

      Two things keep occurring to me:

      1. The arguments made by the defenders of Prop 8 and their amici seem to be both repetitious and circular; there isn't much variety between one brief and another other than in terms of tone.

      2. By way of contrast, the briefs opposing Prop 8, whether they are from those contesting its legality or from the amici seem to be grounded in facts and to bring up different sorts of mutually supporting arguments. They also, perhaps because they are fact-based, seem very straightforward (or maybe I'm just prejudiced. Or maybe I'm prejudiced AND correct in my observations as well).

      I will be quite surprised if any of the arguments made in the actual hearing are given much credence by any of the justices who actually, you know, say stuff during hearings.

      One final thought does occur to me that is at least as pertinent to the DOMA case as to the Prop 8 case: Could it be that the attorneys on the "wrong" side know they have little ground to stand on? Could it be they are doing their best to present arguments with so little credibility in the hope of narrowing the scope of the rulings as much as possible?

  •  Religious opposition to same-sex marriage makes (0+ / 0-)

    sense only if the United States is, legally and constitutionally, a "Christian nation," especially in the restricted sense of the word "Christian" used by religious opponents.

    Well, it isn't a Christian nation. It's for everybody.

    Find out about my next big thing by reading my blog. Link is here: http://bettysrants.wordpress.com/2013/01/05/my-next-big-thing/

    by Kimball Cross on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 10:01:59 AM PST

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