Permalink to The Supreme Court Has Cheated Us All

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.

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Members have made 29 comments.

  1. Profile photo of BrentB67 Coolidge

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

    • #1
    • June 28, 2013 at 2:34 am
  2. Profile photo of Joe Escalante Contributor

    Let the civil rights lawsuits against the Catholic Church begin.

    • #2
    • June 28, 2013 at 4:01 am
  3. Profile photo of Commodore BTC Member

    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.

    • #3
    • June 28, 2013 at 4:37 am
  4. Profile photo of Pseudodionysius Member

    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

    • #4
    • June 28, 2013 at 5:25 am
  5. Profile photo of The Mugwump Inactive
    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.

    • #5
    • June 28, 2013 at 5:48 am
  6. Profile photo of Fake John/Jane Galt Member
    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.

    • #6
    • June 28, 2013 at 5:59 am
  7. Profile photo of The Dowager Jojo Member
    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?

    • #7
    • June 28, 2013 at 6:25 am
  8. Profile photo of KC Mulville Member

    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.

    • #8
    • June 28, 2013 at 7:08 am
  9. Profile photo of Essgee Member
    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.

    • #9
    • June 28, 2013 at 7:16 am
  10. Profile photo of Aaron Miller Member

    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.

    • #10
    • June 28, 2013 at 7:19 am
  11. Profile photo of Salamandyr Inactive

    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.

     

    • #11
    • June 28, 2013 at 7:21 am
  12. Profile photo of Mollie Hemingway Contributor
    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!

    • #12
    • June 28, 2013 at 7:23 am
  13. Profile photo of Keith Preston Member

    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.

    • #13
    • June 28, 2013 at 8:13 am
  14. Profile photo of GKC Member
    GKC

    Winter is coming . . . 

    • #14
    • June 28, 2013 at 8:14 am
  15. Profile photo of Duane Oyen Member
    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.

    • #15
    • June 28, 2013 at 9:17 am
  16. Profile photo of Plato's Retweet Inactive

    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.

    • #16
    • June 28, 2013 at 9:27 am
  17. Profile photo of Bob Wainwright Member

    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.

    • #17
    • June 28, 2013 at 9:50 am
  18. Profile photo of Rawls Inactive
    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.

    • #18
    • June 28, 2013 at 10:11 am
  19. Profile photo of Steven Drexler Inactive

    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.

    • #20
    • June 28, 2013 at 10:21 am
  20. Profile photo of Essgee Member

    We have become so “tolerant” that we are able to call the majority of people the world over, for most of time, bigots and then use that as a justification for reversing the definition of what marriage should be.

    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.

    Enter the secondary–soon it became primary–case of same-sex marriage which shouldn’t have really been the crux of the case. And now you have thrown out the baby with the bigoted bath water. And you have essentially invalidated a law that the people created through their representatives because of an unfair tax liability. 

    Scalia sees the handwriting on the wall…and it looks grim for the people.

    • #21
    • June 28, 2013 at 10:22 am
  21. Profile photo of Rawls Inactive
    Peter Robinson

    Justice Scalia, concluding:

    […] 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.

    Peter, the 1996 House Judiciary Committee report on DOMA stated:

    “Congress decided to reflect and honor of collective moral judgment and to express moral disapproval of homosexuality.”

    I do agree that the case could have been decided on federalism grounds alone, but the motives of the original legislation are relevant to this case and future SSM cases that everyone, including the 9 justices, know are inevitable.

    Scalia makes it sound like federalism wasn’t addressed at all in the majority opinion, but it was actually the first thing discussed.

    • #22
    • June 28, 2013 at 10:24 am
  22. Profile photo of Rawls Inactive
    Joe Escalante: Let the civil rights lawsuits against the Catholic Church begin.

    The Catholic Church will only have to honor gay ceremonies insofar as they have to honor heterosexual Muslim or Buddhist ceremonies, which is to say, it will depend on the commercial status of a given church hall or service.

    • #23
    • June 28, 2013 at 10:28 am
  23. Profile photo of SEnkey Member
    Salamandyr: 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…

    The end result of this case is correct. It’s in state hands… Either we are for states rights or we aren’t.

    I think there is an argument under federalism that allows the states and the national government to each have their own definition of marriage. For tax purposes definitions of write offs, revenue, inheritance, etc, can vary state to state and federally. If the whole purpose of SSM is equality under the law, how is it any different? The federal government can define marriage for its use, and the states can define it for their use. Neither should be subjected to the definition of the other. State legislatures should not determine how Federal tax law is applied, nor the other way around. I am for the states, and federalism. 

    I think your argument has merit, but their are other ways of thinking about it. 

    • #24
    • June 28, 2013 at 10:31 am
  24. Profile photo of Fake John/Jane Galt Member

    We need to get rid of the legislature, the executive and the voters And just let SCOTUS make up the laws the way it wishes, it would be cheaper and have the same result.

    • #25
    • June 28, 2013 at 10:41 am
  25. Profile photo of Joseph Stanko Member
    Peter Robinson

    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.

    The real irony is that the SSM side appeared to be on the verge of an honest victory. If they ran another ballot initiative to repeal Prop 8 in the next statewide election it would almost certainly win, and they would then have the validation of a clear majority of the voters endorsing their position.

    • #26
    • June 28, 2013 at 10:50 am
  26. Profile photo of Joseph Stanko Member
    Fake John Galt: We need to get rid of the legislature, the executive and the voters And just let SCOTUS make up the laws the way it wishes, it would be cheaper and have the same result. · 8 minutes ago

    Since we won’t have a President to nominate any new justices, nor a Senate to confirm them, we might as well make seats on the Court hereditary.

    While we’re at it, get rid of the the 4 liberal and 4 conservative justices, they usually cancel each other out anyway. Let’s just crown His Royal Highness Anthony Kennedy I and drop all the pretense.

    • #27
    • June 28, 2013 at 10:57 am
  27. Profile photo of Cornelius Julius Sebastian Thatcher

    Scalia magisterius est.

    • #28
    • June 28, 2013 at 11:44 am
  28. Profile photo of MJBubba Member
    #22 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. 

    If each state gets to define marriage, then the 10th Amendment will require each state to honor marriages performed in other states. We will have national homosexual “marriage” forced on us all by the end of next year’s Supreme Court term.

    As a bitter clinger, I am becoming really actually bitter.

    • #29
    • June 29, 2013 at 6:24 am