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Thread: SCoTUS to rule in Hollingsworth v. Perry and Windsor v. Unites States today

  1. #1
    Insane Carrie Fan carebear4eva's Avatar
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    SCoTUS to rule in Hollingsworth v. Perry and Windsor v. Unites States today

    EDIT #2 : Prop 8 is dismissed based on standing. Prop 8 should be invalidated based on the lower court's opinion, and gay marriage should resume very soon in most parts of California. Bit of a legal mess, but not too bad.


    EDIT #1 : DOMA is dead! Unconstitutional!

    "DOMA singles out a class of persons deemed by a State entitled ot recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty."


    Link to the full opinion here : http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions...2-307_g2bh.pdf


    Figured now's a good time to talk about this! I've been waiting for this for 6 months, and it's now 2 hours away! I can still clearly remember running to my office's bathroom to listen to the audio recordings of the hearings back in March x)

    So on the last day of the session, today, the Supreme Court of The United States of America will announce its rulings in two crucial cases regarding the politically and socially divisive issue of marriage equality (or same-sex marriage as some would have you refer to it).

    There are a little under 10 million different ways the court can rule today and the vast majority of them swing in the favour of the case of marriage equality, even though the current Roberts Court is conservative-leaning.

    Windsor v. United States

    The case concerning DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, will likely prove to be the more straightforward case. DOMA, signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996, explicitly states that the Federal Government will refuse to recognize any and all marriages between two people of the same sex. That is, DOMA contrasts sharply with the popular political motto of "leave it to the states to decide"; instead it explicitly announces that regardless of what the people of a state choose, the Federal Government will refuse to recognize same-sex marriages.

    Windsor v. United States sees a legally married lesbian couple dealing with the issue of inheritance taxes when one spouse dies. Edith Windsor was married in Canada to her wife Thea Spyer, both residents of the state of New York. In 2009, Windsor's wife of 2 years and companion of 40 years died, leaving all her assets to her Windsor. New York did not authorize same-sex marriages at the time, but the state fully recognized marriages performed in other jurisdictions. Hence, by state law, she was legally married. At the federal level, however, Thea Spyer was recognized as only Windsor's "friend" (albeit, of 40 years). She was hence required to pay $360,000 in inheritance taxes. Had she been married to a man, she would have been required to pay $0.

    DOMA has been found unconstitutional in every court challenge to it over the pat 5 years. The Obama administration refuses to defend the law and former President Clinton has publicly called for its repeal on multiple occasions, as has his wife, likely-future-President Hillary Clinton.

    The case will almost certainly be ruled in Windsor's favour and DOMA should finally fall today and see its repeal within the year. The Court however has a broad range over how assertive it can choose to be - it could repeal it "silently", or it could strike it down vehemently while remarking that gay couples have a right to equal benefits. The latter would provide a major impetus to the movement for marriage equality and will likely be cited in several future cases.

    Or the Court could uphold DOMA, but this is regarded as unlikely.

    Hollingsworth v. Perry

    Ah, the beloved Prop 8 case that, sadly, has little to do with Katy Perry or her mammary glands. This is less "important" in that it TECHNICALLY only applies to the state of California unlike DOMA which discriminates against all states. HOWEVER, this is also the case that has the potential to establish the real legal precedent for marriage equality - again, it's a question of how ballsy the Court is willing to be x)

    Prop 8, which was passed in 2008 by the voters of the largest state in the country, specifically takes away the rights of gay couple to marry and enshrined it in the California Constitution. SOME PEOPLE (can't imagine why - sorry, I was attempting to remain neutral in this dissertation) feel this is unfair, discriminatory and against everything the Bill of Rights stands for.

    As with DOMA, Prop 8 is also likely to fall on its face (yes, we should be seeing 2 victories for marriage equality in 2 hours' time). The real question is how the Court chooses to rule. It can dismiss the case on the basis of legal standing, which would render the lower court's decision final, which would tear down Prop 8. It could decide that voters cannot EXPRESSLY take away a right GRANTED by the legislature, for that is uniquely discriminatory. This would legalise same-sex marriage in California, but be a big yawn for the rest of the country. It could observe that California already has civil unions and conclude that the law recognizes the right for equal treatment, but is uniquely discriminatory by refusing to grant licence to the term "marriage". This would legalise same-sex marriage in California and create a stir in the other states that already have civil unions, likely making the path to marriage equality easier (8 in total + California, including Illinois, New Jersey and Colorado).

    OR, the Court could rule that ANY AND ALL bans on same-sex marriage are uniquely discriminatory. Again, this would cause Prop 8 to fall, but could go as far as tearing down every motion that has ever been passed that says something along the lines of "we refuse to allow gay couples the term marriage". It may even declare "Let gay couples marry everywhere in the 50 states and her territories". This is about as far as the Court can reach, and is also the least likely outcome.

    And finally the Court could simply rule in favour of Prop 8, but that's likely not gonna happen x)

    Two hours to go. Tick tock tick tock tick tock. I'll keep updating this with my thoughts and whatever developments may occur, but I'd love to hear people's opinions :')
    Last edited by carebear4eva; 06-26-2013 at 08:38 AM.
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    Insane Carrie Fan chevrolet's Avatar
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    I make no claim of expertise, I'm just an observer.

    Opinion:

    The Supreme Court lately seems to like to fudge and finagle. They rarely take a direct approach. They love to kick things back to the local or appellate courts or to the legislatures. How hard is it to interpret DOMA and rule whether it violates the Constitution (states rights or discrimination grounds)? Similarly, how hard is it to say that selectively eliminating a class of people from marriage rights (Prop 8) is unconstitutional?

    DOMA: If they had any guts the court would say that the framers of the Constitution formed a government to protect it's citizens and advance and protect it's interests in the world at large and made it abundantly clear that other matters should be left to the States. It's obvious (hence the title DOMA) the Feds are going out of their way to trump any state laws.

    PROP 8: I expect the court to dodge this bullet and limit any ruling to concern only California......at least for now. I hope I'm wrong.

  • #3
    Insane Carrie Fan carebear4eva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chevrolet View Post
    I make no claim of expertise, I'm just an observer.

    Opinion:

    The Supreme Court lately seems to like to fudge and finagle. They rarely take a direct approach. They love to kick things back to the local or appellate courts or to the legislatures. How hard is it to interpret DOMA and rule whether it violates the Constitution (states rights or discrimination grounds)? Similarly, how hard is it to say that selectively eliminating a class of people from marriage rights (Prop 8) is unconstitutional?

    DOMA: If they had any guts the court would say that the framers of the Constitution formed a government to protect it's citizens and advance and protect it's interests in the world at large and made it abundantly clear that other matters should be left to the States. It's obvious (hence the title DOMA) the Feds are going out of their way to trump any state laws.

    PROP 8: I expect the court to dodge this bullet and limit any ruling to concern only California......at least for now. I hope I'm wrong.
    Idem on all 3 counts, although I'm no expert myself, save for an interest and dreams of Harvard Law School.

    I particularly agree with your assessment of the Roberts Court's aggressiveness of-late. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if they dismissed one or both cases on standing, which would both be half-victories for equality.

    I'm just hoping that the fact that they TOOK TWO cases that they could have ignored means they're willing to consider some action. As Justice Kagan said, I believe, with regards to the standing question, "That ship has sailed".

    Also the fact that the rulings thus far have been kinda conservative-friendly gives me hope for something a little revolutionary. I think Kennedy is writing the opinion in DOMA and the Chief for Prop 8, but they're both occasionally swing voters, so Idk what to hope for any more, lol!

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    Insane Carrie Fan carebear4eva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chevrolet View Post
    I thought a justice from the majority writes the opinion. Have things changed?
    Still the same. That's just a guess based on who's written how many opinions so far this session (combined with the fact that the junior justices aren't gonna be given such landmark cases).

    So it's a guess that Roberts and Kennedy are writing the opinions based on the fact that they've written fewer than the others. Which means that Roberts and Kennedy are on the majority side.
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    Insane Carrie Fan carebear4eva's Avatar
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    TWO MINUTES xD

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    Insane Carrie Fan chevrolet's Avatar
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    carebear4eva are you Canadian? You're more savvy about American things than most Americans.
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    Insane Carrie Fan carebear4eva's Avatar
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    DOMA is dead! 5-4!

    DOMA found unconstitutional! Details to come XD

  • #8
    Insane Carrie Fan carebear4eva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chevrolet View Post
    carebear4eva are you Canadian? You're more savvy about American things than most Americans.
    Haha, I'm not Canadian! I'm Indian, but I grew up in Dubai and study in Canada now. And I just like knowing things x)

    DOMA found unconstituitonal based on equal protection NOT states rights - that's a win for equality!

    10:03
    Amy Howe: DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment.
    10:03
    Amy Howe: "DOMA singles out a class of persons deemed by a State entitled ot recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty." - quote from the opinion

  • #9
    Insane Carrie Fan chevrolet's Avatar
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    Wow, they actually said something definitive....Hallelujah!!

  • #10
    Insane Carrie Fan carebear4eva's Avatar
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    I know!

    Not really sure why SCOTUSBLOG said this :

    SCOTUSblog ‏@SCOTUSblog 3m
    The opinion makes it unlikely the Court will invalidate Prop 8 next. But it is a major boost to gay rights.

    Prop 8 should be going down either way, it would be a major shock if it didn't.

    EDIT : This is why :

    Amy Howe: The Alito dissent: "Whether the [BLAG] has standing to address the petition is a much more difficult question."

    There is language suggesting that the Court will dismiss Prop 8 on standing.

    Amy Howe: Page 4 of hte Roberts dissent, talking about Prop 8: "We hold today that we lack jurisdiction to consider it in the particular context of Hollingsworth v. Perry."

  • #11
    Insane Carrie Fan carebear4eva's Avatar
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    Prop 8 likely to be dismissed on standing, which would legalize same-sex marriage in California by referring to the lower court's decision, but fails to set any precedent whatsoever for the rest of the country :'(

    Why would they come this far to throw it out? Silly, really.

  • #12
    Insane Carrie Fan chevrolet's Avatar
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    I just read that DOMA was axed for both states rights and discrimination reasons.

    Supreme Court strikes down DOMA; rules it interferes with states, ?dignity? of same-sex marriages

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    Insane Carrie Fan carebear4eva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chevrolet View Post
    I just read that DOMA was axed for both states rights and discrimination reasons.

    Supreme Court strikes down DOMA; rules it interferes with states, ?dignity? of same-sex marriages
    Sounds about right! I'm still not done reading the entire opinion, the dissents go on forever xP

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    Insane Carrie Fan chevrolet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carebear4eva View Post
    Prop 8 likely to be dismissed on standing, which would legalize same-sex marriage in California by referring to the lower court's decision, but fails to set any precedent whatsoever for the rest of the country :'(

    Why would they come this far to throw it out? Silly, really.
    I think we need to remember that it's the court's job to interpret law, not to make it.
    They were only being asked to rule on Prop 8 for California.

  • #15
    Insane Carrie Fan carebear4eva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chevrolet View Post
    I think we need to remember that it's the court's job to interpret law, not to make it.
    They were only being asked to rule on Prop 8 for California.
    Meh, I'm a fan of reaching courts, especially when political opinion lags behind the popular opinion.

    Justice Ginsburg would hate me for saying that, lol.

  • #16
    Insane Carrie Fan carebear4eva's Avatar
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    Well, there we have it.

    DOMA is dead, and the first Supreme Court declaration that gays have rights too (although they didn't exactly say that homosexuals have a constitutional right to marriage).

    Prop 8 is dead, but no precedent whatsoever for future cases. Gay marriage to resume in California soon enough.

    Good day, all in all, and largely as expected x)
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    Obsessed Carrie Fan Wildflower's Avatar
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    I'm a Christian for equality! This news is awesome!

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    Carrie Guru pklongbeach's Avatar
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    Yahoooo!!!

    Thanks so much for the discussion. I am learing as you guys speak! ha ha ha.....

  • #19
    Insane Carrie Fan chevrolet's Avatar
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    While they didn't explicitly say gays have a right to marriage they made it very clear that attempts to block gay marriages will be considered discriminatory.
    That's a huge step that will discourage states from enacting new laws to blatantly deny rights that have already been given.

  • #20
    Carrie Guru pklongbeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chevrolet View Post
    While they didn't explicitly say gays have a right to marriage they made it very clear that attempts to block gay marriages will be considered discriminatory.
    That's a huge step that will discourage states from enacting new laws to blatantly deny rights that have already been given.
    ...and I think that is the biggest issue that Gays have with the whole idea of marraige.

    Its the idea that there are those that would fight to take something away from someone.
    A freedom, a right, a natural selection,......whatever it is.

    Freedom means that right to choose.

    No one stands in the way of a straight persons right to choose his partner. Its encouraged!

    ITs understood and accepted that people, in general, behaving in a safer and more communal manner when in a coupled relationship. That is why it is encouraged.

    It is not different for Gay people. ITs exactly the same.

    If Straight people want gays to shut up and sit down, they should "encourage" them to get married, fat and lazy!!

    IT works for Straight people, it will work for gays as well.

    Ha ha ha ha ha.......

    That is why I like the saying so much "Let them get married so they can be just as miserable as the rest of us".

    Equality!


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