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Tag: "gay and lesbian rights"

Another Reminder of the Obvious

[ 21 ] May 17, 2011 |

1)The Tea Party has nothing to do with “small government,” and 2)Scott Walker is a truly reprehensible governor. Maybe Meade and Althouse can use their New Media videographer skillz to interview some gays and lesbians who are unable to see their longtime partners in the hospital.

Seems About Right

[ 32 ] March 18, 2011 |

Joining convicted domestic abuser Hiram Monserrate among the four New York state Democrats who voted against same-sex marriage was Carl Kruger, an alleged shakedown artist living with his same-sex partner in a mansion built for Gaspipe Casso.  The important thing to remember is that opponents of same-sex marriage believe in traditional morality and family values.

And to follow up my point from earlier today, I note that more than 4 years after Peter Beinart asserted that courts in New York did their state’s gay and lesbian citizens “a favor” Massachuseets still has same-sex marriage and New York still doesn’t.

Public Opinion Continues to Ignore Ad Hoc Theories About “Judicial Activism”

[ 4 ] March 18, 2011 |

As national opinion continues to become more supportive of same-sex marriage, it’s worth once again remembering how frequently it was said that Goodridge was a disaster for the same-sex marriage movement.    Generally, ignoring advice from your enemies that you unilaterally disarm is a sound principle.

Liar and Bigot of the Day

[ 16 ] March 3, 2011 |

Sam Arora is apparently the latest politician who studied how the historical reputation of Orval Faubus evolved and decided he’d like to be remembered similarly.

More DOMA

[ 12 ] February 24, 2011 |

As Lithwick says, the only problem with the Obama administration’s actions is that it took too long.

On the Alleged Tyranny of Obama’s Refusal to Defend the Constitutionality of DOMA

[ 49 ] February 24, 2011 |

The funniest reaction to the Obama administration’s salutary decision to not defend the constitutionality of Section 3 of DOMA comes, needless to say, from Jeff Goldtsein:

Of course, he doesn’t get to determine that – it was passed by the legislature and signed into law by President Clinton, and so it the duty of the government to defend it — but then, Obama is above the law.

As are all dictators.

We live in a country where the President and his cronies decide what laws to follow and what laws to enforce; what companies are supported and what companies are not; who has to follow comprehensive health care reform and who does not.

Which means we live in a fascist country, ruled by an elected dictator who has positioned himself above and outside the laws he demands we follow — and who has granted himself the right to determine who has to follow what laws, how, when, and why.

That is not freedom. It’s tyranny. Simple as that.

The punchline being that Obama’s predecessor really did believe that he could violate valid acts of Congress and constitutional requirements, and Goldstein was strongly in favor of this. OK, but it’s not exactly news that Goldstein is a buffoon whose views of executive power switch from Carl Schmitt to anti-Federalist depending on the partisan identity of the current occupant of the White House. That still doesn’t make Obama’s actions right if they’re procedurally similar to the Yoovian idea that the laws apply only at the pleasure of the president. As you can see from the comments, many liberals seem to share Col. Mustard’s view that this represents some kind of executive “power grab.” The fact that they’re on the same side as the Duke of Dijon should suggest that their probability of being wrong approaches 100%, and in fact these arguments represent a fundamental misunderstanding of what’s going on here:

  • It’s important, first of all, to emphasize what Obama is not doing — namely, claming to be above the law.   He is not claiming that DOMA doesn’t apply, or that the federal courts cannot adjudicate the constitutionality of the act.  He is not, in the manner of Jefferson or Jackson, saying that he would ignore a court ruling upholding DOMA.  (The Reagan and Bush administrations — as was their right — repeatedly argued that Roe v. Wade should be overruled.   The Supreme Court, as you may remember, declined.)   He’s merely unwilling to argue on behalf of the law’s constitutionality.   There’s nothing about this that is in any way inconsistent with our constitutional framework or the rule of law. The judiciary is not the exclusive interpreter of the Constitution.
  • But, the argument seems to go, what if because of this precedent allows President Palin to refuse to defend the constitutionality of the mandate?   Well, first of all, there’s no precedent being established here.  Saint Reagan himself established “tyranny” in the United States at least twice, and if you think that won’t be enough precedent for a future Republican president you must be too distracted by the attempts to put Reagan’s name on every federal institution and face on every unit of federal currency.
  • But even leaving this aside, if you believe that a Republican president would be bound by past norms you really shouldn’t be permitted to leave the house unaccompanied.    To state the obvious, if he wants to President Barbour will refuse to defend the constitutionality of the ACA, and he would still do it if Obama himself defended DOMA before the Supreme Court.
  • This shouldn’t need to be said either, but the idea that presidents merely mechanically execute laws passed by Congress has never been and never will be how our system works.   How the White House interprets and chooses to implement federal law changes substantially depending on who occupies the White House.   The occasional refusal to assert that a federal law is constitutional is just one variant of this.

In short, this is a procedurally unexceptionable and substantively commendable act. It doesn’t reflect a belief that the president isn’t bound by the law. It reflects a judgment about the constitutionality of one particular law, a judgment that the other branches remain free to reject. Obama is doing the right thing here, and his actions are different in kind, not degree, from Yoovian theories of arbitrary executive power.

UPDATE:  Goldstein continues to assert that Reagan was a fascist. What constitutional or statutory provision requires the DOJ to defend the constitutionality of each and every statute remains unspecified.   What constitutional authority gave gave the Bush administration the power to unilaterally replace FISA is also unspecified.

Refusing to Defend the Constitutionality of the Unconstitutional

[ 61 ] February 23, 2011 |

The Obama administration is refusing to defend this constitutionality of DOMA as it applies to legally married same-sex couples. Sometimes, elections can have positive consequences!

They Send Letters

[ 18 ] February 13, 2011 |

This is academic inside baseball, but since that’s obviously a disproportionate percentage of our audience, I’d thought I’d give some publicity to the issue here. The political science journal Gender and Politics has apparently decided to reject without external review any manuscript dealing with research on questions related to LBGT community. Because…gender is something that only straight white women have? I can’t really imagine the reasoning. At any rate, Julie Novkov of SUNY Albany has responded with an open letter to the American Political Science Association’s Women and Politics section, which I reprint below the fold…

Read more…

Wilkinson v. Landsburg

[ 28 ] February 9, 2011 |

I’ll have to call this for the former about 30 seconds into the first round.

An Instructive Comparison

[ 42 ] February 8, 2011 |

The quality of justifications of anti-gay and lesbian rights bigotry from our particularly inept trolls

vs.

The quality of justifications of anti-gay and lesbian rights bigotry made by actual elected state legislators.

You’d like to think that there was more content in the latter, but…not really. If they could somehow speak in ALL CAPS they probably would.

A Morning With CSPAN-2

[ 30 ] December 18, 2010 |

…World’s Worst Deliberative Body rejects DREAM ACT by 55-41 majority.

…Joe Lieberman — Joe Lieberman! — gives nice, concise pro-DADT repeal speech. World’s biggest asshole John McCain — having railed against “elites” prior to returning to one of his indeterminate number of houses — favors the Senate with pissy, incoherent non-sequiturs about lost limbs.

…DADT repeal cloture apparently will pass with margin to spare. Woo-hoo! Krik and Voinovich joining right side of history on the GOP side with the New Englanders and Murkowski.

…63-33! A great day in American history. Great work by Reid and, yes, Lieberman. Obama’s strategy was vindicated. Plenty of credit to go around.

…as several people have noted, the only Republican to vote “yea” on cloture for both DREAM and DADT repeal was Lisa Murkowski. Thanks Sarah!

…Kos really lets Tester have it over his DREAM vote.

…Final DADT repeal vote: Senators committed to ideals of Declaration of Independence 65, Heirs of George Wallace 31.

Is It Possible to be Too Cynical?

[ 43 ] December 16, 2010 |

When dealing with the contemporary United States Senate, I would have thought not.   And yet the stand-alone DADT repeal whose chances for passage I had (with good reason, I think) pegged at “zilch” seems to be an odds-on favorite to pass.  My official position, I suppose, is “I’ll believe it when I see it” — I mean, counting on Brown and the “talk like Lincoln Chaffee, vote like Jim DeMint” Maine twins to do the right thing?   Because Joe Lieberman has been such an effective advocate for a progressive cause?  When does the trap door open?   Still, the good people seem to have the votes, and if it happens, I’ll be thrilled to have been wrong.

…as Malaclypse reminds us in comments, there’s still plenty of procedural nonsense that could thwart reform — getting the necessary number of nominal supporters has never been the problem. We’ll see.

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