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RECAP: Last night’s online chat with EOT on Sixth Circuit hearings

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

Last night we had our first-ever, live, online chat with EqualityOnTrial donors and it was a hit! We discussed EqualityOnTrial’s firsthand coverage of consequential cases being heard at the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals here in Cincinnati and examined what’s on the line for marriage equality. Don’t miss out on our next live chat and become a donor today.

If you missed it, you can replay the whole discussion by clicking ‘Replay’ below.

Live Blog EqualityOnTrial Sixth Circuit Live Chat

We made this online chat exclusive to EOT donors to acknowledge their tremendous love and support. With more hearings coming down the line, we plan on doing this again and giving EOT donors another opportunity to discuss — live! — what we’re witnessing inside the courtroom.

By chipping in as little as $10 you’ll not only be helping me and Jacob continue to do this work, but you’ll also get an invite to our next chat.

A big thank you to everyone who tuned-in last night, for the great questions, and for all of your continued support. We could not do this without you.

– Scottie

107 Comments

  • 1. SWB1987  |  August 7, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    Scottie is going to go to the Supreme Court next spring right‽‽‽

  • 2. brandall  |  August 7, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    He has to be there. But, it will require a new fundraiser to make it happen. I'll be the first to contribute.

  • 3. brooklyn11217  |  August 8, 2014 at 8:46 am

    The money to get him there won't be the problem. When the next ME case gets argued at SCOTUS, people will probably line up a week in advance to get in…..And, I am not exaggerating here.

  • 4. annajoy1  |  August 7, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    I hope the pessimism about Judge Sutton is misplaced. Although, some think if the 6th votes against SSM that it will bring the issue faster to the SCOTUS because of the opposing rulings by Appeals Courts. I just can't believe that Sutton honestly believes that the ballot box is the best place for the LGBTQ communities to secure our rights. I hope he sees the light!

  • 5. RQO  |  August 7, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    The ballot box is the best place for Sutton to evade writing a decision that is both intellectually sufficient AND doesn't compromise his right-wing street cred. Reading Kelly's and Niemeyer's dissents is not helpful enough. It's all so difficult for them since "simple moral disapproval" got tossed.

  • 6. Zack12  |  August 7, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    He does, and he feels that way on many issues, which is why virtually every civil rights group from the NAACP to NOW to HRC fought to keep him off the bench.

  • 7. DrPatrick1  |  August 8, 2014 at 8:02 am

    There has been so much speculation that a conservative president would pick this Scalia wanna be for SCOTUS if there is a vacancy, that I almost hope her rules against us. I mean, I can't imagine him getting through a Senate hearing and having enough votes to make it onto the court. I think ruling wrong on what will soon be a basic civil right will highlight his unfitness for the court.

    WORD OF CAUTION: In 2000 I wanted Bush to beat McCain in the Primary. I thought it impossible for Gore to lose to Bush!

  • 8. SeattleRobin  |  August 8, 2014 at 8:36 am

    Heh, I remember being in a hotel room in St. Louis about a year before the election and I saw Bush talking on TV for the first time. I thought to myself, no one's going to vote for this dimwit. I was so horribly horribly wrong.

  • 9. brandall  |  August 8, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    My husband's grandmother lived to be 96 years old. She was an Iowa-born Republican (she loved and accepted both of us). Her husband was once a mayor and they were involved in politics. She never swore, she was alway gracious and had an unbelievable memory.

    I once asked her for her opinion of Bush. Her reply, "He was the stupidest, dumb ass president ever and I've lived through 17 presidents in my life."

  • 10. DACiowan  |  August 8, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    As an Iowan, I take pride that our state is quite open-minded and tolerant. There are exceptions of course (especially out west), but there is a strong "live and let live" culture here.

  • 11. brandall  |  August 8, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    I have about 50 in-laws (aunts, uncles, cousins) all descended from farms in the Sigourney, Koekuk and Fertile, Worth areas. What you said about "live and let live" is true of all of them. There is not one bigot or meanie in the family. It explains a lot about why our relationship has done so well after 20 years.

  • 12. RnL2008  |  August 8, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Gore DIDN'T lose to Bush………if the State in question had been ANY other than Florida, it would have ended differently in my opinion……but it included Florida and SCOTUS just gave it to Bush…..but that's supposedly ALL water under the bridge…….lol….ugh:(

  • 13. DrPatrick1  |  August 8, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Gore won the popular vote, no question. Excluding Florida, Gore won the electoral vote, no question. More people left the Polls in FL believing they had voted for Gore than thought they had voted for Bush (no question in my mind, though somewhat debatable). HOWEVER, several news organizations after the SCOTUS decision went back and counted all the votes, and still felt Bush had more FL ballots than Gore.

    In any case, Bush won the presidency, Gore lost it, and the world was drastically changed for the worse as a result. ELECTIONS DO MATTER!

  • 14. RnL2008  |  August 8, 2014 at 11:06 am

    Elections do matter, I agree with ya pretty much on all points EXCEPT that I believe the count in Florida would have been extremely close……either way, Bush was our President and this Country was changed…….hopefully this Country can find a way to get it together, but I seriously doubt that as long as we continue to rely on this 2-party system. We have seen EXACTLY what the so-called "Tea Party" folks plan on doing, which in my opinion is trying to steer this Country to a more Theocracy controlled Country and that's NOT going to happen at least while I live and breath!!!

  • 15. FredDorner  |  August 8, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    While it was a statistical tie under any scenario, Gore would have won if a statewide recount had been held:
    http://www.factcheck.org/2008/01/the-florida-reco

    "According to a massive months-long study commissioned by eight news organizations in 2001, George W. Bush probably still would have won even if the U.S. Supreme Court had allowed a limited statewide recount to go forward as ordered by Florida’s highest court.

    Bush also probably would have won had the state conducted the limited recount of only four heavily Democratic counties that Al Gore asked for, the study found.

    On the other hand, the study also found that Gore probably would have won, by a range of 42 to 171 votes out of 6 million cast, had there been a broad recount of all disputed ballots statewide. However, Gore never asked for such a recount. "

  • 16. hopalongcassidy  |  August 8, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    yeah, it is pretty much a dead horse at this point, but for the record, Vincent Bugliosi's piece "None Dare Call it Treason" from The Nation as well as his later book http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Betrayal_of_Amer… are fascinating reading and really ought to read by every American.

  • 17. Dr. Z  |  August 8, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    According to the Constitution, disputed election results are supposed to be resolved by the Congress, not SCOTUS. SCOTUS stuck its nose into the political process where it didn't belong. If Al Gore had had the balls to fight on the issue and take it to Congress, he would have been President. Gore did us no favors by refusing to pursue the remedy set forth in the Constitution.

  • 18. hopalongcassidy  |  August 8, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    One fact that continues to astonish me is that so many people still think Gore was the one who originally sued even though it was clearly styled BUSH vs Gore. But you're right, Gore failed miserably to fight back. I guess he wanted to spare the country more angst but somebody gave him some really shitty advice.

  • 19. Zack12  |  August 8, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Gore also didn't campaign well in the final months.
    Kerry also didn't fight back in 04 in Ohio when it was clear that then secretary of state and now FRC stooge Ken Blackwell was doing everything he could to ensure Bush would win.
    What happened in 04 was just as disguisting as what happened in 2000 IMO.

  • 20. Chuck_in_PA  |  August 9, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    The Gore campaign was very half-hearted and made many poor decisions. As I watched it as a life-long Democrat, I kept shaking my head in disbelief. One of the worst decisions was selecting Leiberman as his running mate. Was Gore afraid of losing Connecticut or did he believe he needed to shore up the Jewish vote? I had been arguing to my friends that there was one person who could have really helped his ticket and probably ensured his election. It incidentally was a true hero from Ohio. John Glenn. The world could have been so different if he had been selected.

  • 21. ebohlman  |  August 10, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Glenn's ties to the Keating Five would likely have hurt him back then (such ties didn't hurt McCain in '08, but that was 8 years later and IOKIYAR).

  • 22. JayJonson  |  August 10, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    I will always admire Kerry for not taking Bill Clinton's advice that he endorse Ohio's amendment to ban same-sex marriage as a means to carry the state. Kerry reportedly said that he would not be able to look at himself in the mirror if he did that.

  • 23. DACiowan  |  August 7, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    SCOTUSBlog already has the case page up for Kitchen: http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/herber… . It's an exciting visual sign of how close we're getting to the big decision.

  • 24. annajoy1  |  August 7, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    Does this mean they will take the case?

  • 25. DACiowan  |  August 7, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    No, there are placeholder sites left over for cases denied cert. Right now, it's merely a nicely tailored sign that we're on SCOTUS' doorstep.

  • 26. brandall  |  August 8, 2014 at 8:11 am

    For anyone new to this site or the entire Supreme Court process, SCOTUSBlog (scotusblog.com) is not the same as the official site for the Supreme Court (http://www.supremecourt.gov).`

    "SCOTUSblog is devoted to comprehensively covering the U.S. Supreme Court without bias and according to the highest journalistic and legal ethical standards. The blog is provided as a public service and is sponsored by Bloomberg Law."

    "Tom Goldstein and Amy Howe, husband and wife, founded the blog in 2002. Reporter Lyle Denniston joined a few years later. Other permanent and part-time staff members have joined over time. Significant contributions have come from other lawyers at Tom and Amy’s law firm, as well as their students at Stanford and Harvard Law Schools. Now more than twenty people work on or write for the blog."

    Anytime we are referring to "Lyle" in the EoT blogs, it is Lyle Denniston. He covers the ME march.

    Here is their complete "about" page:
    http://www.scotusblog.com/about/

  • 27. annajoy1  |  August 8, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Thanks for the explanation.Sent from my iPad

  • 28. annajoy1  |  August 7, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    Sutton clerked for Scalia? Not a good sign if he sees him as his mentor.

  • 29. brandall  |  August 7, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    “I wouldn’t have hired Jeff Sutton,” Scalia said. “For God’s sake, he went to Ohio State! And he’s one of the very best law clerks I ever had.”

    I hope this was for his knowledge and retention of the law and not his legal viewpoints.
    http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/justice_sc

  • 30. Margo Schulter  |  August 8, 2014 at 12:11 am

    A humorous touch here is that if Judge Sutton wants to take a critical look at the view that Baker v. Nelson (1972) is still governing precedent despite “doctrinal developments,” one of the best indications that state marriage bans now present a “substantial federal question” is the dissent of his mentor — Justice Scalia — in Windsor!

  • 31. RobW303  |  August 8, 2014 at 7:56 am

    Why does normal login not suffice to hear the replay? I'll be damned if I want to join Facebook any time before its eventual passage into obscurity, which can't happen too soon.

  • 32. brandall  |  August 8, 2014 at 8:18 am

    CoveritLive (provides the iive blogging service) is a separate software supplier than IntenseDebate which runs our blogs and logins. IHMO, create a Twitter account as it does less tracking then FB (for the moment).

  • 33. RobW303  |  August 8, 2014 at 9:21 am

    Well here's an idea: convert the recording to a streamable/downloadable feed on another service that doesn't force you to register with a giant privacy-invading our-way-or-the-highway "social media" site. For example, Soundcloud or MediaFire. Did the folks at Equality on Trial not consider that CoveritLive's registration myopia might be a problem??

  • 34. SeattleRobin  |  August 8, 2014 at 8:19 am

    I just finally finished listening to the audio of the arguments. The hands down best part was in discussion of the Michigan DeBoer case, where judge Dougherty (sp?) says that (paraphrasing): "There's that professor from Texas where the university website basically says don't listen to thing this guy is telling you." I LOLed.

    I agree with everyone that Sutton is clearly the swing vote and that he didn't tip his hand. What I appreciate about him is that he had probing questions for both sides, and he also displayed a sense of humor. I never picked up any vibe that he personally holds animus towards gay people, and that he will be deciding this on his legal, not personal beliefs. So even if he ends up deciding against us, it won't have quite the same sting as the dissenting judges in the 4th and 10th.

    What did strike me very strongly about Sutton is that he seems almost completely oblivious to how denying marriage to same-sex couples is imposing daily, significant harms on many of the couples, and pretty much all their children. He also appears to have a lot more faith in the voters in this country than is warranted. While he admits we've been subject to discrimination, he seems to think that animus isn't a serious current concern, and that allowing democracy to handle this will still end up in full equality in about five years or so.

    The fact that he doesn't seem to understand the depth of the concrete harms taking place right now appears to make him more willing to sign on to the state by state approach, rather than imposing a top down court decision. The fact that he asked two different plaintiff's attorneys if it wasn't better for the gay community as a whole to gain approval from their fellow citizens, rather than having a court decision forced on them, indicates that he just doesn't grok how urgent this is for many people facing health care, estate, and child custody issues.

    And the fact that he kept asking about incremental steps indicated that he isn't letting history teach how flawed a solution that is for gaining equal rights. It only works in certain parts of the country, and the other parts have to be forced. Either that, or gay people in those parts have to be patient for another few decades, not a mere handful of years.

    Dougherty clearly gets all that, so I think our best hope is that she is able to educate Sutton about our realities. If he clings to his optimistic ideals, we're gonna go down 2-1.

  • 35. LK2013  |  August 8, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    I think you are giving Sutton way too much credit. Sadly. There is more discussion about him over in the 6th Circuit thread.

  • 36. SeattleRobin  |  August 9, 2014 at 2:32 am

    I've read all the other discussions. I was just giving my thoughts on the actual oral arguments. I won't be at all surprised if he rules against us and I'm prepared for that. But in the court session he didn't come across as a completely lost cause like Cook. He came across as someone trying to carefully balance all the legal arguments, hindered by his federalist leanings and lack of appreciation for exactly how harmful these laws are to the every days lives of gay people.

  • 37. Zack12  |  August 9, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    Sadly, when it comes to the rights of any minority group Sutton seems to fail to understand how harmful different laws are and how many people in various minority groups don't have the luxury of waiting 10-15 or more years for voters to come around.

  • 38. Ragavendran  |  August 9, 2014 at 7:52 am

    I agree with how Sutton came across when he went off the rail and started talking about why the democratic process should be the best vehicle for changing hearts and minds (even assuming we win at the Supreme Court). The Slate article says it best:

    Don’t come to us with your demands for equal protection and fundamental rights, Sutton implied; take your case to the voters instead. Being a legal stranger to your spouse and child isn’t so bad, he suggests, that you need to turn to the federal courts for relief. This reasoning stands in stark contrast to Kennedy’s Windsor opinion, which explained that marriage bans “demean” gay couples and “humiliate” their children. In Kennedy’s eyes, gay marriage bans “degrade” gay people. In Sutton’s eyes, they merely annoy them.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2014/08/07/the

  • 39. LK2013  |  August 9, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Thanks for the link to the Slate article. Nails it.

  • 40. Bruno71  |  August 9, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    It's really hard for me to imagine Kennedy ruling in any other way but in our favor. Perhaps some technicality could arise, but other than that, I just don't see him going down this line that Sutton appears to be walking. What's even harder for me to imagine with the idea of Kennedy ruling against us is sending same-sex married couples in California, Pennsylvania, and Oregon into a tailspin. That would just be beyond even my wildest imagination.

  • 41. RnL2008  |  August 9, 2014 at 11:51 pm

    I honestly DON'T see that happening…….especially seeing that the 18,000 married Same-Sex couples are celebrating their 6th wedding anniversary…….ours is next week….and so many more couples have been getting married since June of last year…….but after the day I've had…….NOTHING would surprise me from our Government!

  • 42. JayJonson  |  August 10, 2014 at 7:24 am

    I agree, Rose. Kennedy will do the right thing. So will RBG, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan. Our majority at SCOTUS is solid and unwavering.

    What I fear is that one of them will retire or die before the right case gets to them. If something happens to one of them, it will take years before marriage equality is achieved nationally.

    Even so, I do not foresee California or Pennsylvania or other states that have actually achieved marriage equality reversing the status quo. What I do foresee is a dreadful situation where the county remains half-free and the polarization on the issue continues. We will ultimately win in those states that elected Obama (iirc, all the states who voted for Obama in 2012 have marriage equality except Nevada, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Virginia–most of these have pending judicial rulings that if upheld will bring marriage equality soon and even if the rulings are not upheld in all of them a majority of voters favor marriage equality).

    If because of the death or retirement of a member of the Windsor majority, SCOTUS rules that there is no fundamental right to marry, we will win that right via referendum in the blue states and purple states, but it will take a decade or more to win it in the hard red states.

    Should SCOTUS rule against a fundamental right to marry, there will be increased attention to the question of nonrecognition, phrased in the terms Judge Black used in the Obergefell cases: can one state "unmarry" you if another state has married you? Somewhat different from a fundamental right to marry, and one that might gather steam.

    Of course, this is all speculation. But I think that SCOTUS will do the right thing and do it quickly.

  • 43. MichaelGrabow  |  August 8, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Disgusting.
    http://www.wfla.com/story/26213876/family-says-ch

  • 44. sfbob  |  August 8, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Truly vile. Especially when and how the church chose to cancel the funeral.

    Look, I'm Jewish so there are things about Christian theology I don't understand. But if I understand correctly most branches of Christianity believe everyone to be a sinner. Assuming this is the case, where is there any scriptural authority for singling out one group of sinners as being somehow worse than the others to such a degree that they could be denied a funeral? Does this church not allow funerals for, as an example, adulterers?

  • 45. RemC_in_Chicago  |  August 8, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Oy, don't get me started. As a person of Christian faith, I am infuriated by the current trend of so-called Christians using the Bible as an instrument of emotional and physical violence against the gay community. There is nothing "Christian" about this pastor's astounding lack of sensitivity, compassion, sympathy, empathy—all traits that are supposed to be the bedrock of our faith: love one another; judge not lest ye be judged; do onto others as you would have others do onto to you…and so on. Three-headed hypocrisy running amok over a field of double-standards (insert scream of frustration here).

  • 46. weaverbear  |  August 8, 2014 at 9:56 am

    I'm tempted to quote "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone..", but that buys into the concept of being of a non-heterosexual orientation is per se, a sin and I am not willing to go there.

    Funerals are for the living to put some structure on their grief, and this callous disregard for the mourners of this man and their pain, their suffering goes so far afield of the message from the Sermon from the Mount (Matthew 6, if I'm not mistaken); "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted…" Way to go New Hope. I see you really know and respect your Bible and it's teachings.

  • 47. Silvershrimp0  |  August 8, 2014 at 9:50 am

    I wonder if they would've done the same if the obituary merited that he was straight and divorced. I sincerely doubt it.

  • 48. Margo Schulter  |  August 8, 2014 at 8:37 am

    One interesting position open to Judge Sutton that avoids the animus concept (at least in its reading as “hate” or “antipathy”) and also a doctrine of heightened scrutiny (under either due process or equal protection) would be to say that voters evidently adopted DOMA-like constitutional amendments in order to “maintain the classification for the sake of maintaining the classification.”

    That isn’t exactly “animus” in a usual sense, at least, but the classical equal protection doctrine that simply maintaining tradition for its own sake is not a legitimate rational basis! There are familiar quotes on this in lots of the federal court decisions, and I think it does capture one aspect of these electoral episodes of discrimination.

    It also ties in with an argument that what I might term structural inertia, as represented by marriage ban constitutional amendments, may interfere with an obstruct the translation of a dramatic shift of public opinion in many States into the legislative recognition of marriage equality which Judge Sutton evidently sees as both desirable under Windsor, and ultimately inevitable.

    As the plaintiffs quite properly argued, a constitutional amendment limiting rather than promoting the availability of equal rights to a minority group tends to impose artificial barriers (in part economic, given the cost of a successful ballot initiative campaign) to democratic change through the legislature or ballot box.

    As Justice Ginsburg pointed out in one recent interview, the pace of this shift in public opinion is truly amazing, so that extending the Windsor decision to state marriage bans would actually be a vindication of majority sentiment nationwide, as well as minority rights.

    Since Judge Sutton, by his questions during oral argument, suggested his awareness of how questionable these bans are even under rational basis review, the concept that tradition alone does not suffice to insulate a practice from constitutional attack, coupled with an appreciation of how constitutional amendments can inhibit the legislative implementation of a more informed and considered public opinion, can provide one persuasive basis for overturning these bans under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

  • 49. brandall  |  August 8, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Another STALL: "Florida has asked for no further rulings to be made on its same-sex marriage ban, until the US Supreme Court makes a broader decision."

    "Bondi argued that further state proceedings were a waste of resources, and that the Supreme Court should decide on the issue."

    The state Supreme Court should absolutely not allow this to happen. For the 10,000 time, fundamental rights cannot be subject to stalling. You either deal with it or rule it constitutional at the State level. Every state (especially those with elections in November) are now trying to do this. Florida passed the law and their Supreme Court needs to decide now.

    The good news is Equality Florida is a huge ME group with a huge budget and lots of lawyers. I am 100% confident they will not accept this without a fight. Expect more filings very soon.
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2014/08/08/florida-asks

  • 50. mjnichol  |  August 8, 2014 at 10:09 am

    SCOTUS may decline to take all of the cases, so this argument is very premature.

  • 51. brandall  |  August 8, 2014 at 10:15 am

    Now Bondi's pissing me off. Another article:

    "The attorney general agreed to consolidating the cases, but said there is no rush to conclude the Florida cases. Bondi’s filings did not mention rulings this week in Broward and Palm Beach counties that also declared Florida’s 2008 gay-marriage amendment as unconstitutional.

    "Bondi believes the U.S. Supreme Court will decide the issue, perhaps before the Florida cases are resolved."

    To mjnichol's point. She has absolutely NO way of knowing that. And I will point out Bondi and current Gov Scott are up for reelection. Opposing them is Former Gov Crist who is blasting both of them on a daily basis for denying ME. I'd love to see the polls on this specific issue, but none have been released yet to my knowledge.

    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/08/08/4278983/att

  • 52. MichaelGrabow  |  August 8, 2014 at 10:23 am

    And even if they do take a case, it will be quite some time before it is settled and irreparable harm will take place each and every day between now and then.

    "Neither this Court nor the Florida Supreme Court can decide this federal issue with finality"

    No, that is entirely untrue. They can decide the issue with finality just like many other courts have. What she must mean to say is I would continue to appeal the decision and spend those taxpayer and judicial resources I want to make people believe I'm trying to preserve.

  • 53. SoCal_Dave  |  August 9, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    "Neither this Court nor the Florida Supreme Court can decide this federal issue with finality"

    What? What happened to their favorite Baker vs Nelson that says there is not a substantial federal question?
    Talk about trying to have it both ways.

  • 54. brandall  |  August 8, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    As I thought, Equality Florida is not taking Bondi's stall decision lightly. They are already jamming the media outlets and have a web petition up and running.

    If you live in Florida, please sign this: http://eqfl.org/cantwait

  • 55. Zack12  |  August 8, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Gee, I guess that whole state's right thing goes out the window when it looks like the state courts will rule against you.

  • 56. brandall  |  August 8, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Zack, that is a brilliant thought! It should be used by our ME org's in CO, FL and other states with cases on their way up to their State SC's. Thanks for posting this.

  • 57. brandall  |  August 8, 2014 at 10:23 am

    VA Bostic: Plaintiff's Petition for Cert to SCOTUS filed
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/236233053/VA-Attorney-G

  • 58. LK2013  |  August 8, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Good!

  • 59. brandall  |  August 8, 2014 at 10:30 am

    This is part that has some people worried about another Prop 8 standing issue and an "emergency exit door" by SCOTUS:

    "As independent, local constitutional officers not represented by the Office of Attorney General, Clerks McQuigg and Schaefer continued to defend the ban’s constitutionality. With the Attorney General’s consent, the district court also granted McQuigg’s request to adopt the briefs and arguments of the previous State Solicitor."

  • 60. DoctorHeimlich  |  August 8, 2014 at 11:17 am

    You can't use an emergency exit when a mob is standing on the other side of the door. By which I mean: even if they disposed of Bostic through some standing loophole, there would still be Kitchen (and soon, several other cases) that could NOT be disposed of without a decision addressing the merits.

    Now granted, SCOTUS can do what it wants as far as holding cases. But it makes no sense to hold one case (Kitchen) pending the outcome of another case (Bostic) that might not even affect it. Sure, SCOTUS makes no sense sometimes, but I don't think this particular brand of nonsense would be in their wheelhouse.

  • 61. brandall  |  August 8, 2014 at 11:32 am

    I love "when the mob is standing on the other side of the door"….I'm with you on the options. But, there are those who want Kitchen and not Bostic because they believe it could be another Prop 8. I believe some folks incorrectly want Bostic because they want Boies in front of the court. I believe Boies will argue whatever case(s) is given cert.

  • 62. RobW303  |  August 8, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Nevertheless, if the continuing defendants don't have sufficient standing, wouldn't it be only proper for SCOTUS to dismiss this case or deny certiorari? Since the AG's office was party in both the district and circuit proceedings, I assume neither decision would be vacated due to the question of the clerks' standing. Or would the case need to be reheard at district level without the clerks as defendants, reopening the question of whether the proper parties were sued? (The same dance that held up the Bishop case for eleven years.) Only this would make West Virginia and the Carolinas breathe easier.

  • 63. SeattleRobin  |  August 9, 2014 at 2:44 am

    I would think that SCOTUS denying cert due to lack of standing would result in the circuit court decision being the final say, because as you point out it was properly defended by the state. (Unlike Prop 8.) I can't imagine they'd grant cert only for the purpose of ruling on a standing issue a mere year after ruling on standing in Hollingsworth.

  • 64. brandall  |  August 8, 2014 at 11:22 am

    The Summary of the Case is an A plus job in condensing the many moving parts (Kitchen, Perry, Baker, Glucksberg, Rainey, Loving, Zablocki, Turner) that had to be covered including Niemeyer's opposition. Here is a summary from the rest of the brief:

    Targeting Kennedy: "Nation-wide, more than 8 million adults identify themselves as gay or lesbian, and more than 125,000 same-sex couples are raising nearly 220,000 children"
    The Best of the Best sentences from previous cases:
    “There is no asterisk next to the Fourteenth Amendment that excludes gay persons from its protections.” [Wolf]
    “We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history.” [Whitewood]
    “These couples, when gender and sexual orientation are taken away, are in all re-spects like the family down the street. The Constitution demands that we treat them as such.” [Baskin]

    Interpreting Glucksberg :
    "Nothing in Glucksberg said that already established fundamental rights should be restricted to the narrowest manner in which they were historically practiced. If that reading prevailed, there would be no “right to interracial marriage,” no “right of people owing child support to marry,” and no “right of prison inmates to marry.”

    Targeting Scalia [this is very funny and almost sarcastic]:
    That reading of Glucksberg would also raise from the dead the narrowest-historical-context theory ofsubstantive due process, born in footnote 6 of Michael H. v. Gerald D., (1989) (Scalia,J.), but killed and buried in Planned Parenthood ofSoutheastern Pennsylvania v. Casey"
    "Reading Glucksberg to revivify the narrowest-historical-context theory would contradict Casey and likely surprise the theory’s originator, who has repeatedly acknowledged its rejection. “

    Take up this case and not Kitchen [realizing they could cert both]:
    Virginia’s same-sex-marriage ban is one of the most stringent in the country. It goes further than Proposition 8 by barring and refusing to recognize civil unions and by preventing same-sex couples fromadopting children. It also goes further than Utah’s ban, which at least preserves contractual rights exercised independently of the same-sex-marriage restriction.
    "…it does block any Virginia statute that is “‘plainly repugnant’ to the marriage amendment.”
    Allowing “civil unions” but not gay marriagewould invite fair criticism that “separate but equal” is “inherently unequal.” Brown v. Bd. of Educ. (1954). But Virginia law denies gay people even that begrudging, second-class status.

    This is the right case because the Defendent’s have standing:
    Challenges to same-sex-marriage laws have foundered on Article III grounds when plaintiffs sued the governor and state attorney general, rather than the local clerk actually responsible for issuing the marriage license.

  • 65. JayJonson  |  August 8, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    When I learned of Mark Herring's victory, I was mainly delighted by the fact that there would finally be a responsible Attorney General in Virginia after the ugly reign of Ken Kuccinelli. Now, however, I am delighted that finally Virginia has an Attorney General who is passionately committed to equal rights for all.

  • 66. sfbob  |  August 8, 2014 at 11:27 am

    A very solid brief.

  • 67. DrPatrick1  |  August 8, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Wow, I try to read these as much as possible, but I am not a legal eagle, and sometimes get lost. But the takedown of the circuit judges dissent in the 4th and 10th circuits relying on Glucksberg is…wait for it….LEGENDARY (a la Barney from HIMYM). I wonder if this is the first time someone put this together, or he is borrowing it from others' analysis…

  • 68. DoctorHeimlich  |  August 8, 2014 at 11:45 am

    I particularly like the conclusion. It implores the Court not to give in to pleas for "judicial inaction," and notes that even though things have been moving quickly since Lawrence, "how much longer must these citizens and their children wait to realize the promise of equal justice under law?"

    It feels to me like the sort of clear and direct response to Judge Sutton I wish had been given in the Sixth Circuit just days ago.

  • 69. DrPatrick1  |  August 8, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    I am not at all disappointed in this petition. I have been reluctant to join the call to have SCOTUS pick the VA case. After reading this, I hope they pick VA!

  • 70. lengriff  |  August 8, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Well, I did not donate this time. However, last winter I did (two times I believe) and you folks just begged for money and as I recall you came up short by a long way. By the way, I asked for nothing and only thing I received was available to all. Keep up the good work!

  • 71. brandall  |  August 8, 2014 at 11:58 am

    UCLA Study: Children of LGB Parents Functioning 'Quite Well'

    What is the most interesting reveal is the number of bisexual respondents in this study. Most studies isolate to just gay or lesbian panels.

    64 percent — are openly bisexual. The Williams Institute cited a 2013 Pew Research survey, which found that more than a third of all LGBT individuals report being a parent. An estimated 59 percent of bisexual women and 32 percent of bisexual men report having had children, while 31 percent of lesbians and 16 percent of gay men are parents.

    Another study to smack Mark Regenerus Disingenuous
    http://www.advocate.com/parenting/2014/08/08/repo

  • 72. Jen_in_MI  |  August 9, 2014 at 2:49 am

    I am not at all surprised by the number of people who identify as bisexual – I do as well. There is a lot of what I call " bi erasure" or "bi invisibility" because people constantly make assumptions about someone's orientation, like so: if I'm seen with my boyfriend, I must be straight. I've been with my same-sex partner for almost 17 years, and people assume I'm a lesbian – even people close to me! Never have been. My spouse now identifies as trans*, which makes things interesting when correcting people's assumptions. Sorry to be so long-winded. 🙂

  • 73. brandall  |  August 8, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    TN: Borman v. Pyles-Borman, State District Court Rules Against ME and Subsequent Divorce in 7-page opinion

    Since this is in the 6th AC, it will be effected by that upcoming decision.

    Judge Simmons said his ruling only applies to the case in question….signaled in his opinion that the matter should go to an appellate court for analysis…marriage should be the prerogative of each state…. neither the federal government nor another state should be allowed to dictate to Tennessee what has traditionally been a state’s responsibility…

    Simmons received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his J.D. from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. He has served in this position since 1990. He was re-elected without opposition in 2006, and his current term expires in 2014. [Wiki] …

    Here's the kicker to this decision: "Simmons, 70, has let it be known he won’t be seeking re-election to another eight-year term in 2014." So, there is his legacy for the people of TN. [Knoxnews.com]

    There is a TN Federal case in play, Tanco v. Haslam. Oral arguments are scheduled for 8/6.

    http://www.knoxnews.com/news/local-news/citing-st

  • 74. Bruno71  |  August 8, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    "Since this is in the 6th AC, it will be effected by that upcoming decision." That decision will not be binding on Tennessee state courts, though of course it could have some influence like any of the other cases in federal courts around the country.

  • 75. sfbob  |  August 8, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    I'm not finding the actual opinion but assuming the citations in the article are accurate, the judge's understanding of the law is, to put it charitably, more than a bit flawed.

    One example:

    "Foster contended the state’s stance on same-sex marriage laws 'single out his (Borman’s) marriage as a second class marriage …'

    That’s misconstruing state law, Simmons ruled. “There are other marriages between opposite sex couples” that are also prohibited in Tennessee — such as a brother marrying a sister — the judge noted."

    No state, not a single one as far as I know of, allows brother-sister marriage. But many states allow first cousins to marry and those marriages are recognized even in states that don't solemnize them. I'm willing to bet Tennessee either allows first-cousin marriages or recognizes those performed in other states. I'd defy him to cite a list of marriages actually performed in other states which Tennessee does not recognize…other than gay ones.

  • 76. RobW303  |  August 8, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Common law marriages are not universally recognized by the states. I'm not sure about marriages with an underaged partner (per the new state of residence). That said, I don't know whether Tennessee refuses to recognize either of these. Opponents also note that none of these types of marriages violate constitutional bans via marriage "definition", only statues on entering into marriage within the state. Also, allowing certain exceptions (even if in effect that means all exceptions previously) doesn't preclude a state from still drawing lines. It does seem prejudicial to only prohibit gays—and we know at heart it is and was meant to be—, but even if the judge's example may strike us as nonsense, he isn't entirely misguided on the law. It still boils down to fundamental rights versus states' rights to self-determination: where can states legitimately draw the line? How tenuous can the rationalization be?

    I also recall someone commenting here that exceptions are made in some state(s?) in the case of close relationships where both parties are over 65 or one party is unable to procreate, but I don't recall whether this involves siblings or just first cousins. As it happens, there was a news story just today about a married couple who just discovered they were genetic siblings but intend to remain married—it will be interesting to see that state's reaction. (Disclaimer: I only scanned the summary blurb.)

  • 77. sfbob  |  August 8, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    My ability to research this is somewhat limited by the fact that I'm not an attorney and therefore don't have access to some of the resources an attorney might have access to.
    As far as I can ascertain however, while marriage between siblings is recognized nowhere in the United States as all states have laws banning incest which would cover such a marriage (I think I saw the same news item that you did), it appears that with very, very few exceptions, states that do not recognize common-law marriages in-state will recognize such marriages that have previously been recognized in other states.

    I'll stand by what I said above: the class of marriages solemnized or legally-recognized in one state that are not expressly NOT recognized by another state to which a putatively married couple might relocate to, under what's generally known as the "public policy exception," is quite small. In fact it appears to consist primarily of marriages involving two individuals of the same gender.

    As regards first-cousin marriage, eighteen states (including both New York and California which actually surprised me, as did the total number) have no restrictions on them at all. The number of Southern and Midwestern states that prohibit first-cousin marriage is also far larger than one would expect based on certain stereotypes. An additional four states allow them with some exceptions. Only a minority of states impose restrictions on first-cousin marriages based on inability to procreate. Interestingly enough, those states include Arizona, Tennessee and Utah, all three of which are defending their bans on marriage equality. So what we see here is somewhat of a double standard, particularly since all three have offered as encouragement of "responsible procreation" as grounds for defending those bans.
    Virginia allows first-cousin marriages without restriction.
    Strangely enough, among those states which don't recognize first cousin marriages is New Hampshire, which, as far as I can tell, has the lowest age requirement for marriage with parental consent.

    I should note that I'm getting most of this information from Wikipedia which is of course not a perfect source. In fact it appears that the map which shows the various status of permitting first-cousin marriage is at least a bit at odds with the accompanying chart. However the the fact that Arizona and Utah permit first cousins to marry if they can't procreate has been cited here with enough specificity that I don't think it's at all controversial or doubtful.

  • 78. sfbob  |  August 8, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    How to draw the line beyond which states can legitimately limit the right to marry?

    The ability to marry rests on some basic grounds:
    1. Ability to give consent. The age of consent is 18 throughout the US since that is the legal definition of what it means to no longer be a minor. Where marriage is permitted for a person under 18 it is always with some sort of caveat: parental consent, judicial approval or the female partner being pregnant I believe pretty much cover the exceptions to the minimum age. Remember that in all of the cases generally cited where marriage equality bans have been struck down, there is reference in one form or another to the right to choose one's spouse. Choice and consent are quite closely related.

    2. Lack of consanguinity. This varies from state to state but is never entirely absent.

    3. Not currently legally married.

    Those are the only three universal legal requirements to marry in the US. As soon as a state imposes additional restrictions, the motives for doing so immediately become suspect.

  • 79. ebohlman  |  August 10, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Minor nitpick: NE requires one to be 19 to marry and MS requires one to be 21.

    Age of marriageability used to be a lot more variable across states. Let's say one member of an elderly couple grew up in a state (state A) where the marriage age was 13 at the time and marries a 16-year old when she's 13. They live in that state for 10 years and then move to a state (state B) where the marriage age would have been 14 at the time they married. They live there, becoming quite wealthy, until the husband dies (by which point the marriage age has been raised to 18 in both states).

    At this point her husband's estranged younger brother comes forward and claims that their marriage was never valid in state B and that he's his brother's closest next of kin and should inherit half their money (he challenges the will on the grounds that his brother repeatedly referred to his "wife").

    Does he have a case? Note that this is distinguishable from the scenario where the couple spent their whole lives in state B but traveled to state A to marry in evasion of state B's age limit.

  • 80. RobW303  |  August 8, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Pedant alert:
    "…it will be effected by that upcoming decision"
    As verbs/participles:
    effect = cause to happen, bring about, e.g. effect a cure, effect changes.
    affect = influence, have an effect upon

    This is a common error; I mean no disrespect to brandall, or indeed to anyone else.

  • 81. brandall  |  August 8, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    No disrespect taken. It bugs me to death when I see my own typo's or grammar errors (and then you can't fix them if someone has commented below yours). Thanks for catching it. I know better. You have achieved your desired affect. Just kidding, it's effect.

  • 82. RemC_in_Chicago  |  August 10, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    You meant "its effect," didn't you? I knew this was a test. Glad I passed it. Where's my prize?

  • 83. DoctorHeimlich  |  August 8, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    I think it's still wrong when it comes to Colorado and Virginia. I understand the optimism and desire to put as many states in the plus column as possible. But I live in Colorado. Is there anywhere in my state I could go to receive a marriage license today? No.

  • 84. Bruno71  |  August 8, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Yeah I don't understand why those 2 states are filled in that way either. And why is Virginia filled blue if Utah isn't?

  • 85. ebohlman  |  August 8, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Presumably the reasoning is that CO and VA aren't subject to indefinite stays; the stay in CO is time-limited and VA isn't actually stayed even though it effectively is (temporarily).

  • 86. RobW303  |  August 8, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Colorado and Virginia are colored blue because the latest rulings have not yet been appealed, so although the ban injunctions are temporarily stayed, hypothetically a sharknado could prevent permanent stays being granted before the temporary stays expire or are extended. If I recall, notice to appeal has already been filed in both cases, as well as requests for permanent stays. Want to lay me odds?

    I strongly disagree with the misleading coloring that you need to be a legal beagle to properly interpret, as I've mentioned before, but there IS a method to it and they are wrestling with a number of status grey issues. Why Colorado isn't striped (to show that civil unions are legal; cf. Nevada) can only be explained by their arbitrary decision not to represent "lesser" unions when a state "has" marriage equality by judicial ruling or legislative action even when no same-sex couples can actually marry. If I recall, Illinois was blue for at least three months before couples could marry in regular fashion anywhere in the state (and it was at least three months more before ME arrived statewide)–Colorado and Virginia, for the time being, are like that. It's more a victory map than a practical reference.

  • 87. brandall  |  August 8, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Hey, Judge Sutton: Here’s What Happens When You Put Gay Rights to a Vote

    On Thursday, Chattanooga residents voted to repeal a LGBT ordinance…gay rights groups pursued the democratic process and tried to change hearts and minds—and they lost overwhelmingly…13,685 to 8,184

    According to Sutton, state legislatures and referendums—not the courts—are the ideal vehicles for gaining civil rights…..Pace Sutton’s slightly condescending optimism, the LGBTQ movement has largely run out of democratic options; aside from passing a federal non-discrimination law, the rest of its major victories will likely be confined to the courtroom.

    A short and ironic, but to the point Slate article.
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2014/08/08/jud

  • 88. Zack12  |  August 8, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    Sutton is sadly just one of many judges that George W put on the bench that fail to understand this.
    Next to the Iraq war mess, this would be the worst part of Bush Jr's legacy, far right judges we will be stuck with for decades to come.

  • 89. RnL2008  |  August 8, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    We did gain some ground through the democratic process in November of 2012……..but the point is that FUNDAMENTAL rights are NOT suppose to be left up to a popular vote!!!

  • 90. SeattleRobin  |  August 9, 2014 at 3:04 am

    Does anyone here live near Judge Sutton? I'll pay the cost of printing fliers with this article on them if you'll go plaster them all over his front door and car.

  • 91. brandall  |  August 9, 2014 at 7:28 am

    I'll split the costs with you! Or, you pay for Sutton and I'll pay for fliers for Bondi to drop her SCOTUS appeal and take her "states rights" case to her State Supreme Court.

  • 92. SoCal_Dave  |  August 10, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    thanks for the link, Brandall.
    from the article (Sutton speaking):
    "I would’ve thought the best way to get respect and dignity is through the democratic process. Forcing one’s neighbors, co-employees, friends, to recognize that these marriages, the status deserves the same respect as the status in a heterosexual couple. … If the goal is to change hearts and minds … isn’t it worth the expense? Don’t you think you’re more likely to change hearts and minds through the democratic process than you are through a decision by five justices of the U.S. Supreme Court?"

    I think he has a very basic misunderstanding. The goal of these lawsuits is not to change hearts and minds. The goal of the lawsuits is to affirm our basic civil rights. There are many ways we can try to win hearts and minds, but that is not the goal of these court cases IMO.

  • 93. bayareajohn  |  August 10, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    I think you miscast Sutton and his similarly thinking Right as lacking understanding that our minority has a dismal outlook for speedy rights via voters. The subtext in many of these arguments is that we remain icky to too many people, and we need to change THAT if we want the masses to let us share in the public world. So if we clean up our image enough to merit acceptance by the majority, we'll have earned that acceptance, and if not, NOT. It's a disregard for us, and an implication that we are discriminated against with good cause, not a misunderstanding.

  • 94. LK2013  |  August 9, 2014 at 7:33 am

    Judge Sutton is fully aware that in large areas of the country, there will never be any progress for LGBT rights. His argument is utterly disingenuous, and he seemed to enjoy provoking frustration through his condescension.

    The "democratic process" in this country includes judicial review to guarantee the basic rights of all citizens, particularly the rights of the minority when the animus of the majority oppresses them ad infinitum.

    But plastering the article all over his front door and car is a splendid idea nonetheless!

  • 95. Zack12  |  August 9, 2014 at 7:54 am

    He knows and doesn't care about us or any other minority group.
    As I said above, next to Iraq, this is the other part of George W's legacy that will hurt the U.S. for decades to come.

  • 96. mario315  |  August 9, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    I really wasn't prepared for Wednesday's "Sutton surprise", perhaps because after so many victories since Windsor I did not foresee a federal appeals court judge reviving Baker, etc….

    So now, in preparation for the 7th Circuit Arguments on Tuesday 8-26, and to avoid any Sutton-type curve ball surprises that afternoon, can we get some inside background on the 3 judge panel assigned to the cases from Wisconsin & Indiana ?…. Any 7th Circuit experts out there ?

    I'd rather know now what we're up against on 8-26 than to go through on that day with the same emotional roller-coaster we took with Sutton this past week….. Hopefully, it's a better panel….

  • 97. Zack12  |  August 10, 2014 at 3:25 am

    I wasn't shocked at all. The 6th Circuit has been remade into a far right one due to the judges George W Bush put on there.
    Many in the Democratic base are just figuring out what the Republicans knew long ago, if you control the courts, you don't have to win elections, you can simply put on judges who will block or overturn laws you don't like.

  • 98. Sagesse  |  August 10, 2014 at 7:02 am

    Court packing, gerrymandering and voter suppression. Democracy 101 according to the GOP playbook.

  • 99. Zack12  |  August 10, 2014 at 7:20 am

    Indeed… and it's something the Senate Democrats let happen for far too long.

  • 100. Sagesse  |  August 10, 2014 at 7:30 am

    District Court Judge Jones ruled in Nevada (Sevcik v Sandoval) that Baker is controlling until SCOTUS says it's not. It is a narrow reading of the rules of SCOTUS precedent, probably a silly one, but it's an interpretation. Sutton would be saying, if he can get one other judge to agree with him, that the 6th Circuit does not have the legal authority to decide… punt! It is a legally conservative position, not necessarily a socially conservative one. Any circuit that is restricted to rational basis by its own precedent could go that way, if the panel of judges is so inclined.

    Since sexual orientation is now subject to heightened scrutiny in the 9th Circuit (SmithKline), Baker becomes a non-issue there, and Jones is likely to be overturned on that basis. Legal eagles feel free to correct me if I've misread this.

  • 101. Zack12  |  August 10, 2014 at 8:28 am

    You aren't wrong about the 9th. There is no legal leg for the bigots to stand on at this point, though you can be sure the bigoted judges on the 9th will try.

  • 102. FredDorner  |  August 10, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    No surprise that the two judges who have ruled against marriage equality in the 9th circuit are both Mormons.

  • 103. Zack12  |  August 10, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Indeed, but the head of the bigots on the 9th Circuit, is Catholic. Diarmuid O'Scannlain is easily among the most vicious homophobes sitting sitting on the courts today.
    He is the one whom asked for the en banc hearing in Smithkline as well as Prop 8, things done solely to delay equality.
    I have no doubt he'll do the same for the cases heard this fall if he's not on the 3 judge panel.
    He knows equality is coming but will do everything he can to stop it.

  • 104. Zack12  |  August 10, 2014 at 3:41 am

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/
    Another dumb article about the dissenting judges.
    The bigots fighting against us and the national media both have one thing in the common, this absurd idea that we expected all judges to be on our side and that there wouldn't be any dissents or rulings to go against us.
    Not true, as many of us here stated that at some point, we were going to run into a Scalia or Alito type judge in the lower circuits and we have.
    They were in the minority but it won't shock me if that isn't the case with the 6th.
    As for the other part of this article, when the 2nd circuit heard the Windsor case, the fact the dissent wanting to uphold Section 3 was done by a Democrat using the same crap these judges did led the bigots to make a prediction that his dissent would be the majority option at the Supreme Court.
    They were wrong then and they'll be wrong next June.

  • 105. RemC_in_Chicago  |  August 10, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    I well understand that doing so was a supreme exercise in spitting into the wind, but I wrote a letter to Judge Sutton—and it was inspired by all of you. There were so many excellent points made regarding his comments that I thought they were meant to be taken out of this conversation and directed to him. I managed to make a reference to the Chattanooga vote as an example of what happens when you depend on majority vote to protect the rights of the minority. The other inspiring moment took place last weekend while visiting St Louis: I read the names of the judges that voted against Dred Scott in the courtroom where that case was held. I urged him not to be remembered as they are. Forget flyers. Rent a billboard. Directly across the street from the Cincinnati courthouse.

  • 106. Margo Schulter  |  August 10, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    If I were arguing this before Judge Sutton, there is a relevant analogy with a similar argument about racial discrimination and civil rights in the 1960’s.

    One view was that the law cannot legislate people’s attitudes — whether an act of Congress like the Civil Rights Act of 1964, or a judicial decision like those addressing school desegregation under the Fourteenth Amendment — so that ultimately the law was the wrong way to solve the problem. (And the “Solid South” for Senator Goldwater, the Republican candidate, rather than the traditional solid Democratic support which President Johnson might have received apart from the matter of civil rights was a signal that the Civil Rights Act did not reflect majority (majority “white,” that is) sentiment in those States.)

    Another perspective, however, holds that the law often shapes behavior and attitudes — not always, but often. So statutes or court decisions holding that Jim Crow is forbidden rather than commanded by the law, or that marriage equality shall prevail, can in the long run change attitudes, in good part through the force of experience and habit. When people recognize that abandoning prejudice does not cause “the sky to fall,” then their attitudes may change.

    Of course, there are instances where the law does not change public attitudes — sometimes quite fortunately so, as with the refusal of English trial jurors and judges to deliver the verdicts and sentences strictly required by laws imposing the death penalty for crimes such as pickpocketing or forgery in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. But when it comes to prejudice and suspect categories, legally mandating equality can, over time, change attitudes — and, in the meantime, it can at least remove oppressive barriers to human dignity.

  • 107. healthy joints  |  August 15, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    The other day, while I was at work, my sister stole my apple ipad and
    tested to see if it can survive a twenty five foot drop, just so
    she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now destroyed and she has 83 views.
    I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

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