The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The two gay marriage cases

Yesterday and today, the Supreme Court has been hearing arguments on two gay-marriage cases, two which in fact are quite different but both bearing on the future of gay marriage. Given that I was certain that last year the Court would find “Obamacare” unconstitutional, I have no credentials as a Court decision predictor, and so I will not try on these, but there are a number of points to be made.

If the court wanted to take a strict “states' rights” position, it would rule that California's Proposition 8 was properly enacted, ending gay marriage in California, but invalidate the “Defense of Marriage Act” as an infringement on the States' rught to define marriage — a Tenth Amendment based decision. So gay-marriage people would have, then, a split decision.

It is, of course, possible that the Court would follow the precedent of Loving v. Virginia, as Ted Olson would suggest, and grant gay marriage rights nationwide as a Fourteenth Amendment (equal protection) right. I really don't expect this, but it would be a great day fopr gay couples if the Court did so

What could more likely happen, and was hinted at by at least two Justices, is that Hollingsworth v. Perry (originally called Perry v. Schwartzenegger and then Perry v. Brown: these changes can be quite confusing!) will not be decided at all; the Court will rule that the supporters of Prop. 8 have no standing to sue, gay marriages will resume in California as a result of a lower court decision, but the other 49 states will be unaffected.

Of course, we will not find out the decision for several months. The Court will do as it did in the Obamacare case, issuing its opinion in June rather than right away. So we are waiting while various analysts examine the questions the Justices asked to try to discern their thought processes.

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