Jun 26, 2015

Marriage Equality Wins at Supreme Court

"They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law."
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy

Who told Gov. Scott Walker he knows enough about the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution to offer an opinion on the marriage equality decision, Obergefell v. Hodges?


Maybe, but Walker is emitting nonsense for the lowest of the low-low-information voters who congregate at Republican functions and vote in Republican primaries.

Walker said the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges is making a "grave mistake" (Spicuzza, Marley and Vielmetti of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) (Jessie Opoien, The Capital Times), omitting his reasoning.

One wishes a reporter could ask, 'Hey, Gov, can you more specific on the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clause in Fourteenth Amendment and how they apply to Obergefell v. Hodges, this is making history?'

No big champion nor curious student of the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clause is Scott Walker. Fortunately, for American liberty, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy is:
Justice Kennedy writing for the majority (5-4) in Obergefell notes: "III - Under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, no State shall 'deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.'  The fundamental liberties protected by this Clause include most of the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights. In addition these liberties extend to certain personal choices central to individual dignity and autonomy, including intimate choices that define personal identity and beliefs."

The identification and protection of fundamental rights is an enduring part of the judicial duty to interpret the Constitution. That responsibility, however, 'has not been reduced to any formula.' Rather, it requires courts to exercise reasoned judgment in identifying interests of the person so fundamental that the State must accord them its respect. (Case citations omitted)" (p.10) ...

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family.  In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.
The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.
It is so ordered. (p.28)

Walker should look to his betters for guidance on the Court and to Wisconsin's congressional delegation:

U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan of Madison, who has been in a same-sex marriage for years, said, "Today, the Supreme Court has reaffirmed what a majority of Americans already know: all couples should have the right to marry, regardless of who they love. This a historic step forward toward fulfilling the promise of equality for all Americans."

And U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Madison, who is also gay, said, "Love is love, family is family, and discriminating against anyone's love, against anyone's family, is simply wrong. America can proudly say that discrimination doesn't just violate our values — it violates our Constitution. And now we can proudly say that marriage equality will be the law of the land." (Spicuzza, Marley and Vielmetti of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

Happiness - from the ACLU
It would be amusing to follow Walker's reasoning regarding the "grave" mistake the Court made. Can you feel your most intimate relationship falling apart under the crushing weight of gay people marrying

Better to revisit Judge Richard Posner's (United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit) opinion last September affirming U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb's June 2014 opinion and order in Wolf v. Scott Walker striking down one of Walker's many forays into foolishness. (Mal Contends)

Today's lede editorial in the New York Times inspires. See also SCOTUSBlog, The Atlantic, Slate, and the New York Times as celebrations continue across the country.

The President Speaks on the Supreme Court’s Decision on Marriage Equality (June 26, 2015)

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