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The Supreme Court Has Cheated Us All

Justice Scalia, concluding:

Few public controversies touch an institution so central to the lives of so many, and few inspire such attendant passion by good people on all sides.  Few public controversies will ever demonstrate so vividly the beauty of what our Framers gave us, a gift the Court pawns today to buy its stolen moment in the spotlight: a system of government that permits us to rule ourselves….

Some will rejoice in today’s decision, and some will despair at it; that is the nature of a controversy that matters so much to so many.  But the Court has cheated both sides, robbing the winners of an honest victory, and the losers of the peace that comes from a fair defeat.  We owed both of them better.

I dissent.

  1. BrentB67

    When the republic collapses under its own weight Justice Scalia’s dissent will be a key point in the answer to the question Why.

  2. Joe Escalante
    C

    Let the civil rights lawsuits against the Catholic Church begin.

  3. Butters

    I take little solace in the brilliance of Scalia’s dissent.

    99.9% of the populace think five people approve of gay marriage, and four people disapprove.  Completely ignorant of how our civic institutions are supposed to work.

  4. Pseudodionysius

    benedict-CARDINAL-RATZINGER.jpg

    We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and desires.

    Homily of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Dean of the College of Cardinals, Mass for the Election of the Supreme Pontiff, St. Peter’s Basilica, 18 April 2005

  5. The Mugwump
    Joe Escalante: Let the civil rights lawsuits against the Catholic Church begin. · 1 hour ago

    Not just the Catholic Church, but any institution based on traditional Judeo-Christian morality.  The assault on American culture continues apace.  Much mischief this way comes, and it won’t be pretty.  Deep in the heart of every progressive there lurks a nihilist.       

  6. Fake John Galt
    Joe Escalante: Let the civil rights lawsuits against the Catholic Church begin. · 1 hour ago

    Surely you jest.  There is no way they will stop at civil rights lawsuits.  Before it is over there will be criminal trials too.

  7. Jojo
    Essgee: The case should have actually focused upon the right of someone to leave their estate to another without the state confiscating more from them then for another person who just happened to be married. 

    This was wrong.  There should be no preferences.  Of course, when established, there might have been a compelling case to give tax breaks to married couples to encourage marriage (almost like affirmative action) but in truth, it was unfair from the start.

    You’re the first I’ve seen articulate this line of thinking which had been starting to form in my head.  (I’m sure someone somewhere has gone into it.) Birth control and women’s liberation really did change the conditions on which most marriage laws were predicated.  The laws should be changed, probably to make preferences more child-based instead of marriage-based.  It would be difficult for many reasons, including that the rules would be changing on couples in “midstream”, but the right thing to do.  Instead the injustice created by outdated laws left an opening to drive gay marriage through.  But if gay couples can get legal benefits, there’s an obvious injustice perpetrated on single people.  So now what?

  8. KC Mulville

    Basing decisions on assumed motivations crosses a very dangerous line. It’s the same line as “hate speech” legislation.

    It means that we’re no longer analyzing the strict words of the law (which are objective), but we’ve crossed into one person’s subjective view of someone else’s subjective view. Once you transfer away from objectivity to subjectivity, nothing can compel you back … except power.

    Pseud is exactly right … it all becomes relative, and in that environment, the only thing that matters is power.

  9. Essgee
    Jojo.    But if gay couples can get legal benefits, there’s an obvious injustice perpetrated on single people. So now what? · 18 minutes ago

    It never fails…if you ignore the source of the problem, it doesn’t go away.  Co-inhabiting adults of the opposite sex don’t get the benefit either.  Why should you not be able to visit someone in the hospital because you fail to have “legal” proof of a relationship? True freedom would allow the individual to make those decisions, not the state.

    Again the law was flawed and should have been corrected before it was used to correct something so narrow in scope that it metastasized to encompass so much more. (remember that the meaning of is is not limited to the meaning of is)

    Then again, you must understand this is the ramblings of a bigot. 

    This immigration bill is the same…never corrected at the source.  Now that the immigration bill has been passed in the Senate, there is an opportunity for the Senators to actually read it and catch up. 

    And yup, it is apparent that I am a bigot in this situation as well.

  10. Aaron Miller

    It doesn’t matter much in the long term. If we can’t even agree on basic identification of the most primitive, most fundamental and most influential social relationship in the long history of humanity, this society is dead on its feet.

  11. Salamandyr

    I’m in the unusual case that I disagree with both Scalia and the majority.  Section 2 of DOMA was unconstitutional, but on 10th Amendment grounds, not 5th.  States can define marriage in any way they wish, and the federal government has no right to have a say in the matter.  If a state wants gay marriage, the federal government has to respect that.    So I think Scalia is wrong, and I think the majority came to the right conclusion even though they were wrong every step of the way getting there.

    The end result of this case is correct.  It’s in state hands.  Conservatives do themselves no favors by fighting that.   It just makes us look like hypocrites.  Either we are for states rights or we aren’t. All we are going to do is alienate potential allies.

     

  12. Mollie Hemingway
    C
    KC Mulville: Basing decisions on assumed motivations crosses a very dangerous line. It’s the same line as “hate speech” legislation.

    It means that we’re no longer analyzing the strict words of the law (which are objective), but we’ve crossed into one person’s subjective view of someone else’s subjective view. Once you transfer away from objectivity to subjectivity, nothing can compel you back … except power.

    Pseud is exactly right … it all becomes relative, and in that environment, the only thing that matters is power. · 14 minutes ago

    And good morning to you, too, KC!

  13. Keith Preston

    I am an alum of an educational institution whose motto is, “as ye sow, so shall ye reap.”

    What will happen when the people pass a referendum and the REPUBLICAN governor/legislature decides not to enforce it.

    The slippery slope has become a cliff.

  14. GKC

    Winter is coming . . . 

  15. Duane Oyen
    Joe Escalante: Let the civil rights lawsuits against the Catholic Church begin. · 5 hours ago

    And, interestingly, Kennedy will probably then come down on the side of the church, using some sort of tortured logic to make his distinction.

  16. Plato

    The power dynamic at play will not be state-by-state. SSM loses in the “quiet states,” but the Supreme Court majority responds to the “chattering classes” in the large states which control the national media.

    The only way to salvage traditional marriage as the only marriage would be (or would have been) pushing a federal constitutional amendment.

    If the leaders of the traditional marriage movement were media savvy contingency planners, they would have prepared to launch a national Amend movement in the wake of the publicity of this week’s court decision.

    This, after all, is what SSM pioneers did after Lawrence v. Texas, piggybacking the tangentially-related and then unpopular SSM idea into the media momentum stream.

    There are only two ways to beat Arrogant Anthony Kennedy: gather five Justices, or amend the constitution.

  17. Bob Wainwright

    Isn’t there a  silver lining to the DOMA decision?  It’s premise seems to be that it’s up to states to define marriage, and that federal law (in this case the federal benefits issue) must honor that defintion.   That would seem to rule out an attempt to force states to redefine marriage. 

    I haven’t read the decision but that was what I took from the coverage. 

    I can’t decide if Roberts is one of these “conservatives” who loves to be loved by liberals, like David Brooks, or if his decisions are motivated by real conviction.  

  18. Rawls
    Salamandyr: I’m in the unusual case that I disagree with both Scalia and the majority.  Section 2 of DOMA was unconstitutional, but on 10th Amendment grounds, not 5th.  States can define marriage in any way they wish, and the federal government has no right to have a say in the matter.  If a state wants gay marriage, the federal government has to respect that.    So I think Scalia is wrong, and I think the majority came to the right conclusion even though they were wrong every step of the way getting there.

    The end result of this case is correct.  It’s in state hands.  Conservatives do themselves no favors by fighting that.   It just makes us look like hypocrites.  Either we are for states rights or we aren’t.

    All we are going to do is alienate potential allies.

    I could not agree more.

    I would also add that eventually another Prop8-style challenge will make it to the SC, and be struck down on equal protection grounds, which would be both procedurally correct and correct on the merits. Conservatives never stood much of a chance of winning the ultimate battle, which is a rational basis battle.

  19. SEnkey
    Joe Escalante: Let the civil rights lawsuits against the Catholic Church begin. · 5 hours ago

    And the Mormons, and the Evangelists, and the Methodists, speaking of which…

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/deaconsbench/2013/06/will-churches-be-sued-over-gay-marriage-its-already-happened-and-a-judge-ruled-church-teaching-irrelevant/

  20. Steven Drexler

    Scalia’s dissent should be taught in schools. The part that precedes this quote is especially trenchant: rebuking the court for buying into the demonization of marriage traditionalists. I’m particularly disappointed in Chief Justice Roberts, but I won’t be disappointed any more, as my expectations are properly calibrated now.

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