RSS feed for entries


The Supreme Court doesn’t understand the Constitution

I don’t spend a lot of time keeping up with what passes for thinking in the legal system, so I’ve merely been aware that gay marriage rights have been toiling their way through the system. I haven’t paid attention to the arguments.

MoDo’s article came as a bit of a surprise to me. (Yes, I know, she can be a twit. But she can also write and sometimes I read her. So sue me.)

This is what stopped me short:

“Same-sex marriage is very new,” Justice Samuel Alito whinged, noting that “it may turn out to be a good thing; it may turn out not to be a good thing.”

Seriously? Justices on the Supreme Court — the Supreme Court for pity’s sake! — don’t understand the concept of rights? You have got to be kidding me.

You don’t have rights because you’re a good human being or because you’ll use them for a higher purpose. You have rights because you’re a human. Period. Gays could all be dykes on bikes without a notion of parenting. That doesn’t change their rights.

And their rights are so clear I’m flabbergasted that it could need explaining, to a Supreme Court Justice, of all people.

Equality before the law is a foundational principle of the USA. Some people can get legally married, therefore all people can get legally married. (See? That wasn’t hard, was it?) What religions want to do about it is their own business, but the law cannot treat people unequally.

Furthermore, questions of rights are very much the business of the Court, and very much not the business of the legislatures or elections. Rights are inalienable, not something for philosophers or average Joes or doofuses to vote on.

Apparently, the Court Jesters Justices don’t even know that.

“But you want us to step in and render a decision,” Alito continued, “based on an assessment of the effects of this institution, which is newer than cellphones or the Internet? I mean, we do not have the ability to see the future.”

Swing Justice Anthony Kennedy grumbled about “uncharted waters,” and the fuddy-duddies seemed to be looking for excuses not to make a sweeping ruling.