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Equality news round-up: Seventh Circuit argument analyses, and more

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

It's time for marriage equality. Attribution: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
It’s time for marriage equality. Attribution: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
UPDATE BREAKING: AFER, representing the plaintiffs in Bostic v. Schaefer, the Virginia marriage equality case, has filed the plaintiffs’ response to Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s petition for review in the Supreme Court. The Bostic plaintiffs agree that the Court should review the case.

– We posted audio from the two cases here yesterday.

– The Washington Blade‘s take on the Seventh Circuit arguments is here.

Buzzfeed‘s is here.

– Art Leonard’s take is here.

Bilerico‘s take is here.

Bloomberg has a story on the hearings, and here’s the opening sentence: “Wisconsinโ€™s same-sex marriage ban follows in the tradition of discrimination against blacks and is based on hate, said the only Republican appointee on a three-member appellate panel in Chicago considering the issue.”

– In other Seventh Circuit news, briefing has been suspended in Bowling v. Pence, a later-filed appeal in a challenge to Indiana’s same-sex marriage ban. The case will essentially be on hold until the Seventh Circuit’s decision in Baskin v. Bogan, one of the cases heard yesterday.

– Mary Bonauto and Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), one of the legal teams who helped initiate legal challenges to same-sex marriage bans and then the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is joining the plaintiffs’ team in the Utah same-sex marriage case.

– Lambda Legal and the ACLU, on behalf of the plaintiffs in the Harris class-action challenge to Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban, have filed a response to Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s petition for review at the Supreme Court. The Harris intervenors agree with the Fourth Circuit’s decision, but support Supreme Court review. They also ask the Court again to consider Clerk McQuigg’s request for a stay to be a petition for review of the merits of the case.

– The Stanford Supreme Court Litigation Clinic is joining the same-sex couple challenging Oklahoma’s marriage ban.

– A challenge to North Carolina’s same-sex marriage ban will remain on hold until the Supreme Court takes action on the petition filed in the Virginia case.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for the filings linked in this post


  • 1. petalumaja  |  August 27, 2014 at 8:21 am

    I follow this site everyday. TALK ABOUT A TOTAL WASTE OF THE COURT SYSTEMS TIME!!!! Why are all these states still fighting civil rights? It's all about HATE!
    The decision to allow gay people to marry HAS BEEN DECIDED BY THE TOP COURT OF OUR COUNTRY! Move on and use the courts to prosecute important matters and criminals!

  • 2. rwingfield  |  August 27, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Unfortunately, the Supreme Court hasn't addressed the specific issue of whether the constitution prohibits bans on same-sex marriage. The court system has developed over two centuries to address constitutional challenges in a methodical and thorough way. It's frustrating that the process takes so long, but it will lead to a definitive and authoritative decision that will settle the issue completely (I hope).

    Of course we all believe that such bans are unconstitutional but many – including at least 4 of the 9 members of the Supreme Court – disagree, and we shouldn't criticise states that decide to defend their bans. That's absolutely their entitlement. The officials have decided to use the state's resources to defend the bans, and the citizens in those states are free to vote them out of office if they think the state has been wasting those resources.

  • 3. davepCA  |  August 27, 2014 at 11:14 am

    I have to strongly disagree with the notion that "we shouldn't criticize states that decide to defend their bans". The state officials that are doing this are prolonging some very real harm being done to citizens, and they should absolutely be criticized for doing so. Just because they are ALLOWED to mount these defenses doesn't mean they actually should. They should not, because the law serves no purpose that would justify allowing this harm to continue. Defending such laws is allowed by our judicial process, but is not justified, either logically or ethically.

    What they SHOULD do is rationally decide whether they OUGHT to defend the law, not just blindly defend it just because they can and just because a conservative base may want them to. THAT is their real job.

  • 4. Eric  |  August 27, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Why shouldn't we criticize states that defend hate? Sovereign immunity doesn't extend to criticism.

  • 5. MichaelGrabow  |  August 28, 2014 at 7:42 am

    Yes, the citizens are free to vote them out of office, but why should the rights of the folks that unsuccessfully attempt to do so be squashed because the majority is ignorant and hateful?

  • 6. Fledge01  |  August 29, 2014 at 5:17 am

    Almost every judge who has heard a case regarding state ban's on marriage equality disagree with you. They are finding that SCOTUS HAS already addressed the specific issue of whether the constitution prohibits bans on same-sex marriage. These lower court rulings are based on Windsor. SCOTUS does not need to nor should it take up any of these lower court appeals. If there is no disagreement in the courts as to what Windsor represented then its a waste of time for SCOTUS to hear a case.

    A case does not have to address every specific possible ramification of its ruling for it to be on point and relevant to many different possible ramifications. Scalia, in his dissent, has said that Windsor would prohibit state's from banning same-sex marriage. Even though SCOTUS said in its ruling that its ruling does not apply to state bans does not mean that it does not apply to state bans. If there is no possible way of reading the language in Windsor in a way so it would not apply to individual states, then that statement that it does not apply to individual states is empty and irrelevant.

    Almost every judge who has heard one of these state ban cases agrees with me that this statement in Windsor that it does not apply to individual states is just dictum. The actual holding in Windsor is clear. And its clear to every legal mind that it DOES apply to states. Even the lawyers defending the bans are only doing so because its their job to represent their clients even if they disagree with their arguments.

  • 7. davepCA  |  August 27, 2014 at 10:04 am

    It is not correct to say that this has already been decided by the top court (Supreme Court of the United States, or 'SCOTUS'). It has been decided by many state courts and many federal District courts and Circuit Appeals courts, and these latest Circuit Appeals rulings are now on their way to the Supreme Court. It is highly likely that the Supreme Court will choose to take up one of these cases for review and will rule on it within about ten months, but it hasn't happened yet. Everything that has been happening up to now has been leading us to that point.

  • 8. davepCA  |  August 27, 2014 at 10:05 am

    …..Unless you are referring to the Supreme Court decision in the Prop 8 trial last year? Yes, that was a Supreme Court decision, but they didn't decide the question of whether states can deny marriage to same sex couples. They only decided the unrelated question of whether the anti-gay side in that trial (the defendant interveners) had any right to appeal the original decision to a higher court. They ruled no, defendant interveners don't have that right, only the original defendants can do that, and this brought marriage back to California. But that decision was a ruling on a separate question, it wasn't a ruling on the main question of constitutional compliance of civil marriage laws that deny marriage to same sex couples. The upcoming Supreme Court trial is expected to finally rule on the main question.

  • 9. RLsfba  |  August 27, 2014 at 11:48 am

    I'm glad all the cases are going through the courts. Hearts and minds change with each story in the media. Alot of Americans are reading about and hearing about the pointless efforts and hollow arguments put forward to discriminate against fellow Americans.

  • 10. Corey_from_MD  |  August 27, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    I an confused as to why @petalumaja's post received 3- 6 upvotes. Are we in an alternate universe? The United State has only 19 states plus the District of Columbia where gay people can get married. Mathematically that is 20/51 = 39% of United States. The Supreme Court HAS NOT declared that gay people can get married in the remaining 31 states (61% of the country). So this is what this is site is all about in case you do not understand. For those of us who want to see gay people having an equal opportunity to marry and commit to the person they love and protect their families in the remaining 31 states, this is an important issue and it is definitely not a waste.

  • 11. Rkchicago  |  August 27, 2014 at 9:05 am

    The 10th Circuit granted extension for state of Utah's filings in the marriage recognition case. Delay tactics….

  • 12. JayJonson  |  August 27, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Thanks for all this new information.

    Joe.My.God called attention to this editorial from a Florida newspaper:

    On the second page of the editorial, the writer says that Judge Hinkle's recent ruling removes Pam Bondi, Florida's Attorney General, from the case. Can someone explain what this means? Thanks.

  • 13. Japrisot  |  August 27, 2014 at 10:21 am

    It looks like Plaintiffs named the Governor, AG, Sec of the Dept of Management Services, the Surgeon General, and a County Clerk as defendants. The judge ruled that because complete relief could be obtained from suing the last three alone, it is prudent to dismiss the Governor and AG as defendants from the case.

  • 14. JayJonson  |  August 27, 2014 at 10:33 am

    But wouldn't the Attorney General represent the three remaining defendants?

    Could the three remaining defendants just decide that they don't want to appeal?

  • 15. Japrisot  |  August 27, 2014 at 10:49 am

    The three could decline to appeal the case, yes. If they did, I imagine the AG and Gov would appeal the order in its entirety.

    It is a very strange move to be honest. The judge cites 11th cir. precedent for the premise that one may dismiss "redundant" defendants from a case. And then he goes on with Ashwander, which is more than a little odd. Ashwander is a citation I would expect when someone is talking about avoiding constitutional decisions when it is possible to do so, not when making constitutional decisions while simultaneously removing defendants from a case (although I note the judge instructs us to "see generally" rather than just "see" or a straight citation).

  • 16. JayJonson  |  August 27, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Thank you!

  • 17. JayJonson  |  August 27, 2014 at 10:16 am

    I suspect that EoT readers will appreciate this Towleroad post about Judge Posner:

  • 18. Steve27516  |  August 27, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Florida Supreme Court agrees to decide state's gay-marriage ban:

  • 19. JayJonson  |  August 27, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    I am confused. The link you posted does not say that the Florida Supreme Court agreed to decide the marriage ban. It says that the Florida Supreme Court has been asked to decide the question. Has an answer from the Florida Supreme Court been given?

  • 20. Steve27516  |  August 27, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Interesting. The Orlando Sentinel has changed its story at that link. The story when I saw it had been posted around 2pm EDT; I copied and pasted the headline, which was "Florida Supreme Court agrees to decide state's gay-marriage ban", and the story indicated as much. As we can now see, the current story no longer says that, and was posted at 3:36 EDT. Demerits to the Orlando Sentinel.

  • 21. Zack12  |  August 27, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    I saw the same thing.
    It appears they are being asked to take it up, not that they will.

  • 22. Ragavendran  |  August 27, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    Here's the 10-3 (en banc!) opinion from the Second Court of Appeals, thoughtful and well-written:

    "On June 26, 2014, a panel of this court entered an order denying the suggestion and cross-suggestion to pass the case through to the supreme court for immediate resolution. On August 14, 2014, this court on its own motion determined that the question of whether to pass the case through to the supreme court for immediate resolution should be considered en banc. See Fla. R. App. P. 9.331(a). We conclude that certification is appropriate on our own motion pursuant to rule 9.125(a). We therefore certify that the order on appeal requires immediate resolution by the Florida Supreme Court because the issues pending are of great public importance and will have a great effect on the proper administration of justice throughout the state."

    And here is the Florida Supreme Court docket that was immediately opened today in response to the order. The public website for this "high-profile case" with the filings is here.

    This development out of the blue is Interesting, as this comes out of the Second Court of Appeals. The docket of this case is here. I wan't aware of any pending cases there. I was expecting the Third Court of Appeals to act on the certification of the appeal ("pass through") to the Florida Supreme Court by now. The docket of that case, Huntsman, is here. Briefing on the issue is complete and an order could come down any day now.

  • 23. JayJonson  |  August 28, 2014 at 6:08 am

    Very interesting developments. Thanks for investigating this.

  • 24. Ragavendran  |  August 28, 2014 at 7:52 am

    Of course! You're welcome ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 25. ebohlman  |  August 27, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    The Chicago Tribune's lead front-page news [1] story today was about the 7th Circuit hearings. Coverage was positive (the Trib has been editorially in favor of marriage equality for several years) though too much space was spent on the exchange about polygamy.

    [1] A large section of the front page was devoted to the Chicago team that won the Little League World Series.

  • 26. SeattleRobin  |  August 27, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    I just saw that the 9th Circuit dismissed NOM from the Oregon case. They don't have standing to appeal so their other motions are dismissed as moot. Unfortunately because I read Scribd docs in an app on my tablet, so I don't have a web link. It's linked on the Equality Case Files Facebook page.

    I just love NOM being dismissed for any reason!

  • 27. sfbob  |  August 27, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Here you go…

  • 28. Ragavendran  |  August 27, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Cool. I suppose the Supreme Court is the next stop for NOM. We all know what will happen there: "Cert Denied."

    This passage from the order is of particular significance in the upcoming Sevcik appeal out of Nevada: "NOM must also demonstrate that it has Article III standing to challenge the final judgment. See Diamond v. Charles, 476 U.S. 54, 68 (1986) (intervenor’s right to continue a suit on appeal “in the absence of the party on whose side intervention was permitted is contingent upon a showing by the intervenor that he fulfills the requirements of Article III”)"

    It should be easy to argue that the Coalition for the Protection of Marriage will have no standing to "continue suit on appeal in the absence of [defendant Sandoval]," if the Plaintiffs prevail in the Ninth Circuit.

  • 29. scream4ever  |  August 27, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    Indeed. Nevada will likely be the 20th state, probably by the end of October, unless if Florida beats them to it!

  • 30. Ragavendran  |  August 27, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    Since the Ninth Circuit is really slow, even an easy, no-brainer appeal such as Sevcik should take them a couple of months to decide. And it must be pointed out that "pass-through" certification by a Florida Court of Appeals is not to be taken lightly and really does mean that the court thinks the issue is of great importance and deserves an expeditious resolution. If the Florida Supreme Court agrees, that could be a real race between the Ninth Circuit and the Florida Supreme Court. But I expect that the Florida case will move beyond to the US Supreme Court, whereas that can't happen with Nevada.

  • 31. scream4ever  |  August 27, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    The 9th is actually one of the quickest ones when it comes to handing down the actual ruling, but yes they are slow in virtually everything else.

    As far as Florida goes, just because the case may get appealed to the US Supreme Court it does not mean they will take it. It's quite rare for them to accept appeals from state courts, even ones which invoke the US Constitution.

  • 32. Ragavendran  |  August 27, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    Well, Romer and Lawrence, where state laws were struck down as unconstitutional, were both out of state supreme courts. So taking a case from a state supreme court may be the exception here (provided federal claims are raised). Of course, I also don't know if there were other choices for the Supreme Court, for example, when they took up Lawrence, and if they had a choice, whether they would have chosen differently.

  • 33. Japrisot  |  August 28, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Lawrence never went to a state supreme court.

  • 34. Ragavendran  |  August 28, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Well, it was an appeal out of the highest appellate court of Texas that the case could be heard in (as a criminal case). In that sense, I would consider it a pseudo-state-"supreme"-court.

  • 35. Japrisot  |  August 28, 2014 at 11:12 am


  • 36. mario315  |  August 27, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    If the Florida Supreme Court rules that the state's marriage ban is unconstitutional under the Florida Constitution why does it need to go further to the federal US Supremes ?…. Wasn't that the way we got ME in New Mexico, Iowa, and New Jersey, among other states ?….

    In other words, why would would the US Sup.Ct. be able to overrule the State Supreme Court on a state constitutional issue ? Hasn't happened in any other state, has it ?

  • 37. Ragavendran  |  August 27, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    You are absolutely right that the US Supreme Court would lack jurisdiction in any appeal from a state Supreme Court if there are no federal claims raised. However, it would be really hard for the Florida Supreme Court to resolve the constitutionality of a Florida constitutional amendment under the Florida constitution itself, especially as the marriage amendment in Florida modified the very article consisting of the declaration of rights. The only such ruling so far has been in Arkansas, but that was special. The Arkansas Constitution specifically has a higher provision in its declaration of rights in Article 2 Section 29, which Amendment 83 (the marriage amendment) left untouched, that can be used to strike down Amendment 83.

    New Mexico, Iowa and New Jersey did not have constitutional bans on same-sex marriage. So it was possible to resolve those lawsuits only based on their own states' constitutions.

  • 38. scream4ever  |  August 27, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    Wow I thought Piazza struck down Arkansas' ban based on the federal constitution as well.

    What I see happening is all the state courts waiting until after election day to hand down rulings. It'll be more likely for the Republicans to not appeal to the Supreme Court.

  • 39. Ragavendran  |  August 28, 2014 at 7:51 am

    You are right – he did strike the ban based on both the state and federal constitutions.

  • 40. mario315  |  August 28, 2014 at 9:58 am

    Thank you Ragavendran for explaining all the legal layers so well !…. If it wasn't for this website and posters like you I'd have only a "general" understanding of the cases and the history we're living through now…. Instead, we can be armed with greater depth of understanding of all the legal subtleties of this historic period…. Cheers !

  • 41. Ragavendran  |  August 28, 2014 at 10:36 am

    You're welcome, Mario! Though – I am not a lawyer, so everything I post is subject to a higher judicial scrutiny by the lawyers on this forum – and I have made mistakes before ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 42. hopalongcassidy  |  August 28, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Sec. 29 is fascinating, I don't think I ever saw it before. Now I find myself out in left field (as usual) wondering, what if a state were to pass a Constitutional Amendment that stated "This Amendment Shall forever be inviolate and hereby prohibits any further Amendments to this Constitution."

    And sometimes I also wonder where the first Precedent came from. Sigh.

  • 43. StraightDave  |  August 28, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Most constitutions provide an explicit mechanism for amending them, anticipating that it would someday become necessary and wise. Therefore a prohibition on amendments would have to seriously be taken at face value.

    The only alternative would then be to tear it all up and start over from scratch, citing the Declaration of Independence "Right of the People to alter or to abolish it", with or without any documented procedures.

  • 44. hopalongcassidy  |  August 28, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    It's a bit of a Catch-22, isn't it? I wonder how a State in the U.S. would attempt to justify it using the DOE….who would be the contemporary King George III? (You don't need to answer this, I just like to think about crazy stuff now and then. ๐Ÿ™‚ It's a shame in a way it doesn't have the force of law that our Constitution does, elseways "pursuit of happiness" would trump a lot of animus, nu?

  • 45. StraightDave  |  August 28, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Oh, I would think the unenumerated Fundamental Rights so frequently referenced would easily hold within them all of the enumerated "Inalienable Rights" in the DOI. I think there's plenty of force of law there if the courts just continue to grow the balls to apply it. All credit to the recent majority who have seen fit to do so.

  • 46. Fledge01  |  August 29, 2014 at 5:30 am

    You can't prevent amendments. Any new attempt to amend a constitution would trump the previous amendment preventing the change. Think of it like this. You write a constitution for yourself and only yourself saying you must eat an apple a day, and you write that you can't change your constitution. Then later you do re-write your constitution to say that any previous thing you wrote that says you can't change your constitution are null and void and you don't have to eat an apple a day. If you are autonomous then its clear your new words should prevail. In the United States we are all autonomous because we say so. We are a collection of states made of and by the people. Its the people who are collectively autonomous, not an institution that is autonomous. So therefore, we can do whatever we all agree we want to do, no matter what we said earlier.

  • 47. TomPHL  |  August 29, 2014 at 7:49 am

    When the AK supreme court takes up the case we will see how they interpret Article 2 section 29. If they decide that it is valid & find for ME based on the AK constitution, the ME ban will be void and the ruling will not be appealable to the SCOTUS. I suppose some party might challenge Article 2, section 29 under the US constitution; upon what grounds I have no Idea,

  • 48. Zack12  |  August 27, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    The Florida Court is more conservative then I would like but here's hoping they will still do the right thing.

  • 49. LK2013  |  August 27, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    Good news, love to hear that someone (again) has told NOM to buzz off, and thanks for the link.

  • 50. Sagesse  |  August 27, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    Gotta love middle America. Profiles of opposing counsel in the Indiana portion of yesterday's hearing in the 7th Circuit.

    Same-sex marriage case: A look at the dueling attorneys [Indy Star]

  • 51. JayJonson  |  August 28, 2014 at 7:53 am

    Interesting analysis of the Seventh Circuit arguments by Ari Ezra Waldman at Towleroad:

    He points to Judge Hamilton's comment "It seems to me that we’re in the realm of heightened scrutiny based on sex discrimination" as potentially significant: "Though it may have been a throwaway line to him, and it barely got any traction in the grand scheme of a Posner-dominated oral argument, it is a remarkable line. The sex discrimination argument — which holds that banning gays from marrying discriminates on the basis of sex because a man can marry a woman, but because he's a man, he cannot marry a man — has not received the kind of traction many marriage equality had advocates had hoped when they first made those arguments 20-plus years ago. What's more, the notion of heightened scrutiny as accepted as a fact in antigay discrimination cases is a monumental step forward from where we were when the Supreme Court decided Windsor."

    He concludes: "Expect a 3-0 proequality decision from this bench in record time. Judge Posner, the senior judge on the panel, will likely write it and his opinion turnaround time is close to the top of all federal appellate judges."

  • 52. Ragavendran  |  August 28, 2014 at 8:19 am

    I don't doubt that it'll be 3-0, but Posner seemed very wary of getting into heightened scrutiny for any reason, while the ban falls on rational basis itself. I'm glad if it is a single opinion written by Posner in which case it'll come out very fast. But if, say, Hamilton disagrees with him on the scrutiny issue, then there might be a concurring opinion, which might delay the release. Hopefully, in the interest of urgency, they sort it out among themselves and just let Posner write one opinion and get it out there by October. Definitely before the Sixth rules.

  • 53. Zack12  |  August 28, 2014 at 8:29 am

    I imagine that will be the only hangup but I agree with you on getting an option out before the Sixth, which I strongly suspect will be against us.

  • 54. ebohlman  |  August 28, 2014 at 9:47 am

    One thing we shouldn't forget is that the Sixth actually has to issue at least four different opinions which will definitely slow things down, especially if they decide to wait for all of them to be done before releasing any of them. Also, they're the only circuit dealing with a case that has a factual record, meaning it will require a fair bit of legal gymnastics if they want to overturn it.

  • 55. Ragavendran  |  August 28, 2014 at 10:09 am

    If they decide Baker controls, then it will be a quick short opinion common to all the cases. Even otherwise, they could do what the Tenth did and release the fattest opinion first, likely Michigan's, and then the other states' opinions could simply refer to that. I don't believe the trial record will slow them down, because their overturning DeBoer need not rely on any issues pertaining to child-rearing. Declining to recognize the fundamental right here as the right to marriage, and simply applying rational basis (blindly based on outdated circuit precedent), they could declare that deference to the legislature and democratic process is one rational basis (and there were others that were proffered as well, other than parenting) to uphold the ban.

  • 56. StraightDave  |  August 28, 2014 at 11:51 am

    There are limits to stretching things, even by unfriendly courts, and I think you may have found one. It would be the rare judge (who would not prevail for long) who declared that "deference to the legislature and democratic process is one rational basis". If that were the case, then all laws not provoking heightened scrutiny would effectively be immune from review.

    I suspect the 6th really doesn't want to play this game any more and doesn't like any of their choices. Maybe they can fake an injury or something to get out of it. I bet they'll just stall and let SCOTUS do their dirty work for them. It's lame, but I'd be shocked if they stood up and did the right thing all across the board. If they did, then SCOTUS would be much more likely to throw in the towel, too.

  • 57. Ragavendran  |  August 28, 2014 at 10:59 am

    For those who haven't had the time to listen to the entire oral arguments audio, and perhaps even for those who have, the following Slate article has an excellent selection of soundbites of Posner's demolition of the states' attorneys:

    If someone can hack into the Supremes' iPods, please put these soundbites into a playlist on their devices ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, Sutton's – especially the one about "democracy insulating legislation from constitutional invalidation."

  • 58. franklinsewell  |  August 28, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Posner is my new, most favorite judge! "Come on now, you're going in circles."

  • 59. franklinsewell  |  August 28, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    And another: "I regard it as absurd; you think it's self-evident."

  • 60. LK2013  |  August 28, 2014 at 11:33 am

    I finally listened to the 7th Circuit audio yesterday … what a treat!!! (Especially after the torture of listening to Sutton of the 6th … blech.)

    This was good for my soul!

    Loved Posner, but Hamilton and Williams were also a delight. Soooo refreshing to have three judges who just cut right through the bs and challenge the state's lawyers to make even one coherent argument. The anti-ME lawyers really did a poor job, on the whole.

    I guess they really thought "tradition" and "the people" were good reasons. It just reminds me what a freakin' shame it is that those reasons have held us back for so long already.

    Total joy listening to these … restored my faith in humanity.

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