Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Menage a Trois at the Supreme Court

Previous posts at Right Detour noted the Pew Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism findings that the mainstream media overwhelmingly provided same sex marriage advocates positive coverage at the expense of their opponents and neutrality. Equally important is the media message. The media has promoted the unquestioned assumption by same sex marriage advocates that their opponents suffer from some pathology (homophobia) or possess some irrational  hatred of homosexuals.

Consequently, while homosexuals make up only 2% to 4% of the population, they enjoy the support of powerful and influential advocates among the media elites of both journalism and entertainment.

Slowly but predictably, the political elites have embraced the cause and its messages. Judges in state and federal courts led the way, followed by politicians not so courageously leading from behind. High profile politicians, such as President Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and a assortment of representatives and senators from both parties who once opposed same sex marriage and supported the Defense of Marriage Act have jettisoned principle in the name of political expediency. Or is it one form of political expediency for another?

The recent decisions of the Supreme Court illustrated this trend. The state and lower federal courts, instead of confining themselves to the legal issues, have embraced this narrative of the "gay rights" movement. First, in California the judges agreed with the plaintiffs argument that Proposition 8 singled out homosexuals because of some irrational, unreasonable aversion. And now, with today's announcement from United States Supreme Court regarding Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, the justices, too, have embraced this "narrative."

In once case, the Supreme Court rejected the appeal from Proposition 8 supporters. In a strange decision the court, after accepting the appeal and hearing the arguments,declined to rule on the case and let the lower court's substantive findings stand. The court basically said that the lower federal court erred when it allowed private lawyers to defend Proposition 8 after the state authorities refused to do so. But then it turned around and refused to consider the constitutionality of the lower court's decision in ruling that  Proposition 8 violated the United States Constitution. Justice Roberts wrote that "for a federal court to have authority under the Constitution to settle a dispute, the party before it must seek a remedy for a personal and  tangible harm." The private lawyers arguing on behalf of Proposition 8 do not meet this criteria.

In sound dissent, Justice Kennedy attacked the shortsightedness of Roberts' opinion.

"The Court's reasoning does not take into account the fundamental principles or the practical dynamics of the initiative system in California, which uses the mechanism to control and to bypass public official--the same officials who would not defend the initiative, an injury this Court now leaves remedied."

In the second case, however, Kennedy's opinion borders on obscene.

In throwing out the Defense of Marriage Act, the court probably acted correctly. Marriage is a state institution; those of us who believe in our federal system and care to be consistent about it should not be bothered by DOMA's demise. In their opinion, however, the court went beyond the simple question of federalism and  injected the same vile and insidious assumptions promoted by the "gay rights" movement.

Kennedy's opinion portrayed the movement behind Proposition 8  as an  effort to single out, impose disability, make less worthy and less respected, and otherwise disparage same sex relationships. Kennedy forbids the public from legislating moral judgments; this power is reserved only for  the Supreme Court.

 In a scathing dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia attacked Kennedy's rhetoric and the presumption of superior moral judgement on the part of the majority of the Court and its characterization of supporters of Proposition 8 as bigots:

"In the majority's judgment, any resistance to its holding is beyond the pale of reasoned disagreement. To question its high-handed invalidation of a presumably valid statute is to act (the majority is sure) with the purpose to disparage, injure, degrade, demean, and humiliate our fellow human beings, our fellow citizens, who are homosexual. All that, simply for supporting an Act that did no more than codify an aspect of marriage that had been unquestioned in virtually all societies for virtually all of human history. It is one this for a society to elect change; it is another for  court of law to impose change by adjudging those who oppose it hostes humani generis, enemies of the human race."

So there you have it. Regardless of whether you oppose same sex marriage because of biology, tradition, religion , hatred, or even if you think the idea is just plain silly, the Supreme Court considers you a "hater." That goes whether you are one of the many average citizens who already have learned to keep your mouth shut or whether you were one of the representatives, senators, or presidents who enacted and supported DOMA.

These words cited by Justice Scalia from the mendacious majority opinion hardly sound like the cool, reasoned, jurisprudential judgment. They resemble more the moans of ecstasy from that menage a trois involving "gay rights" advocates, media elites, and the politically powerful--the soundtrack, if you will, of political pornography.

h/t American Conservative


CW said...

Good post, Victor.

Since the SCOTUS has essentially ruled that society does not have the right to decide for itself what the definition of marriage is, I will be very curious to see what they do when people inevitably want to marry their animals, close relatives and objects. If your “rights” are infringed because you can’t marry the person you love, then by what rights can society deny the right to marry anyone or anything you love?

People often talk about the tyranny of the majority. We are now living under the tyranny of the minority.

RightDetour said...

Thank you, and I appreciate your additional observations. Who knows where it will lead. Many advocates for ssm commented after yesterday's announcement that this is just the beginning of the fight.

RightDetour said...

My piece lacks some coherence, though. I started out several days ago focused on the Pew report on media bias. After several days of playing with it, the SCOTUS decision came down, so I incorporated it into my post so that it would not be 'old news.' Now is lacks a little focus. I may go back and edit it into two or three separate posts.

CW said...

I'll check back and see what you end up with.