Friday, December 7, 2012

Supreme Court to Rule on Gay Marriage

The Wall Street Journal reports, "Supreme Court to Hear Gay-Marriage Cases." (Via Memeorandum.)

Folks can read it all at the links, although I'm not so sure about this part from the article:
Opponents of gay marriage said the Supreme Court's decision would be a chance to put the brakes on lower courts.

"It's the ideological blinders of judges at this point. There is immense cultural pressure to favor same-sex marriage," said Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, speaking before Friday's announcement.

The organization's chairman, John Eastman, said Friday after the announcement that the high court's decision to accept the California case was "a strong signal that the court will reverse the lower courts." He said "voters hold the ultimate power over basic policy judgments and their decisions are entitled to respect."

The Court has plenty of precedent for striking down Proposition 8. In Romer v. Evans (1996) the Court stuck down Colorado's Amendment 2, passed in 1992, which would have basically excluded homosexuals from special designations as discriminated groups in state and local equal protection laws. Justice Anthony Kennedy, who's still on the Court, wrote the majority opinion. He was joined by Sandra Day O'Connor and John Paul Stevens, both now retired, as well Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, both still on the bench.

We can expect going forward that Kennedy will favor extending equal rights protections for homosexual marriage --- he also wrote the majority opinion in Lawrence v. Texas (2003), which struck down Texas' anti-sodomy law --- and he will certainly be joined in a new majority that includes Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, along with Breyer and Ginsburg from the earlier cases.

Homosexual rights groups have enjoyed a string of recent victories and so perhaps history is indeed on their side. I don't think the will of the voters of California should be swept away by a radical cultural extremist majority on the Court, but I expect it to happen, frankly. Anthony Kennedy's basically a progressive on a number of these issues (don't get me going about capital punishment), so folks shouldn't be surprised if the once Golden State's voters get thrown under the bus.

More on this later...