SCOTUS Amends the Declaration of Independence
Thomas Jefferson, call your office. Five lawyers on the Supreme Court have issues with your handiwork.
For those who think those rulings are merely about an insignificant "social issue," think again. In the words of the Prophet Isaiah:
"Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far off. For truth has stumbled in the public square, and honesty cannot enter. Truth is missing, and whoever turns from evil is plundered."
For starters, Mr. Jefferson, "appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions," even when it comes to marriage created by our "Creator" is so 1776.
You and your 55 cosignors of the Declaration didn't get this line right either:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
So five wise guys and gals, not to be confused with Solomon, tweaked it, finding their inspiration in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Their revised standard version reads:
"We hold these delusions to be pretty darn clear that all people are whatever the heck they self-identify as, regardless of biology or DNA, endowed by their Supreme Judges with life, except, of course, for the unborn; liberty, meaning "the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life," as long as it doesn't offend the moral judgment of the Supreme Judges whose moral judgments trump those of their Subjects."
Justice Anthony ("Swinging") Kennedy wrote the incoherent majority opinion in Windsor, throwing out Section 3 of DOMA. That section defines the term "marriage" as one man and one woman "for all purposes under federal law, including the provision of federal benefits."
Kennedy, armed with his irrational basis test and magic spectacles, found that DOMA violates the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment because it "singles out a class of persons deemed by a state entitled to recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty."
Thus, gay-enhancing states get to decide who gets federal benefits. If you can't connect the states' liberty dots to federal benefits, you obviously attended the wrong law school.
A supermajority of a bipartisan Congress enacted DOMA, which was signed into law by former President Bill Clinton in 1996. According to Kennedy, they were blinded by a desire to "demean," "harm," "injure," and "degrade" "same-sex couples" who were "married" somewhere.
It was a banner day for Kennedy and his chutzpah cabal. Where did Congress get the idea that it can decide who gets federal benefits?
Follow along here and imagine the shelf-life of an immigration reform bill that denies federal benefits to illegal aliens once the "animus" detectors get their hands on it.
As Martin ("First, they came for") Niemoller warned, the feds should have seen it coming. First, Kennedy came for the Coloradans (Romer v. Evans, striking down a state constitutional amendment limiting special civil rights protections). Then he came for the Texans (Lawrence v. Texas, constitutionalizing consensual same-sex sodomy). Now he's come for Congress and a President.
So who is left to stop him when he comes for you?
According to Kennedy, all were driven by nothing other than animus. That would include President Obama, who was against "gay marriage" after he was for it, and Hillary Clinton, who was against it before she was for it, after Obama was for it. Hubby Bill is tickled pink (by whom is unclear).
The Perry case concerns a California ballot initiative, Proposition 8, by which voters added language to the California Constitution defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The Court avoided ruling on the merits. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion, which was joined by Justice Antonin Scalia. The California Supreme Court had granted standing to the intervenors to appeal a federal district court ruling declaring Prop 8 unconstitutional after Gov. Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown and the attorney general refused to defend Prop 8.
Even so, Roberts held that the interveners lacked standing to bring the appeal under Article III, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution.
Justice Kennedy dissented, arguing that the people of California had a right to a hearing before the Court. Take it by faith -- Kennedy wanted his animus-obsessed hands on Prop 8.
What the ruling accomplished is the opportunity for more losing litigation by advocates of traditional marriage. We the People of the states are virtually denied the right to defend in federal courts the laws we enact through the initiative/referenda process if state officials refuse to do so. Even a win for traditional marriage in the highest state court will lose in the current Supreme Court.
Justice Scalia's dissenting opinion in Windsor unmistakably sounds the death knell for the right of self-rule enshrined in the Declaration and Constitution:
"By formally declaring anyone opposed to same-sex marriage an enemy of human decency, the majority arms well every challenger to a state law restricting marriage to its traditional definition."
Jan LaRue is senior legal analyst with the American Civil Rights Union.