Supreme Court Dumps DOMA; Tosses Prop 8

Supreme Court Dumps DOMA; Tosses Prop 8 June 26, 2013


The Supreme Court said that the Federal Defense of Marriage Act is not Constitutional. It also held that the proponents of Proposition 8 did not have merits, which means they tossed the appeal and Prop 8 along with it.

A spokesman for gay marriage advocates said after the decision was handed down that this ruling effectively legalizes gay marriage throughout the United States. What it does by essentially remanding Prop 8 is let a California court ruling legalizing gay marriage stand. In the case of DOMA, it tosses the question of how to define marriage back to the states.

In actual practice, there are big unanswered questions about how the federal government and its many interventions into state government will be affected by this ruling. It think it will call a lot of things into question as they pertain to married couples and children in the various states.

It is no exaggeration to say that this a landmark ruling. I need time to read the decisions and think it through before I say more.

For that reason, I am going to hold off analysis for a while.

Feel free to comment below, but do it in a way that does not attack other people.


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129 responses to “Supreme Court Dumps DOMA; Tosses Prop 8”

  1. The grounds on which the court struck down Prop 8 are very troubling to me. Apparently, “the people of California” have no standing. Only the Governor of California (or the Lt. Gov) had standing to bring the case, according to the court.

    Amazingly, I think I am as troubled by that as by the actual ruling. With this, the NSA’s Big-Brother imitation, our financial woes, etc., the USA is now in critical condition, and it’s only a matter of time now. Good night, civilization. Those who are in Christ, let your lives shine. The sun is setting.

    • Oh come on, Dave. We are not any worse off today than we were yesterday at this time. Wait. We are. But that is just by the amount the deficit has increased since yesterday. It’s the economy, stupid. All the rest of this stuff is just so much noise.

    • At the very least, it is the first time in 238 years that the USA legislative system is more authoritarian and tyrannical than almost any European country. At this point, you must place your hope in places like France.

      • This was the Supreme Court, not the legislature. And there is nothing tyrannical about the ruling. It is liberating.

        • Like Dred Scott, liberating bad men to do bad things. And I don’t mean only the assault on sense and physical humanity, but also such things as the discovery that the people of California “had no standing” to propose their own laws. When you find yourself oppressed by some official crime, think of that assault on the right to petition for redress, and kick yourself: you will have deserved it.

          • “When you find yourself oppressed by some official crime, think of that assault on the right to petition for redress, and kick yourself: you will have deserved it.”

            I’m not getting what you are saying. What is it about these decisions that you find to be oppressive?

            • Oh, get lost. I said it in so many words. You are not “not getting” anything, you are playing little-boy-lost to imply that my point is abstruse, exoteric and absurd rather than obvious.

            • Stop playing the wide-eyed innocent. You get it perfectly well, only you think it’s a good idea that an elected officer should violate her mandate and insult her electors. So, when that happens to you – and it will – you will have nothing to complain about.

            • You know PERFECTLY WELL what I mean. It’s just that when the law is abused to make your side win, it doesn’t matter to you. After all, it’s not as though you ever had to rely on the law when you are on the side of the winners and certain of their benevolence.

          • Under Dred Scott, a man had his rights taken away and he was forced to endure slavery. What person is forced to endure ANYTHING as a result of yesterdays court hearings?

        • Don’t go. Stay away. It’s full of people who are not afraid of being called homophobes. You wouldn’t like it at all.

              • I’m sure she has been following events. She is a retired professional Ballet dancer. She has known both gay and heterosexual dancers in her career.

                • In other words, she has a lot of acquaintances in a narrow area. She does not sound as though she were likely to know the country mayor who is right now daring the government to jail him because he refuses to “marry” two gays in a classic staged request. Or the millions of ordinary people who support him.

      • How do you feel about Canada? It hasn’t gone down the tubes with their legalizing of same gender marriages. We aren’t going to hell due to this—really.

        • Canada has such a low birthrate that it is in danger of extinction without massive immigration. Which I don’t think is good for any society. Also, freedom of speech in Canada is scarily limited. And the French community, which can only be described as insane, is marching towrards literal self-annihilation, including euthanasia. But none of this matters to you, I guess.

          • Most countries in the world have sub-replacement birthrates or are heading there, without gay marriage being at all involved. Japan and Italy have led the way since before any country had gay marriage, and there’s no gay marriage in either country, how do you explain that? Nor is there any logic by which letting gays marry would cause heterosexual couples to have fewer children.

            If anything, by making it easier for gays to form legally sanctioned couples and families, gay marriage could increase the birthrate.

            • You mentioned that Italy has a low birth rate. Knew a teacher from Italy who was married to a professor here in the USA. During a conversation (in the Catholic school teacher’s room) one day about kids and how many folks had etc. and she mentioned that many Italian women used birth control, and this is in a country that is supposed to be mostly Catholic and also the country that the Pope lives in. Apparently having the head of the Catholic church in Italy doesn’t mean following the Church’s teachings on that particular item.

          • Many countries have low birth rates, partly due to the fact that couples have waited until later to have children, or choose not to at all—their right. The world will not run out of human beings.

            • Keep to the point. You did not ask about the world, you asked about Canada. And Canada is committing suicide,especially the French part. It’s interesting how, when “progressives” are answered on what they thought was a great unanswerable argument-winning line, they suddenly go off on some irrelevant side issue.

              • Your implication is that Canada is committing suicide by legalizing gay marriage, when sub-replacement birth rates are a pre-existing condition that came before such legalization. Your ‘answer’ would reverse cause and effect were there any causal connection between them, and truly is something totally orthogonal to gay marriage.

    • To quote SCOTUSblog and the ruling.

      Because “the District Court had not ordered them to do or refrain from doing anything,” the proposition backers “had no direct stake in the outcome of their appeal.” “No matter how deeply committed petitioners may be to upholding Proposition 8 or how ‘zealous [their] advocacy,” post, at 4 (KENNEDY, J., dissenting), that is not a ‘particularized’ interest sufficient to create a case or controversy under Article III.”

      Their reasoning was that you can only bring a case to appeal or court if you have been directly harmed by the law. This is the same idea that prevents ACLU from simply suing any school or group that holds a prayer. They have to find someone in the school that is harmed by the prayer first.

      If it could be shown that the group who brought the case was directly harmed by the repeal of the proposition they would then have standing

      • The same self-deluded person as before, who does not see tyranny even as it is closing in. Well, I wish you a happy career in the revolutionary state.

      • Riddle me this, then: how could one show that they are directly harmed by a law allowing same-sex marriage? Obviously 51% (or whatever) of the California voters thought that same-sex marriage was harmful to society (and thus the individuals comprising society), or they wouldn’t have voted to ban it.

        On those grounds, it would be impossible to restrict marriage at all. How does it directly harm YOU, for example, if I decide to marry (1) a goat, (2) three women, two men, and a raccoon, or (3) my favorite drinking glass? Sometimes all this legal jargon makes people so stupid, they can’t see the forest for the trees.

    • That is the most profoundly stupid statement you have made in your entire life; not because I know anything about your life, but because it is literally impossible that a human being could say anything stupider. And since history is a harsh and brutally sarcastic judge, I predict that you will find out on your own hide before long. A decision that reverses the normal understanding of sex and marriage, that denies the public any standing in the matter, and that opens the road to tyranny against all the main religions? The only way this could not hurt you is if your profession was prison guards, in which case it will multiply your professional opportunities.

        • Upset? Please use suitable vocabulary. I am furious, fighting mad, insulted, and extremely pessimistic. You sit there with a happy smile while your very being is redefined under your eyes by a gaggle of corrupt judges whose motives would never stand scrutiny, and whose reasoning reeks of bribery and insanity. If you had the least idea what rewriting the idea of human beings does to societies, you would be quivering. But since you have won in a petty and miserable political arena, the price paid in terms of relating to the basis of your being does not bother you at all. Reason, after all, is only a tool to get what your party wants, and other than that it has no particular purpose or interest.

          • You forgot bitter.

            I haven’t won anything personally as I am not gay and don’t think any of my children are gay.

            I’m sorry that my opinion that every human being is equal is so offensive to you.

            • Being a member of a party does not necessarily entail direct advantage. Most Nazis did not beat up Jews or loot their property. It was still advantageous to be a Nazi.

            • As for your provocation about equality, you have never in your life stopped to think about what it means,and it is too late now. If Jefferson in person stopped to tell you that you have got him and Tom Paine wrong, you would only react by adding Jefferson and Paine to your “little list” of haters and homophobes. And you would do so cheerfully and unthinkingly.

              • I love how you “know” all this about me based on a handful of comments. I agree with the other poster saying keep it up because you are getting more ridiculous each time you post.

          • It is kind of amusing seeing all the happy gays hugging and kissing and comparing that to your reaction. It is way over the top.

            • I know gays who regard this as a catastrophe for civilization. But as they think with their own brain instead than with the hive mind, you would not consider them proper gays.

          • 12 years of gay marriage in the Netherlands. 10 in Belgium. What has “rewriting the idea of human beings” done to those societies?

            • They have introduced the mass murder of the old and sick, now including children. The euthanasia numbers in those countries are sickening. The Dutch and Belgian idea of how to thank an old or sick person for all they have done in their lives is to murder them. Anyone who regards the Low Countries as patterns of anything except murder has got it wrong, or else loves murder for its own sake.

      • Fabio,

        I don’t know how your comments get through and many of mine don’t.

        “opens the road to tyranny against all the main religions?”

        Please! Religions should stop judging anyone outside of those religions. If you become part of a certain religion, then you open yourself up to constructive criticism from the teachers of that religion. Otherwise, religions should back off.

        • The main religions include the vast majority of the population. I dare say you feel happy at the thought, but it means that 80% at least of your fellow-countrymen are under direct threat. What I can’t understand is this ridiculous habit of you atheists of speaking as though people outside your own religion were a small and fading minority.

        • But we don’t count. The victors believe that we have no right or reason to think as we do, and since our views are pathological, they would be in the right to force a cure on us.

          • Where are the Dutch, Belgian, and Spanish re-education camps? The Canadian ones?

            It’s not that you don’t count, it’s that you’re expressing paranoid delusions with no basis in reality.

        • I will make you this promise. I agree with the content of the case. I also hope that one day every state will vote to allow same sex marriage. I am also a pacifist. However if what you fear actually happens. I will stand and fight with you, no matter how paranoid you seem to be.

          • I long ago figured out that fighting the government is impossible at best. Should they come to my door, I shall go meekly and in prayer.

            A 6.5 mm WW-II era bolt-action rifle is no match for a tank.

          • I don’t believe you; not even because I think you are consciously lying, but because I don’t believe that your motives would stand up to real pressure. When it happens, you will find an excuse to opt out. I have a little bit of experience with being in unpopular positions and in conflict with the authorities, and I have never known anyone to take your position and mean it. People like you always end up discovering some character flaw or unrighteous act which means that people like me really deserve what is being done to them.

        • Theodore, if life here is soooo bad, and I do not mean to be rude or flip— but there are other countries you could move to that might make you happier.

          • No, actually, there are not. Sexual libertines are very busy forcing homosexuality, euthanasia, contraception, and abortion on the third world as well; part and parcel with the fiscal libertines seeking rent in the third world. Libertineism is a world wide menace, it is not confined to the United States of America.

    • Prepare the concentration camps! All Christian ministers who refuse to “marry” homosexuals will require someplace like Guantanamo to put them, after all.

      • You can’t be arrested for refusing to perform a wedding ceremony. If you are a public servant and it is your job to perform civil marriages, you should not have that job if you can’t perform it for everyone. But that has nothing to do with Churches, which are protected under the First Amendment.

        • Are you seriously saying that the administration that set up the Prism abomination has the least respect for the First Amendment? Or that the Republicans do, for that matter?

          • It just seems that the negative reactions to today’s decisions border on hysteria. What do heterosexuals have to fear?

            • Heterosexuals who toe the party line? Nothing. Hetero and homosexuals who don’t (and there are plenty)? Nothing more than persecution, personal ruination, exclusion from any kind of public career, and a general suggestion that people like us shouldn’t exist.

              • First off, please do not confuse criticism with persecution. Just because people find your opinion objectionable does not mean you are not allowed to have it. Also in the same way that churches can refuse to marry an interracial couple on religious grounds, they will be able to refuse to marry a same sex couple. That church might be criticized by the general public, but they can still hold their position. The cultural aspect of this issue is separate from the legal aspect. A person can say in public or a church that he is against interracial marriage, he just cannot expect to say that and be free from criticism.

                • And pigs fly. I refuse to debate someone who is so obviously out to lunch. Within one year, you will have the first show trials being ran before complacent judges in places like Oregon; then the same body of judicial hit-men who have just passed the abomination will rule that, under the equal credit and equal treatment clauses, the churches have no right to refuse to offer a service (marriage) that is legal in the country. This will happen, and you are a purblind idiot.

                  • Has what you’re claiming happened in any of the 15 countries with gay marriage? I mean, the Netherlands have had gay marriage since 2001. That’s 12 years. Where are the show trials? The churches forced to perform marriages?

                  • “Within one year, you will have the first show trials being ran before complacent judges in places like Oregon”

                    Ooh, a specific prediction! Can I hold you to that? Check in on June 28, 2014, and one of us will admit being wrong? It’d be good material for a bet, even.

      • Really Fabio? Concentration camps? No church is required to marry anyone they don’t want to marry. My daughter has had 2 (heterosexual)couples, raised Catholic, who wished to marry in the Church. The priest(s) refused to do so because they had lived together. One couple was refused because she was pregnant. So, no law (and I don’t expect one) says any religion HAS to marry anyone they find doesn’t meet their “qualifications”. To counter the 2 couples that were refused, I have known 1 couple who was married in the Church, and they had lived together. Think it must depend on the priest, huh? .

            • Theodore, doesn’t it make more sense to have a couple marry in the Church, even if they have “lived” together prior to their marrying? IMO this tends to NOT turn the couple off the Church, but may help keep them in the faith. The couples who were refused totally left the Church—if they went somewhere else, I don’t know. The couples were friends of my daughter.

              • “Theodore, doesn’t it make more sense to have a couple marry in the Church, even if they have “lived” together prior to their marrying? ”

                No, actually, it doesn’t. My wife and I spent an extra $6000 on her rent before our wedding, specifically because we wanted to send a message to ourselves about our possibility of divorce- that we were willing to put up with having more concern for the other person’s soul, than selfish concern for our bank account.

                I don’t understand why our society has chosen to lie to children about this whole “living together” business. but it is part and parcel with how our society treats the rest of sexuality: as a completely frivolous recreation that has NOTHING to do with procreating the species. So it’s just a part of the bigger lie. Respect and commitment are frowned upon, and the idea of self sacrificial love, denying yourself for the good of another person, is non-existent.

                Not living together before marriage, is vital training for marriage. Couples that don’t have it, are not prepared to be married- because they haven’t learned to be selfless yet.

      • I concur with your sentiments by the total lack of interest on the part of politicians and media pundits on the effect this will actually have upon the relationship of church and state vis a vis ministerial official witness authority upon essentially secular licenses. If the language becomes official, ie. “partnership” is now “marriage, ” does anyone actually believe that some Catholic same sex couples, license in hand, will dare to go where no others have gone before, and to challenge the Church on civil rights ground? If they do it to the florist, the baker and the candle stick maker, it’s ridiculous to assume that someone will want to fracture this last sacrosanct glass ceiling. And the sad reality is that this is also a very convenient addition to the ways and means the federal government can gain further access into the private rights of churches and religious institutions.

        This reality also forces non-involved members of our Church and others to tacitly recognize SS marriage as (sacramentally) valid in the public arena. I would prefer SCOTUS not tread upon my rights of free expression.

  2. I’m not a lawyer so i’ll wait for Hugh Hewitt to explain all the ramifications, but it does suggest to me it does effectively make gay marriage the law of the land. Between those two rulings i don’t see how any state can prevent gay marriage and be constitutional. I think the issue is completely lost. This was more sweeping than I thought it would be. What a sad day.

      • As it did on September 1, 1939. Or on March 7, 1857 – the last time the Supreme Court showed such uncorrupt brilliancy and such understanding of the spirit of the laws.

        • Let’s get this straight. Gay marriage is not a means of controlling the population, as is birth control. You can stop worrying about there not being enough people in the world if gays marry one another. They weren’t going to have kids anyway and they very well may have them through the methods available to them, especially if they are married with the associated benefits.

    • I don’t think that’s necessarily true. I think Prop 8 was thrown out for lack of standing. So I don’t think that it necessarily means gay marriage will become the law of the land.

  3. I said that the fix was in long ago. I could smell it. And because of the mistaken notion that judges are more honourable than other people, we shall probably never know how this abomination has been perpetrated.

  4. My quick read of some summaries of the opinions leave me confused. On the one hand, the SCOTUS seems to say that the federal government does not define marriage, the states do. But then Prop 8 was passed by the state of California, but later deemed unconstitutional by the circuit court. Meanwhile, the government of California refused to enforce Prop 8. Also, what is looming is this: if the federal government would discriminate should it not recognize same sex marriages with respect to federal programs (this was part of the majority opinion), does it not also follow that various states that as of yet do not recognize same sex marriages also discriminate? And what of private individuals and institutions?

    Basically, the entire ruling and the context in which it is given seems to both claim that the people at the state level can define marriage how they want, so long as they define it to include same sex marriage. And they have no recourse to this situation.

    I agree with Manny, this seems pretty broad, and the issue is now completely lost. The dominoes will fall quickly, All that remains to be seen is what few crumbs of protection are left for churches, church run institutions, and individuals.

    • “All that remains to be seen is what few crumbs of protection are left for churches, church run institutions, and individuals.”

      The answer to that will be none. ALL must submit to the fabulously dressed overlords.

      • I generally agree with you on this, unfortunately. I suspect that churches won’t be *forced* to perform same-sex marriages, at least for a while, to maintain a veneer of the first amendment protection of freedom of religion. But that’s about all, if that.

  5. The supreme court ruled and my life has gone on. There is laundry to fold, taking kids to choir practice and dinner to cook. I expect I’ll be doing the same thing tomorrow and the next.

    I’m more afraid of vitriolic comments on this blog than I am of being put into a concentration camp.

    • Why should you? You are a card-carrying member of the victorious party. Purges and in-fighting usually start later.

    • I agree, Sus_1—I will still be doing laundry, cleaning house, going to the store, etc. My life will not change, but fortunately it will change for the good for many folks.

  6. “What it does by essentially remanding Prop 8 is let a California court ruling legalizing gay marriage stand.”

    It lets a federal district court ruling that struck down Prop 8 stand, not a state-of-California court.

    • And the difference is? The people are disenfranchised either way, by a homosexual judge who did not even try to hide his bias and his intention to turn the trial into an opportunity to punish all the Prop 8 proponents, and by a beneath-vile state attorney who should be impeached, but never will.

      • Fabio, if President Lincoln had put the choice of keeping slavery or eliminating it, on the ballot, we’d sill have it!

        • Pagansister, the country did have a sort of referendum on the question of slavery. It was the 1860 Presidential election. Lincoln lost the popular vote and won the electoral vote. The rest, as they say, is history.

          • Remember, also, that he got more votes than any other candidate. He only “lost” the popular vote if by “lose” you mean less than fifty per cent. I think there is little doubt that even if America had a double ballot system, as in modern France, Lincoln would have been the last candidate left standing, since we may be sure that, faced with the collapse of the Union, Douglas would have instructed his voters to vote for the tall man, and so, probably, would the Constitutional Union people.

        • Read Agenor Gasperin’s contemporary account of the 1860 election, written by a man who knew and loved America and available free on Gutenberg. He viewed the election as an insurrection of the northern majority, long blackmailed and threatened by the South over – exactly – Slavery. What the election was, in his view, was the north saying to the south: all right, do your worst. You want to rebel? Just try it. You want war? We aren’t scared of you any more. The whole thing was exactly an election on the horror of slavery, and the losing party unleashed a civil war that destroyed it, because, like Injustice Kennedy, they were not willing to tolerate the results of a popular vote if it disagreed with them.

        • Incidentally, you just said that if the result of an election does not please you, you would rather not have the election.

            • “if President Lincoln had put the choice of keeping slavery or eliminating it, on the ballot, we’d sill have it!”
              That is, just as well that the issue was settled by the most murderous war in American history, rather than by a vote. And who says that, even if the Republicans had lost in 1860, there would not have been another and more decisive election? Part of the reasons why the South wanted war was that they could clearly see that the growth of the new West would soon relegate them to a restricted minority and destroy their ability to blackmail the nation. It was only a matter of time before slavery was voted out of existence.

      • I was just correcting the point of fact. No great significance, but it was a federal district court that got the last word via SCOTUS, not a state court.

        Why does the judge being homosexual matter? We don’t go around talking about heterosexual judges, even when they’re voting on gay rights that don’t affect them. Do female judges get to vote on women’s rights? They might be biased, after all.

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