let freedom ring ... wait for who?

GOP-Appointed Judges Strike Another Blow For States’ Rights! (And Gayness)

Heroes fighting Big GovernmentSuck it, Taxachusetts libs! Some federal appellate judges appointed by America’s greatest presidents, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, just struck down a law signed by a Democrat president that puts the federal government’s nose where it doesn’t belong: in the business of the sovereign states that make up our nation. No matter how much you liberals want it to, Big Government can’t tell the states how they can run their business! Let’s see, what bit of liberty has been restored to the free states, from which all national power derives in accordance with the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, this time? Why, it’s the power to define marriage as the union between a dude … and … another dude? ABORT ABORT ABORT

Remember 1996, when liberal hero Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act, which meant that even if your state decided to recognize same-sex marriage, the feds wouldn’t? Well, that’s not right, said the three judges of the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over not one but two gay-marryin’ states (Massachusetts and New Hampshire). The states have defined marriage for themselves since times of yore, and so if you get gay-married in New Hampshire, you should also get gay-Social Security survivor benefits, can file your taxes gay-jointly, and can’t get gay-deported if you’re gay-married to a gay-American.

Of course, the possibility that you could be recognized as married in one state and not in another opens a horrifying can of equal-protection problems, and puts the federal government in a position of revoking your federal rights when you move from Massachusetts to Mississippi for some reason (suggestion: don’t move from Massachusetts to Mississippi). Trying to sort all that out will be gnarly, but should give lots of fun opportunities to dig through the all the legal precedents from previous eras when people had different statuses depending on what state they lived in (i.e., anti-miscegenation laws, slavery).

Anyway, it’s not a problem yet, so don’t get too excited about exercising all those federal marriage rights, Masshole gays: the case is being stayed pending the inevitable appeal to the Supreme Court, where it’s on a collision course with Perry v. Brown, the challenge against Proposition 8. That case is going after gay marriage bans on 14th Amendment grounds and is aiming to be the sweeping Loving v. Virginia of gay marriage, not some states’ rights bullshit. The two should crash together into a tasty melange of humans rights legal debates that we’re sure the Roberts Court will handle in a forward-looking fashion. [coughs nervously] [LAT]

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About the author

Josh was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, leaving him with a love of chicken wings and a tendency to say “pop”. He taught ancient Greek and Roman history to undergraduates before fleeing from academia in terror; worked for a failed San Francisco dot-com that neglected to supply him with stock options or an Aeron chair; lived in Berlin, where he mostly ate Indian and Ethiopian food; finished in third place on his sole Jeopardy! appearance (the correct answer was “Golda Meir”); and was named 2007 Blogger of the Year by The Week, for obvious reasons. Josh is the creator/editor of COMICS CURMUDGEON (which you should read) and does geeky editing and writing about geeky things such as "the Java programming industry for JavaWorld." He lives in Baltimore with his wife Amber and his cat Hoagie.

View all articles by Josh Fruhlinger

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192 comments

  1. flamingpdog

    puts the federal government in a position of revoking your federal rights when you move from Massachusetts to Mississippi for some reason

    People moving from Massachusetts to Mississippi should have their US citizenship revoked. And their heads examined.

    1. sewollef

      Wait, are we sure it's not a case of being sent into exile for some misdeed or other?

      As in, Mississippi is the US equivalent of Siberia…. but with alligators.

      1. HobbesEvilTwin

        absolutely! And not just any old misdeed; we commie-loving, abortion-having, pinkos will send you to your exile if you don't eat your arugula.

  2. el_donaldo

    Sometimes, when people say "freedom" it rhymes with "awesome" instead of "just dumb."

  3. Callyson

    I hope Chief Justice Roberts chokes on his gavel.

    In a totally non – violent, non – death wishing way of course…

    1. MosesInvests

      I dunno, maybe someone should throw acid in his face. Joking! I'm sorry if anyone was offended by that statement!

      1. sewollef

        Maybe, maybe, we could invoke a forced Operation Serenade on Roberts. He's gotta be due by now, surely. Stupid old bar-steward.

        *Not intended as a factual statement.

  4. Nostrildamus

    Another blow for gayness!
    And another blow for gayness!
    And, what the hell, how about another blow for gayness?

  5. edgydrifter

    Somewhere in the Constitution there must be a Screw the Homos clause, because strict constructionists Scalia, Alito and Thomas will definitely base their decision on it.

    1. poorgradstudent

      I think it's in the article that declares that 18th century intellectual thought precisely mirrored 21st century conservativism.

        1. Lascauxcaveman

          What!? And miss the madcap exploits of Capt. James T. Kirk?

          You are one sick puppy.

  6. Callyson

    Also, from HuffyPo's report on this, the wingnuts are really losing it:

    Opponents of gay marriage blasted the decision.
    "This ruling that a state can mandate to the federal government the definition of marriage for the sake of receiving federal benefits, we find really bizarre, rather arrogant, if I may say so," said Kris Mineau, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute.

    Yeah, because there's nothing bizarre or rather arrogant about denying marriage equality for the sake of imposing prejudiced views…

    Asshole.

    1. Generation[redacted]

      States imposing their mandates on the federal government? Fed's Rights! Fed's Rights!

      I'll bet it's an unfunded mandate, too.

      Heh heh… mandate…

  7. flamingpdog

    The couples argued that the power to define and regulate marriage had been left to the states for more than 200 years before Congress passed DOMA.

    Overturning 200 years of precedent? Now that's what I call conservative.

    1. glamourdammerung

      Overturning 200 years of precedent? Now that's what I call conservative.

      I thought that they were not going to be able to outdo Bush v. Gore prior to the Roberts Court in that regard.

      /sighs

    1. Lascauxcaveman

      I'm not going to look it up, by I'm assuming both those shows you mentioned are actually funny gag shows that you made up in you clever minds and don't actually exist; aren't they?

  8. BaldarTFlagass

    Well, it's obvious that these Republican-appointed judges have turned gay, which just proves the assertion by the social conservatives that being gay is a choice, not something you're born with.

    1. spinozasgod

      supposedly your kids can catch it…..through the exchange of bodily fluids I would guess….

  9. sullivanst

    9th Circuit's opinion in Perry vs. Brown was very carefully crafted to make damned sure it would not be the Loving for gays. Boies and Olson actually laid out that option in their briefs, too, perhaps aware that Justice Kennedy is a much easier win if the ruling affects only California, than if it would apply to all 50 states.

    DOMA Title 2 doesn't just open the door to trawling through anti-miscegenation precedents, it also is very likely to produce lines of argument that will, with a fair degree of justification, be decried as making highly offensive comparison between gay marriage and incest and hebephilia. Actually, in light of Loving, none of the anti-miscegenation precedent is current, so the stuff that offends will be the bulk of the discussion, because last go-around those were the only examples the government's lawyers could find of marriages legal in some states but not others that were still relevant.

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      What's most pathetic is the notion that you have to tailor your arguments for a single "swing" justice, because you know for a fact that four justices are not going to apply Constitutional principles, but are simply going to go "fuck no!" and then tie themselves into knots in an attempt to justify it.

      Or, to paraphrase another Wonker: "How is it that I don't know shit about Constitutional law, but I can predict how these justices will vote?" Answer: that's exactly why they were appointed. Fuck You, Dumbya, with a rusty chain saw, etc.

      1. Fukui-sanRadioBarb

        That is fucking beautiful, unknown wonketteer.

        It's not like science, is it?

        "Imma gonna slap down some n-substrate, then some p-substrate, then some n-substrate. Anyone want to take a guess what happens when I connect the n substrates across a battery and apply a little voltage to the p? 0.7 volts should do it. Anyone?"

        It's all partisan ideological bullshit, and very well put by whomever said it.

          1. sullivanst

            I'm not ready to close the gate on conducting punnery just yet.

            [Edit: nuts - repetition of gate; I lose]

        1. JustPixelz

          Science? Repubicans believe in Bible science. No evolution. No global warming. Young earth a the center of the universe. Etc.

          Also, if God wrote the Bible, why didn't he mention penicillin? That would have been helpful to know sooner.

          1. sewollef

            "if God wrote the Bible, why didn't he mention penicillin?"

            Because she's a raging asshole…. much like Michele Bachmann only omnipotent.

            Wait….

    2. BerkeleyBear

      Well this case ignored Title 2 completely, and as you note the Prop 8 case is only about how California's insane "ban" supposedly only effects language and no substantive rights (because if it had then it would have had to been approved by a much higher percentage of the electorate), so we'll have to wait for another test case to really get title 2 taken head on for its insane re-write of "full faith and credit."

      1. sullivanst

        Yes, I only mentioned Title 2 because it's the part that's relevant to losing Federal rights if you move from Mass. to Miss. in a stunning display of masochism. Of course, until Title 3 is struck down, you'd have no Federal rights to lose.

        It's at once comforting and disturbing that the gov'ts lawyers had to scrape the barrel so severely in their ham-handed attempts to defend Title 2. Comforting in that there's clearly no case law to support non-recognition of other states' marriages except where everyone agrees there's a line that separates normal relationships from deviancy but reasonable minds differ on the exact location of that line; disturbing because of the sheer number of bigots, at least two* of whom are on the Court, who think same-sex marriage is deviant.

        * Roberts and Alito haven't had the opportunities to prove themselves that Scalia and Thomas have, but the latter pair seized their chances with both hands to make proud exhibitions of homophobia.

    3. George Skullfry

      You know, your reference to "Boies and Olsen" just gave me a bipartisan law-boner.

  10. Crank_Tango

    "ABORT ABORT ABORT"

    Jeeze, I am aborting as fast as I can, and as often as I can, as it is.

    1. fuflans

      member when patsy and eddie and saffey were locked in the living room and had nothing to do and got wasted and patsy told saffey she advised eddie to abort abort abort and saffey slaps her?

      well, you probably don't but that's still my favorite excessive use of abortion.

  11. fartknocker

    Will it be the same Supreme Court that brought us Citizen United vs FEC? Because Rachel Maddow told me last night about how fucking peachy that court decision will be influencing this year's election.

    1. Generation[redacted]

      This ruling will motivate the wingnuts to get out the vote, and Citizens United will give them a billion dollars to do it.

      So yeah. Just peachy.

  12. BerkeleyBear

    Congratulations, gays. According to this ruling, laws impacting you disproportionately should be given the same slightly heightened treatment as laws impacting unwashed hippies living together, unmarried couples raising kids and pooling their benefits, and the mentally ill. But not the intermediate scrutiny of gender based laws, and certainly not the strict scrutiny afforded race, religion, national origin or other "inherent characteristics."

    So you've come a short way, baby?

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      On the other hand, the religious wingnuts are quite happy to give them strict scrutiny. So it all evens out.

    2. sullivanst

      Wouldn't it have been nice if Lawrence had specified a standard of review rather than merely hinting it was something stronger than rational basis? [Edit: and isn't it strange in the 1st Circuit's opinion how when they're discussing the standard of review, they mention Romer but do not mention Lawrence? Probably wouldn't matter since they cite standing 1st Circuit precedent which postdates Lawrence and makes a good case they're currently foreclosed from reaching as high as intermediate scrutiny]

      Personally I really struggle to understand how it's possible for anyone to look at the history of homophobia and fail to conclude that Carolene footnote four applies. Although I guess even there "more searching legal inquiry" is not exactly prescriptive of a particular level of scrutiny.

      1. BerkeleyBear

        Well, Lawrence was at great pains to claim it wasn't about the buttsechs but general privacy interests (leading to the bizarre argument by at least one justice (I wanna say O'Connor, but don't have it in front of me) that a narrower, anti-gay sex only law somehow would have been okay). That makes it easy to ignore for a thread the needle blinkered approach like the one taken here (only looking at title 3, suggesting that somehow it is okay for some states to offer fewre rights than others, etc.)

        1. sullivanst

          The Texas law at issue in Lawrence was a same-sex only buttsechs law. Kennedy's opinion said you can't outlaw buttsechs in private between consenting individuals, regardless of gender, because of the penumbra etc. etc. plus Due Process; O'Connor's concurrence was that Bowers should've been left intact and banning all buttsechs is OK because screw privacy but singling out teh gheys is unconstitutional on Equal Protection grounds. Which of course made no sense at all, because Bowers was all about the homos, but O'Connor's a strange old coot and I'm unsurprised at this inconsistency.

          The major point of Lawrence was that it suggested that homosexual activity is included in the liberties protected by the Due Process clause:

          The liberty protected by the Constitution allows homosexual persons the right to choose to enter upon relationships in the confines of their homes and their own private lives and still retain their dignity as free persons.

          When you combine that with Loving's embrace of the right to marry the person of your choosing (as long as they consent) regardless of skin color under that same Due Process-protected liberty, you're getting well on the way to building a case for a right to gay marry, which would of course strike down all of DOMA. You could make a case that Kennedy's circumscription of his opinion indicates an awareness of that implication but an unwillingness to admit it. So, it's baby steps for now.

          BTW, as a matter of the history of the United States, clearly the theory of the nation has been that it is OK for some states to offer fewer rights than others (slavery, Jim Crow being the most obvious examples), especially pre-incorporation, but even now there's plenty of "non-fundamental" rights that are not protected by the Federal Constitution and therefore at states' discretion to grant or deny.

  13. Chichikovovich

    I read the decision quickly earlier today. It has some pleasant moments, including one point early on where it says (translated from the careful judge-speak) "Bills of this significance are usually pretty meaty. This bill, which intrudes significantly on federal-state issues, consists of just two paragraphs, with hardly any supporting hearings. Was it amateur night on the floor of Congress?"

    1. MissTaken

      But wasn't it Scalia who bitched that the Affordable Care Act is long and he is too busy being a dickless dick to read it? Damned if you do, gay if you don't.

      1. Chichikovovich

        Though in Scalia's defence, the principle he asserted in the questions about ACA that "Bills are Unconstitutional if they are Passed through Political Horse-Trading" promises to significantly reshape American jurisprudence.

        1. Fukui-sanRadioBarb

          "Bills are Unconstitutional if they are Passed through Political Horse-Trading"

          Oh that is just precious.

          I'm trying my damndest to think of a major bill which wasn't passed with horse-trading or all-out war.

          1. Chichikovovich

            I should be careful, perhaps I over-torqued the snarkinator. Wouldn't want to mislead. Scalia of course didn't state this principle, which is of course absurd on its face, and for just the reason you cite. I was referring to the series of remarks he made about the putatively horrible "Nebraska Kickback" that originally induced Nelson to support the act. Leaving the audience to wonder "OK, so there was horse trading. This invalidates the act because…?"

            But it was worse than that. As more evidence of how much Scalia bases most of his judgements on just rotely repeating huffing, outraged emails that his Federalist society buddies forward around, the result of the wheeling and dealing with Nelson wasn't even in the final version. (Lazy, overrated hack.) So the principle presupposed was the even dopier: "If horsetrading is involved in producing any draft of the bill, not necessarily the final one, that represents a reason for striking it down".

          2. George Skullfry

            If there is a bottle of vermouth in the refrigerator near the cocktail onions, the eventually resultant martini is unacceptably sweet.

          3. George Skullfry

            Why are you awake?

            Incidentally, are you aware of the upcoming transit of Venus on 5 June? Last one for a century or so. I missed the one in 2004, so I'm surprisingly excited about this. We get so few opportunities to observe the non-geocentricity of the universe directly.

          4. Chichikovovich

            I was awakened by a lightning strike close to the house and couldn't get back to sleep. So I did a few minutes of Wonkette to clear my palate, and that worked fine. Back to sleep.

            I didn't know about the transit of Venus – the university observatory is conveniently on the top of the building that contains my office, so I'll be able to get a good view. Thanks.

          5. sullivanst

            Speaking of lazy, overrated hacks, the fucking Solicitor General failed to point out to Justice Scalier* that the "Cornhusker Kickback" was not in the Act.

            * Yes, that is intended to imply that he's somehow reptilian

          6. Chichikovovich

            I had lunch with several friends from the Law School after those sessions, and they were almost in tears over what they regarded as a catastrophic performance by the Solicitor General.—

    2. flamingpdog

      This bill, which intrudes significantly on federal-state issues, consists of just two paragraphs,

      Herb Cain just had an orgasm.

    3. Biel_ze_Bubba

      I dont recall that the 14th Amendment contains a whole lot of paragraphs. Those damned Founding Fathers – what a bunch of amateurs.

  14. SorosBot

    Well I'm sure the conservative justices who always drone on about "state's rights" will follow their principled ideology and rule in favor of gay marriage, right?

    1. MissTaken

      Just like the US Senators said they would do whatever military Generals wanted, until those military Generals wanted something different than the US Senators.

      1. SorosBot

        Yeah, but see the military wanted to admit the proven reality of climate change, which is heresy!

        1. Biel_ze_Bubba

          Nobody is going to make teabagger politicians knuckle under to that damned liberal reality. It's against their principles.

  15. Wile E. Quixote

    (suggestion: don’t move from Massachusetts to Mississippi)

    That should read "don't move from Anywhere to Mississippi"

      1. Negropolis

        Razorback libel!

        Honestly, though, Arkansas is one of those states where they proclaim in tough situations "Thank god for Mississippi."

      1. Blueb4sunrise

        HAH!!!!!!!!!

        The Mean Elevation of the state of Arizona is 4100'
        the lowest point is 70 feet above sea level.

        The Mean Elevation of the state of Mississippi is 300'
        The lowest point in Mississippi is along the shore at the Gulf of Mexico; sea level.

        What?

        1. weejee

          I think you missed that in Mississippi Son House and Robert Johnson hit the high notes, while in Arizona you got Smith and Wesson hitting the low notez.

  16. Ryy

    Look libtards, the Fed has every right to shove stuff down your and your state's throat, as long as it is the stuff I want shoved!

    Now for God's sake get that darkie out of the Whitehouse already!

    Arggggg!

    Socialism…… floride…… Kenya……

  17. CapnRadio

    I expect Zombie Breitbart to rise up and launch a Little Government line of web sites immediately.

  18. weejee

    horrifying can of equal-protection problems

    Toss them immediately into Scalia's and Thomas' Depends™ and hope it becomes a severe legal gonorrhea that has the dastardly due fervently, and inappropriately obvs, scratching their nether regions during all future arguments they hear.

    1. vtxmcrider

      I am repulsed by the mere thought that Scalia and Thomas even possess nether regions.

  19. Wile E. Quixote

    When reached for comment political consultant and Nan Hayworth spokesman Jay Townsend said "Let's hurl some acid at those Republican judges who overturn the mandates imposed by Democratic presidents."

  20. Vecchiojohn

    The judge who wrote the opinion is the brother of of Weather Underground member Kathy Boudin, so you can expect heads to start exploding on the wingnutnets any second now.

  21. flamingpdog

    That case is going after gay marriage bans on 14th Amendment grounds and is aiming to be the sweeping Loving v. Virginia of gay marriage, not some states’ rights bullshit.

    It'll be interesting to see how Clarence "Slappy" Thomas, the proud owner of a melanin-challenged wife-person, gets around that one.

      1. glamourdammerung

        That is totally unfair.

        He sometimes asks "When is everyone going to break for lunch?"

    1. Wile E. Quixote

      It'll be interesting to see how Clarence "Slappy" Thomas, the proud owner of a melanin-challenged wife-person, gets around that one.

      Hey, if Clarence "Slappy" Thomas had his way his melanin challenged wife-person would be the proud owner of a strapping buck of a Supreme Court Justice.

  22. Mittens Howell, III

    There'll be more than one Republican crying into their rent-boy tonight.

  23. Chick-Fil-Atheist™

    Sixteen years? Jesus, this due process is old enough to take to the prom and have sex with.

  24. Goonemeritus

    By the concept of momentum the breathtaking progress in gay rights over the last three years might keep going even when equality is reached. I for one am hoping for an amendment that will allow our gay brothers and sisters to kick homophobes in the naughty bits by way of reparations.

  25. EatsBabyDingos

    'ABORT ABORT ABORT" At the new USA Discount Abortoplex! Tuesday night is Men's Night, with free abortions for all the men!

  26. Butch_Wagstaff

    "I for one am hoping for an amendment that will allow our gay brothers and sisters to kick homophobes in the naughty bits by way of reparations."

    I can already picture long lines of gheys forming outside certain "churches" for the naughty bits-kicking.

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      Not if we round up all the asshole preachers, and lock them up behind electric fences.

  27. James Michael Curley

    This post was accented by a lovely ad from Lenox with a vase adorned with fabulous gold trimmed butterflies. I think I'll redecorate this week end.

  28. ttommyunger

    I've spent a fairly happy 71 years thinking primarily of my own genitals. What's wrong with me?

      1. ttommyunger

        My Doctor told me to cut down my sex by 50%. I asked him which half, the thinking about it or the talking about it?

      2. ttommyunger

        It is believed that men who go bald from the front to back are intellectuals, men who do so from back to front are oversexed, and men who go completely bald as I have just think about fucking a lot…..I've got a million of em, rimshot!

  29. Negropolis

    GOP-Appointed Judges Strike Another Blow

    It's not gay if you do it with a gavel.

    Why, it’s the power to define marriage as the union between a dude … and … another dude? ABORT ABORT ABORT

    That's not very "pro-life" of you, now is it? Federal rulings are people too, my friend.

  30. Guppy

    I'm sure SCOTUS will be all consistent and rule in favor of states' rights, just like in Gonzales v. Raich.

  31. DahBoner

    Since Massachusetts is the only state with "alimony for Life", I recommend that nobody get married there–straight or gay….

      1. MadBrahms

        It was both one of the first and one of the worst google results, and damn, I can't blame you. Apparently wanting to literally kill Indians for being gay is really popular!

        Wait, now I'm depressed again.

    1. Negropolis

      Oh, they could do something about it given the supremacy of the feds, but they won't for practical reasons.

    2. Jadetiger79

      I can't speak for all, of course, but in my Chickasaw heritage, it wasn't a big deal. My lineage is the agriculturally inclined peoples. My father's lineage was Arapahoe and they were more fierce and had different mores; my friend who is Nez Pierce says homosexuality wasn't tolerated with that particular nation. Given the atty in that article is Cherokee, it seems logical that Cherokee would be very tolerant of gay unions; our tribes and much of our lands share borders and other similarities. But then what do I know? According to those comments, us dumb Injuns just want more money for gay casinos.

  32. FakaktaSouth

    Hm. Okay.

    So, basically what we have here is the problem of trying to make laws from bullshit pandering. Half-Pandering in action form is hard! How can one be sure that these things they are doing as political figures to "look good" to horrid people don't also come around to make them look "insane" or just "really stupid" ? Apparently one cannot. So, my suggestion is – give it up, fucktards. It is time to stop using gay people (or black, mexican, or even be-twatted people) to further your terrible careers at terrible jobs no one wants you to do terribly anyway. All this other maneuvering and adjudicating to pretend "treating all people like people" is an actual problem is just asinine.

    1. George Skullfry

      Legal or political "progress", in the sense that we radical commie liberals mean it, tends to follow social or cultural progress. Women's suffrage was achieved by the Suffrage Movement. The Civil Rights Act was a result of the Civil Rights Movement. The 14th Amendment was a result of the Civil War. Etc.

      When Clinton signed DOMA (which I hope at least wakes him up occasionally at night) sixteen years ago, the national level of support for same-sex marriage was quite a bit less than it is now, and certainly well below 50%. (Hell, I was only 48 — there were a lot of older motherfuckers than me, and most of them were craaanky).

      At the time, I was disappoint. But I did give some credence to the idea that accepting DOMA was a way of cutting off possibly even more severe anti-gay legislative bullshit, and also giving Bubba a little more working room with an all-Republican legislature. This rationale would, of course, be easier to defend if he had kept li'l bubba in his pants and not fucked up his whole second term, but hey.

      Anyhow, you're right. It will be good when we can just treat people like people. But we come out of history, and historical attitudes change slowly. The good thing about law is that when attitudes surge forward, we can sometimes pin those progressive attitudes down with law, and after a while the law helps the progressive attitude get more broadly internalized. And the "average opinion" moves a little bit.

      A final observation: I am an old Boomer, one of the first. There's a lot of shit we didn't handle as well as we should have, but the one that really sticks in my craw is that we could not ratify the fucking ERA (four states short, as I recall). This says something about the complicated political system the Founders left us.

  33. prommie

    I only think about law when I am paid to think about law, and even then, I only do it half the time. Fuck this.

  34. fuflans

    i was in NY last weekend for my bff's wedding to his partner of 18 years. i got to read.

    i got no snark. i am just so happy that sometimes not everything sucks.

      1. fuflans

        ha! i am flattered you all remembered!

        i read – thanks to you – yeats. wind among the reeds. and i read – thanks to MY MOM – a line or two of brendan behan.

        it was some irish for the midwestern jewish boys transplanted to ny.

        1. Chichikovovich

          I'm sorry I wasn't there to hear them – which of the poems in Wind among the Reeds did you go for? "Michael Robartes Remembers Forgotten Beauty"?

          1. fuflans

            yes. (blushes). i know it was expected and…romantic. but they LOVED it.

            also, there was a recently bereaved gentleman there – with his two children. they read some children's book about 'my different family' and yeats and behan and anne morrow lindburgh pretty much flew out the window.

            but thank you all. it was so nice to spend a few days getting acquainted or reacquainted with poetic geniuses.

            this week i'm on to skriker which is quite another thing altogether.

        2. George Skullfry

          Even those of us who are neither irish nor jewish (although midwestern) suspect Yeats was well received.

  35. Negropolis

    Kind of OT, but in other important judicial decisions, the hackin, GOP-dominated Michigan Supreme Court took a small step in actually recognizing Michigan's medical marijuana act, today, by ruling that patients can use a defense of medical use during a trial, even thosee without the state-issued medical marjiuana cards, so long as they have a doctor's statement. Up until this time, patients were being prosecuted in court for possession and such without being able to offer their condition as a defense, which totally went against the meaning of the act.

    So, the MI GOP which took complete power of the government in 2010 and essentially tried to void the will of the people can suck it.

    1. MosesInvests

      *And* a federal judge told Florida that its law against voter registration drives is unconstitutional. Bad day for Gov. Voldemort, good day for Florida voters.

    2. Negropolis

      Well, I'm not going to feel comfortable until I see Eric Holder down in Tallahassee with a contingent of the Florida National Guard.

      1. Wile E. Quixote

        Not enough. I want Obama to go full Eisenhower, federalize the Florida National Guard and send in the 82nd Airborne. White southern conservatives become much more tractable when you have a boot on their throat and a loaded gun pointed at their tiny little heads.

  36. flamingpdog

    Did I miss the blog post on this, or is our dear editrix not keeping up with the truly important things in the life of her loyal subjects?

    1. SayItWithWookies

      I have a strict rule about that — I only celebrate National Masturbation Month on months that have a vowel in them.

  37. Steverino247

    Just so we're clear, States Rights means the right of small-minded bigots to fuck with minorities they don't like.

    For example, the right to own other human beings.

    The right to define which other human beings you can love and how you express that love.

    The right to harass human beings you can no longer own or who love other human beings in ways you don't like to think about.

    Let's see Obama send the Army to Mississippi so gays can marry. (That would be the exception to leaving X and moving to Mississippi.)

      1. George Skullfry

        Nah, mang. Boies and Olsen (I love writing that) are on top of it in Cali.

  38. SayItWithWookies

    The appeals court's decision was stayed pending the Supreme Court's review — because you don't wanna be too hasty about giving people rights.

    1. Fukui-sanRadioBarb

      "He described The Constitution as the how (or how to manual) but the Declaration of Independence is the why and thus our rights are God given, not government given.

      Santorum pointed out that if you believe rights are government given then all those rights can be taken away by government."

      Rights are only god-given when Rick Santorum and his friendly hordes of mouth-breathing dipshits say so.

        1. Fukui-sanRadioBarb

          What, there's an auto-out clause? Must be, I suppose.

          It's not like promiscuous women or atheists should get a say in anything.

          1. George Skullfry

            Well, to be fair, it would be a pretty fucking unorthodox god that would grant rights to atheists. E.g., I don't grant any rights to god.

            Now, promiscuous women are another matter.

          2. Fukui-sanRadioBarb

            Why wouldn't a god do that?

            That was Dante's big problem with the Greeks and Romans; why should such obviously devout and industrious people be doomed to the pit?

            In his half-arsed solution, they're merely in the first circle of the Inferno, their damnation simply being the lack of God. Ovid, Homer and so on reside there so it's probably fun.

          3. George Skullfry

            To answer your first question: because the part of the definition of a "god" that distinguishes it from a "sentient entity of extreme power" is the expectation of worship. Obviously, a god could decide to accord rights to someone who refused to worship it, or admit its existence — I'm just saying that would be unusual among the gods we have to work with.

            As for the folks in the first circle, their problem wasn't lack of God, it was lack of Jesus, as in living and dying too soon to be baptized.

            I've been fascinated by Limbo, which was equivalent deal for babbies who died too soon to be baptized. Since Vatican II, Limbo never existed, and I believe in current thinking they go straight to Heaven, because why not?

            This raises the question: what about infants who died B.C.? They had no more chance to be baptized than did the unfortunates who died before baptism, but A.D. Do they go to the first circle or to Heaven? And, how old is an "infant"? Homer never had a chance to be baptized, because there was no one to do it to him.

            These are some of the reasons why it's good I'm not a Catholic.

          4. Fukui-sanRadioBarb

            "To answer your first question: because the part of the definition of a "god" that distinguishes it from a "sentient entity of extreme power" is the expectation of worship. Obviously, a god could decide to accord rights to someone who refused to worship it, or admit its existence — I'm just saying that would be unusual among the gods we have to work with. "

            God seems to be kind of a dick, even Jebus-God (who is sure as fuck better than old testament 'fuck you' God)

            The limbo/Catholic thing for BC babies is an interesting problem. Do you happen to know the status under Islam? I don't actually know.

  39. SayItWithWookies

    "Santorum pointed out that if you believe rights are government given then all those rights can be taken away by government."

    Wait — this guy wanted to be president? He knows all those teabaggers keep saying "we the people" this and "we the people" that for a reason, right? That the idea behind the social contract is that the people get together and apportion to their government only those powers that enable it to do its duty, because the people are the source of all those rights to begin with? Dear.

    1. Fukui-sanRadioBarb

      "those teabaggers keep saying "we the people" this and "we the people" that for a reason, right? That the idea behind the social contract is that the people get together and apportion to their government only those powers that enable it to do its duty, because the people are the source of all those rights to begin with"

      Same deal with religion, and they're too fucking stupid to see it.

      edit: do I need to explain that? Maybe. I re-read it and confused myself.

      The constitution is a document giving rights to all. All.

      Oh, except slaves, and women, and non-landowners.

      Anyway, it changes with the times. The social contract in these times is more important than ever, and regressive dipfucks can piss in their own faces as far as I'm concerned.

    2. Wile E. Quixote

      "Santorum pointed out that if you believe rights are government given then all those rights can be taken away by government."

      This also means that if you believe that rights are God-given then all of those rights can be taken away by God. Therefore we should all become atheists or at the very least agnostics.

  40. valthemus

    It's nice when things go our way in court. The boxes of gay porn I've been leaving outside of judges' offices have obviously been having the desired effect. You're welcome.

  41. glamourdammerung

    A better solution would be to idle military bases and any defense appropriation spending in the states that do not wish to comply with the 14th Amendment until they decide they want to be part of the U.S. again.

    1. Wile E. Quixote

      Tell the U.S. Treasury to stop paying their congressmen, senators and their staffs too.

  42. Biel_ze_Bubba

    the possibility that you could be recognized as married in one state and not in another opens a horrifying can of equal-protection problems . . .

    . . . unless, of course, the other states simply observe the 14th Amendment. Too bad that in some states, simple, logical, fair, and constitutional all take a back seat to hate.

  43. SaintRond

    After that photo you guys at Wonkette ran of Justice Roberts having dinner with a "friend," I've come to doubt that this Supreme Court will ever push an anti gay agenda.

  44. elburritodeluxe

    Maybe Reagan and Bush were really America's gayest Presidents! Their secret (homosexual) agenda: to put gay-friendly, conservative-seeming judges in the Federal Judiciary. Reagan and Bush were like a cranky old couple, but they found a way to make it work!

  45. sullivanst

    Yes, all true. I think I recall some weird rambling analogy from Breyer during the mandate arguments, in fact. Although, the girls on the bench seemed to be paying attention, they managed to raise most of the points Verilli failed to.

    Also, given the central position of separation of powers doctrine in American governance, isn't "it isn't what we'd do if we were legislating" about the least relevant thing a Justice could possibly say?

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