Tuesday, March 26, 2013

To the Supremes!

If you're wondering why Facebook has gone red this week it's because the Supreme Court is hearing arguments on Prop 8 and marriage equality.

Let's hope SCOTUS can distinguish between privilege and equality. Even people close to me biologically have trouble understanding this is a civil issue and not some kind of "special rights".

One of the litigants in a case is Edie Windsor who had to pay estate taxes to the tune of $360K after the death of her partner of 44 years - money she wouldn't have to pay if her partner were a man. Or my friend Lavi Soloway who has for years been fighting to stop DOMA and deportation of same-sex partners with foreign-born partners. The fact I have never been able to  consider the option marrying my foreign born partners so they could stay in the USA. Consider the 1,138 rights and privileges granted by the government to married couples denied to some in the land of all men created equal.

We've changed the definition of marriage from trading two cows for your daughter to Loving vs Virginia which allowed blacks to marry whites, another issue that could not be solved when the majority was allowed to vote on the rights of a minority. That is not democracy, that's tyranny.

Let's hope this highly politicized high court (Scalia, are you kidding me?) honors a constitution whose framework allows for it to bend toward equality in the long arc of justice.


Tony said...

Based on some of audio clips of today's arguments and questions by the Court, I am not encouraged. I think they'll try to weasel out of ruling directly on the constitutionality of Prop 8, by dismissing the suit on the grounds that Hollingsworth, the anti-SSM plaintiff, has no standing to defend prop 8.That sends it back to CA, where after some more legal scuffling, SSM will be permitted there. Nothing about the rest of the country. God knows what hash they will make of the DOMA case tomorrow. Sigh.

Jesse Archer said...

As in.. chicken Supreme?

I guess we never know, they speculated the the health care ruling would go different than it did. We shall see ;)

Tony said...

I suppose the Court could surprise us by actually ruling on the merits. But if they do, logically even they realize they'll have to declare Prop 8 unconstitutional. But as Maureen Dowd points out in her NYT op-ed column today, they seem afraid to do so. Chicken Supreme for sure.
Nate Silver, the (gay) statistical genius who correctly predicted both Obama's wins, offers some consolation in his FiveThirtyEight column today. He analyzed the rate of positive change in public opinion on SSM, and predicts that by 2016 voters in 32 states would be willing to vote for SSM and by 2020, voters in 44 states would do so.
Justice Alito whined that "we do not have the ability to see the future." But as Dowd says, even if Alito "can't see into the future, most of America can."
It's so frustrating that justice is delayed by a "Justices" too timid to embrace it.