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Posts tagged ‘Supreme Court of the United States’

Marriage equality comes to the States

Yesterday, as everyone knows by now, marriage equality is now the law of the land everywhere in the United States. The final decision was a 5–4 ruling.

Hooray for the future and equal rights!

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DOMA gutted, Prop h8 overturned

Today has been a great day for homomentum, as SCOTUS has struck down part of the United States’ Defense of (heteronormative) Marriage Act and overturned California’s Proposition 8.

The guts of the first decision striking down part of the DOMA was that the federal government is not allowed to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation when it comes to providing the benefits of marriage. Proposition 8 was struck down on a technicality: standing.

Worst argument against marriage equality EVER

I think we should file this under the “You can’t make this up” category (emphasis added):

WASHINGTON — Marriage should be limited to unions of a man and a woman because they alone can “produce unplanned and unintended offspring,” opponents of gay marriage have told the Supreme Court.

By contrast, when same-sex couples decide to have children, “substantial advance planning is required,” said Paul D. Clement, a lawyer for House Republicans.

This unusual defense of traditional marriage was set out last week in a pair of opening legal briefs in the two gay marriage cases to be decided by the Supreme Court this spring.

This argument from shotgun wedding pretty much shows how opponents of marriage have no real arguments. That’s why they’ve come up with an argument that actually comes up with a reason to support same–sex marriage. Also juxtapose how many of those who oppose marriage equality also attack Planned Parenthood and seek to restrict access to abortion and contraception.

The apparently disturbing thing about this argument is that it has been used before and apparently accepted by some US court.

Via Lawyers, Guns, and Money.

Reactionary

A certain American reactionary suggests or implies that, according to him, women have no right to contraception.

This is probably the best reason to vote for Obama in the 2012 US Presidential election. Although he has been disastrous in other respects, when it comes to his Supreme Court nominees Obama has been fantastic. If the Republican nominee wins more reactionaries will be appointed, and they will be sure to roll back the rights of women and others.

Kagan now on SCOTUS

The United States Senate has just confirmed Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court of the United States. The vote was 63–37.

Can the next nominee be Pam Karlan? Please?

Safest bet ever

In what I am sure will not be a surprise to anyone, American President Obama has nominated Elena to replace John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court of the United States. I can’t say that I’m particularly thrilled with this news, as she is apparently big on executive power. I would have preferred Pam Karlan or Diane Wood.

When Kagan is (almost certainly) confirmed, it will mean that there will be three women– Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg– on SCOTUS simultaneously; the highest number of women (3 seats out of 9) ever.

Justice Stevens to retire?

CNN reports that Justice John Paul Stevens of the Supreme Court of the United States may be retiring soon, possibly at the end of this term. As Stevens has been rumoured to be imminently retiring for over a decade now, I think it’s prudent to wait until an official announcement.

But if he does retire, who will Barack Obama name as his replacement? An informal unscientific survey of the blogosphere indicates that the current Solicitor General of the United States, Elena Kagan, is the front–runner. Other possibilities include Pam Karlan, Kathleen Sullivan, and Justice Diane Wood.

Need I mention to Republican Senators that it is not worth it to filibuster Stevens’ replacement? It’s replacing one left–wing member of the court with another. This will not alter the ideological balance of the court.

There is one final bookend to this. Both Karlan and Sullivan are openly lesbian (cite). When you read Antonin Scalia’s dissent in Lawrence v. Texas, you should have no problem agreeing with Scott Lemieux’s view of him. It would be pleasantly ironic if Scalia is forced to work together with one (or two, if both Karlan and Sullivan end up on SCOTUS) LGBT individuals.

Update (2010–04–09): It’s official (via).

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