Judicial Sarcasm Takes Down Michigan’s Anti-Marriage Equality Amendment

By: Saturday March 22, 2014 9:05 am

As I’ve watched the series of marriage equality cases move forward, I’m struck by how each ruling has its own flavor. Mark Cady in Iowa wrote movingly about the illogic of restricting marriage while proclaiming equal protection. Vaughn Walker in California was meticulous in getting facts into the record and weaving together the legal logic to take down Prop 8. Arenda Wright Allen in Virginia was powerful in her use of Loving v Virginia to lift up the role of the courts to forge justice “from fires of indignities and prejudices suffered”. Now comes Judge Bernard Friedman of the US Southern District of Michigan, who brought a sense of wit and sarcasm to bear on the target-rich environment of those opposed to marriage equality in the case of Deboer v Snyder.

It’s not just the ruling striking down Michigan’s Marriage Amendment [MMA] that makes me happy, but the withering way in which Friedman took on the arguments presented by the defendants. . .

 

Marriage Equality Moves Ahead, Thanks to Virginia Federal Judge Wright Allen

By: Saturday February 15, 2014 9:05 am

The push toward full marriage equality took another big step forward in Virginia on Thursday evening, just in time to make Valentine’s Day that much more happy for LGBTs and their allies. In a very readable, very well-written 41 page opinion, US District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen (Eastern District of Virginia) struck down Virginia’s prohibition on same sex couples getting married in Virginia and those who were married elsewhere having their marriages recognized within the state.

The whole thing is great, but the very best parts of her opinion were in the footnotes . . .

Marriage Equality and the Choice Before the Supreme Court

By: Saturday December 8, 2012 9:00 am

SCOTUS has a choice before it in the two marriage equality cases they have agreed to review. Will they follow the logic of Plessy v Ferguson and its doctrine of “separate but equal” or Brown v Board of Education and a clear declaration of “equal”? Will they choose the logic of Dred Scott v. John Sandford and its “blacks have no citizenship rights” or that of Loving v Virginia and its “states have no discrimination rights”?

Judges elsewhere, like Mark Cady in Iowa and Vaughn Walker in California, have chose the path of Brown and Loving. Will John Roberts walk that same path, or will he and his conservative colleagues choose to be remembered like Roger Taney for sending Dred Scott back into slavery?

Loving v. Virginia Turns 45

By: Tuesday June 12, 2012 2:50 pm

About 45 years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statute violated both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Ted Olson and David Boies, co-counsel in the Prop. 8 case, talk about Loving v. Virginia and its impact on the fight for marriage equality in this video from last year.

DOJ Speaks from Privilege to Defend DOMA Once Again

By: Saturday January 15, 2011 9:26 am

The DOMA battle has moved to the US 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, and the DOJ has filed their brief. In short, the brief whines about the burdens a DOMA-less world would place on the federal government, and argues that things would be so much simpler if we just maintained the 1996 status quo until things shake out.

With logic like that, we’d never have Medicare, Medicaid, or marriages of couples from different racial backgrounds.

Stay classy, DOJ, as you argue from your position of privilege.

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