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Monday, September 26, 2016

For the second consecutive day, the Supreme Court heard a case in which marriage equality advocates argued that state laws banning same-sex matrimony deserve “heightened scrutiny,” and should be struck down if the Court finds they violate the Constitution. Today’s argument in Windsor v. United States focused on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the federal law that denies same-sex couples the same rights that heterosexual married couples enjoy.

Edith Windsor — who married Thea Spyer, her partner of 40 years, in Canada in 2007 — is suing the government for the $363,000 she had to pay in estate taxes after Spyer died. Married heterosexual couples do not pay such taxes on assets inherited from spouses.

Justice Anthony Kennedy — who as in the Proposition 8 case heard yesterday is expected to be the deciding vote in the DOMA case, if the court finds it has jurisdiction — seemed to express that DOMA may make the federal government too “intertwined with citizens’ daily lives.”

You can listen to the argument here and read the transcript here.

For the second day in a row, the scene in front of the Court was chaotic with supporters and opponents of equal marriage energetically demonstrating. On social media, tens of thousands joined in by showing their support of same-sex couples by using the “equal” sign as their profile picture.

Also for the second day in row, the opening argument revolved around jurisdiction. Today’s argument took on the complex issues presented by the president’s decision to have his Justice Department continue to enforce a law that he has decided is not Constitutional.

Two conservative justices sprayed criticism at President Obama for deciding that the Justice Department would not defend DOMA in front of the Court.

“If he has made a determination that executing the law by enforcing the terms is unconstitutional, I don’t see why he doesn’t have the courage of his convictions and execute not only the statute, but do it consistent with his view of the Constitution, rather than saying, oh, we’ll wait till the Supreme Court tells us we have no choice,” Chief Justice John Roberts said.

The Court appointed attorney Vicki Jackson to argue that they did not have jurisdiction to hear the case. Being forced to do this did not please Justice Antonin Scalia.

“I’m wondering if we’re living in this new world where the attorney general can simply decide, yeah, it’s unconstitutional, but it’s not so unconstitutional that I’m not willing to enforce it,”  he said. “If we’re in this new world, I don’t want these cases like this to come before this Court all the time.”

  • Betta

    You know those meteors that keep “missing” earth? Does anyone think they are just a random occurrence? Just look at the stuff we are doing going against nature and you will never need to wonder why. Eventually there will be a direct hit. Its happened before. That’s how and why God burned down not only Sodom and Gomorrah, but other ancient cities as well. Think it can’t happen again? Don’t make me laugh.

    Marriage was never meant to be between two men or two women. There is no life in that. Both result in death of the human race. That’s what people don’t get. If you want to burn for eternity, go for it and have fun. Just a warning. The fire is hot and shall not be quenched. Just so you know.

    • Phyllis Steen

      I didn’t realize that a person being gay automatically shut down their reproductive system.

      • Phyllis Steen

        Or that a person being gay automatically shut down the reproductive systems of straight people. Then again it doesn’t matter. As long as there are bisexuals, humankind isn’t going anywhere. Ha ha ha!

        • Betta

          We’re not talking about bisexuality, are we? We’re talking about HOMOsexuality. Stay on track, Phyllis. We’re all adults here.

          • Sand_Cat

            Everybody, that is. except you.

      • Betta

        You know as well as anyone else, even gays know that two gays do NOT reproduce. You need male and female. Been to a science class lately?

        • Phyllis Steen

          Yes, because there’s no such thing as egg or sperm donors. There also aren’t any children who need to be adopted.

        • Sand_Cat

          They may not reproduce. I think we’re talking about marriage and sex here, while I guess you’re stuck on breeding more bigots like yourself.

    • RobertCHastings

      And AIDS was the “gay plague”. Why don’t you people grow a brain, or was it just not in your genetic programming? When was the last meteor that hit earth – just a few days ago, off the East coast? I just hope some heterosexual couple wasn’t getting it on in a sailboat when the thing hit. Everything that has happened in the past twenty years has been labeled by Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson as God’s payback for the homosexual lifestyle. I am sure they both knew J. Edgar Hoover, intimately.

      • whodatbob

        AMEN! Good one.

      • Betta

        “And AIDS was the “gay plague”. ”

        YOU said that. I didn’t. Now you’re catching on. I guess you didn’t hear about the meteor that hit Russia and injured approximately 1,000 people a few weeks ago and the two near misses since then and the one on the way? Please try to keep up and stop being so ignorant.

        • Sand_Cat

          Wow, so Robert’s ignorant! Could have fooled me. Looks like you take the prize in that department.

        • RobertCHastings

          No, I didn’t say it. Some of your hemorrhoid sucking heroes did, however, like Reagan, Falwell, and Robertson. They also made the same statements regarding Katrina (remember, the hurricane) and pretty much any disaster that has hit North America since they have been around. I guess I was right about the genetic programming statement.

    • darkagesbegin

      did you sacrifice a lamb so you could read the entrails, or just consult the Oracle?

      • Betta

        Make fun all you like. It will not change the outcome. We’ll see how funny your comments are then.

        • Sand_Cat

          We’ll probably have all died of old age before “the outcome.” If not, your loving and merciful god will have killed us – and most likely – you as well.

          You’re right: meteors have struck the earth before. But how do you know that was how Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed? I don’t think your text is quite that specific. But then, when did people like you ever read or consider the parts that don’t support your self-righteous and nasty philosophy?

    • darkagesbegin

      one would think you would be concerned about hydrocarbon use. Global warming seems like it would be God’s payback. “Fire next time…”

    • charleo1

      Judge not, lest ye be judged.

  • whodatbob

    Some times even a Conservitive Court can get it right!

    • RobertCHastings

      Only if Kennedy lets his conscience guide him and not that idiot Scalia. And Clarence Thomas won’t say a word, again.

      • whodatbob

        Nevr know how the Suprems are going to rule. That why I stated sometimes.

      • plc97477

        Sometimes I think we are better off if he doesn’t speak.

    • plc97477

      Let us hope this will be one time they do get it right.

  • Germansmith

    Why is this case even in SCOTUS? If the assets are in the US, why do the US have to recognized a marriage in Canada of the sort that is illegal in most of the US States.
    DOMA or not, there is no Federal recognition of same sex marriage, so estate taxes are due.
    If same sex marriage is recognize as a tool for avoiding federal estate taxes it will be abused as an estate tax avoidance tool. Why not recognize polygamous marriages as well? Or marriage among brothers and/or sisters as a way to avoid taxes.

    • Betta

      Exactly, Germansmith. If two men or two women are allowed to marry, then polygamy, brothers and sisters, moms and sons, fathers and daughters should be allowed to marry as well. See how stupider and stupider it gets? Next thing you know, old farmer John down the road wants to marry his goat and he will take it to the supreme court to do it.

      • Sand_Cat

        Better a goat than someone like you. Some people just weren’t meant to reproduce. Maybe you should do likewise.

  • Pamby50

    I sure hope that the SCOTUS gets it right. My kids don’t understand what the big deal is. Why can’t friends of their get married like the rest of us. We are a diverse country yet we discriminate against gay people. We won’t allow them to get married cause it offends us. Grow up people. Being gay in not an option. You were born that way. It seems that the only way people are going to change their mind is if that person is in your own family. I am glad my kids generation doesn’t have the hang ups that older generations do. I tell my kids to stay politically active. Fight for causes that are important to you. And never ever let anyone take away your access to the ballot box. You are going to be the ones to make this happen.