US Supreme Court marriage cases

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US Supreme Court marriage cases

Post by Eldorion on Tue Jun 25, 2013 6:02 pm

These probably came up in various other threads when testimony was being given back in March, but it's been announced today that the Supreme Court will announce its decisions in Hollingsworth v. Perry (the California Prop 8 case) and United States v. Windsor (the Defense of Marriage Act case).

http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_23534485/u-s-supreme-court-expected-decide-gay-marriage

More about each case:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollingsworth_v._Perry
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Windsor

Mos of the analyses I've read expect the Court to limit its decision in the Prop 8 case specifically to California, though it could potentially affect other states that have same-sex civil unions or even (very unlikely) make same-sex marriage the law of the land.  The American Foundation for Equal Rights has an infographic detailing the possible outcomes.

Spoiler:
Open in new tab to view full image.


The DOMA case is more likely to affect the entire country.  The Defense of Marriage Act defines marriage as being between one man and woman for the purposes of federal law, which prevents same-sex couples from gaining spousal benefits from federal government programs or with federal taxes.  It also allows states to ignore same-sex marriages performed in other states, which is a blatant violation of the Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution.
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Re: US Supreme Court marriage cases

Post by Amarië on Tue Jun 25, 2013 7:13 pm

You have been misled, young man. Obama is now our puppet and the US is ruled by Norway cause of the peace price, so I think it's up to us Fjordians to decide. So hah! 

I read it in the newspaper so it must be true.

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Re: US Supreme Court marriage cases

Post by Amarië on Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:10 pm

Just to be clear though: Here in Fjordlandia you can also have a same sex church wedding. One perk of having a state church, I guess. Nod (The priests can choose themselves if they want to perform such ceremonies or not.) 

There are many churches that have a small rainbow flag hanging near the entrance, so people can be sure they are welcome.

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Re: US Supreme Court marriage cases

Post by CC12 35 on Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:26 pm

i dont know how my liberal friends are dealing with the mood swings! #obama #scotus #vra #doma #prop8 #coal #keystoneXL #norway (long live) #theface

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Re: US Supreme Court marriage cases

Post by David H on Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:02 pm

Amarië wrote:Just to be clear though: Here in Fjordlandia you can also have a same sex church wedding.
Here too. You just have to pick the right church.
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Re: US Supreme Court marriage cases

Post by halfwise on Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:18 pm

My feeling is that this is a court that doesn't like to make waves.  Look for a ruling that is an narrowly defined as they can make it, with as few repercussions as possible.

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Re: US Supreme Court marriage cases

Post by David H on Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:39 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that legally married same-sex couples should get the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples.

The court invalidated a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that has prevented married gay couples from receiving a range of tax, health and retirement benefits that are generally available to married people. The vote was 5-4.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion.

Same-sex marriage has been adopted by 12 states and the District of Columbia. Another 18,000 couples were married in California during a brief period when same-sex unions were legal there.

The court has yet to release its decision on California's ban on same-sex marriage.
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Re: US Supreme Court marriage cases

Post by Eldorion on Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:26 pm

Roberts dissented (which I'm actually a little surprised by) and he seems to have suggested that Prop 8 will be struck down on standing.

cheers
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Re: US Supreme Court marriage cases

Post by Eldorion on Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:36 pm

Unfortunately the Supreme Court has only struck down Section 3 of DOMA, which sets the federal definition of marriage, but has left standing Section 2 (which was not challenged in this case) which gives the states the right to ignore same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. So full federal rights will only be available in states that have legalized same-sex marriage. At least that list now includes California, but it's still less than I'd hoped for.

Related: http://www.theonion.com/articles/nation-celebrates-what-is-technically-speaking-pro,32966/
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Re: US Supreme Court marriage cases

Post by halfwise on Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:20 pm

As I predicted, they gave a very narrow ruling.  They didn't say same sex marriage MUST be legal, but if it is, it must be treated the same way as mixed sex.  Up to the states to decide if it is legal: upholding state's rights usually peeves the fewest people.

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Re: US Supreme Court marriage cases

Post by Eldorion on Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:46 pm

The only thing I was surprised by was that they left Section 2 standing, but that's probably because I haven't followed the case that closely.  Otherwise this is pretty much what I expected.  Given the disconnect between the federal government and states where same-sex marriage is illegal, though, I expect another Supreme Court case within 5-10 years to be brought by some couple in a no-gay marriage state (possibly a civil union state) being denied federal benefits.  Hopefully the court will have a bit more moral courage then.
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Re: US Supreme Court marriage cases

Post by David H on Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:00 pm

Moral courage is a double-edged sword in a divided court. What I think you're really looking for is Antonin Scalia to step down, right?Twisted Evil
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Re: US Supreme Court marriage cases

Post by halfwise on Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:18 pm

I heard Scalia speak about 20 years ago. He was surprisingly personable and entertaining. His argument for the 'original intent' reading of the constitution is that the power of the document lays in its immutability, except via the arduous process of amendment. He would write an opinion that contradicted his moral feelings if it upheld the doctrine of original intent, which he feels is one of the main things that holds the government together. Not his job as a judge to read his own morality into the constitution.

So I wouldn't judge him too harshly - if he felt things were solely his decision he may rule differently. A principled man, whether you like his rulings or not. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if he wrote some decisions in hope that it would shock the country into making a change to the constitution.

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Re: US Supreme Court marriage cases

Post by Eldorion on Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:20 pm

It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone here that I disagree with many of Scalia's rulings, so I certainly won't miss his presence on the bench once he's gone.  I find his views on homosexuality to be repugnant.  Just to be clear though, I don't think any of the members of the court are stupid (or evil) people.
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Re: US Supreme Court marriage cases

Post by David H on Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:31 pm

I would love to have had the chance to hear Scalia speak in person. Even reading excerpts of his opinions it's clear that he's a brilliant man with a clear vision. I've never doubted his moral courage, it's just that I don't agree with where it takes him sometimes.

Let me put it this way: I think Scalia is at his very best when he's writing a dissenting opinion. Nod
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Re: US Supreme Court marriage cases

Post by halfwise on Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:48 pm

Eldorion wrote:It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone here that I disagree with many of Scalia's rulings, so I certainly won't miss his presence on the bench once he's gone.  I find his views on homosexuality to be repugnant.  Just to be clear though, I don't think any of the members of the court are stupid (or evil) people.

Do you have his personal views on homosexuality? I'd be curious to compare that to his legal writings. As I said, I don't think you can judge his personal views from his legal decisions.

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Re: US Supreme Court marriage cases

Post by halfwise on Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:55 pm

Okay, found it myself:
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/03/scalia-worst-things-said-written-about-homosexuality-court

It does seem possible his personal views are affecting his opinions somewhat, but being a lawyer he always has logical reasons behind it.  I still think his opinions are based more on his own logical foundations than his emotional responses.  His emotional responses inform his logic based on the idea that others may feel the way he does.

Edit: which may be a shaky foundation in some cases.

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Re: US Supreme Court marriage cases

Post by Eldorion on Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:00 am

Despite Prop 8-advocates promising further legal activity, gay marriage is set to resume in California basically right now. cheers

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-prop-8-gay-marriage-20130628,0,1889039.story

On the national stage, the exact future of DOMA (which was only partially struck down) is unclear, but Congressional Democrats have introduced legislation which would repeal it completely.

http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/respect-for-marriage-act-to-repeal-doma-filed-in-both-the-house-and-senate/news/2013/06/27/69952
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Re: US Supreme Court marriage cases

Post by Orwell on Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:46 am

What legal Rights do people get from being legally wed?

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Re: US Supreme Court marriage cases

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:48 am

Dunno about the States but here its thing like right to inherit, that sort of thing.

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Re: US Supreme Court marriage cases

Post by Eldorion on Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:49 am

Yeah, inheritance, file taxes together, shared social security benefits, easier to adopt as a couple, and hospitals can't refuse to let you see your spouse, among others.
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Re: US Supreme Court marriage cases

Post by Orwell on Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:02 am

Okee dokee.

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Re: US Supreme Court marriage cases

Post by Eldorion on Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:43 am

It looks like the next round of legal battles over marriage equality (taking place in individual states) will be commencing shortly. There are already cases from Nevada and Hawaii that were moving toward the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (which already ruled against Prop Cool before the recent SCOTUS rulings, and a similar case is beginning in Michigan.

http://equalityontrial.com/2013/06/28/stay-issued-by-ninth-circuit-court-of-appeals-in-nevada-hawaii-marriage-cases-to-expire-july-18/

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2013/07/citing-doma-judge-gives-michigans-gay-marriage-ban-trial/66766/
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Re: US Supreme Court marriage cases

Post by halfwise on Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:08 am

Eldo, you may want to define terms like SCOTUS that even american born have to work out.

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Re: US Supreme Court marriage cases

Post by Eldorion on Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:19 am

Sorry, I went into Poli Sci mode there. Laughing

SCOTUS = Supreme Court of the United States.  In the same vein as the Secret Service designations POTUS (President), FLOTUS (First Lady), etc.
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