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, May 22, 2013

A lull in the posting rate

I've not been posting much lately — only once a week or less often. And I notice that most of my favorite blogs, like Dennis Sanders' “Big Tent Revue” and Tom Bowler's “Libertarian Leanings,” have also slacked off. I wonder if this is because Barack Obama's Presidency is going to last till 2017, and nothing we say can change that? (And of course, even Congressional elections are 1½ years away.)

Next month, the Supreme Court will probably issue its decisions on Hollingsworth v. Perry (the California Prop. 8 case) and United States v. Windsor (the case challenging the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act”). I will certainly post comments on these decisions once we know what they are. But until then it is mere speculation. I know how I would rule. On Windsor, it is clear to me that DOMA is unconstitutional, because it conflicts with the Tenth Amendment-based right of States to define “marriage.” On Hollingsworth, my feeling is more nuanced. Because of that Tenth Amendment argument, it is not appropriate to declare same-sex marriage legal everywhere in the 50 States. Appeal to the precedent of Loving v. Virginia is attractive, and probably if there were more than 11 states with same-sex marriage on the books, would make sense. But clearly there is not a nationwide consensus on this issue. I think, if I were a Supreme Court Justice, however, the precedent I would follow is Romer v. Evans. Basically, to take away rights that people already have is unconstitutional, and this is what Prop. 8 did. And on this basis, the Court would, in my opinion, be right to invalidate Prop. 8, while not forcing those states without laws authorizing same-sex marriage on the books to institute it.

But this is my position. i cannot get inside the heads of the nine Supreme Court justices. So I cannot comment on their decision until they issue it, probably next month.

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