Tag Archives: discrimination against gays

Justices of the U. S. Supreme Court

John Paul Stevens, 88
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 75
Antonin Scalia, 72
Anthony Kennedy, 72
Stephen Breyer, 70
Clarence Thomas, 60
Samuel Alito, 58
Sonia Sotomayor, 56
John Roberts (the chief justice), 53

Because of his age and length of service, Stevens is widely considered the most likely to step down, followed by Ginsburg. Both happen to be judicial liberals on a Court that has four liberals (Breyer and Sotomayor being the other two) and four judicial conservatives (Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Roberts). The fickle Kennedy tends to provide the fifth vote in close cases, particularly those involving abortion, race, and religion.

The election of Obama over McCain last fall prevented a Republican goal (dating from the 1968 presidential campaign) of an unambiguously conservative majority on the Court. In this liberal nightmare, the relatively youthful majority would be busy whittling away at Roe v. Wade, eliminating race-based preferences in the public sector, strengthening the government’s hand in fighting terrorism, and facilitating a larger role for religion in public life–among many other bad, bad things.

I know most of you have these players, their stats and which team they play for memorized, but I don’t and always have to go looking for them.

This morning’s New York Times has an op-ed piece titled, “Discrimination on Trial, but Not on TV.” In a 5-4 decision that split the top judges along their political leanings, the Supreme Court barred the live broadcast of audio and video from a California court where rights activists are challenging a state ban on gay marriage.

I would like to know what you think of this decision made yesterday, and your thoughts of our nation’s high court in general.

fnord

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Filed under GLBT Rights, U. S. Supreme Court

Massachusetts sues over D.O.M.A.

The 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act interferes with the right of Massachusetts to define and regulate marriage as it sees fit, so Massachusetts sued the U.S. government today.

Its lawsuit, filed in federal court in Boston, argues the act “constitutes an overreaching and discriminatory federal law.” It says the approximately 16,000 same-sex couples who have married in Massachusetts since the state began performing gay marriages in 2004 are being unfairly denied federal benefits given to heterosexual couples.

“They are entitled to equal treatment under the laws regardless of whether they are gay or straight,” Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said at a news conference.

Massachusetts is the first state to challenge the federal law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.  The 1996 law denies federal recognition of gay marriage and gives states the right to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

fnord

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Filed under GLBT Rights