Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore’s defiance of a federal court order on gay marriage is just the latest in a long line of bitter states’ rights fights on issues from school integration to the Confederate battle flag – and the latest potentially embarrassing political sideshow for the 2016 field of GOP presidential hopefuls.
In the end, some veteran Republican strategists suggest, Moore’s order barring county probate judges from issuing gay marriage licenses may serve mainly to harden the entrenched positions of supporters and opponents of a legal issue on which public opinion has been shifting with lightning speed, and which the Supreme Court seems likely to resolve by this summer.
Moore’s decision, however, increases the chances that Republican presidential candidates will be forced to discuss the issue — in the racially freighted framework of states’ rights, no less — before extremely conservative voters in the heat of a primary campaign.
If I were a GOP candidate, I would not want to discuss Judge Roy Moore under any circumstances. He is political gasoline.
This morning’s broadcast of the American Family Association’s “Today’s Issues” program was dedicated to promoting the AFA’s “A Time to Speak” documentary, which is aimed at getting pastors to mobilize their congregations to vote in the upcoming elections.
One guest on the program was Mike Huckabee, who began his interview by threatening to leave the Republican Party if the GOP does not take a stand against the Supreme Court’s decision yesterday not to hear appeals of lower court rulings striking down gay marriage bans in several states.
I am at a loss over why the Republicans are getting the blame for a Supreme Court decision NOT to take a case. How are most conservatives reacting to legal same-sex marriage? Have the conservatives in North Carolina turned over and died over it?
When last we left the town of Greece, New York, the Supreme Court had just blessed its legislative prayer policy, announcing that expressly sectarian prayer, which persisted over many years, prior to town council meetings does not violate the storied tradition of nonsectarian legislative prayer and is therefore acceptable under the First Amendment. Since that sunny week in May, the town of Greece has been confronted by many well-meaning applicants from across the country, seeking a chance to be the legislative chaplain. This list of supplicants evidently included “someone who wanted to sacrifice a small animal, a man identifying himself as the devil, and a representative of a movement calling itself the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.” So great was the clamor to lead worship in Greece that the town decided last week to enact a formal, written prayer policy to determine who could lead prayers and who could not.
The Supreme Court has handed down some real bone-headed in the past view years. The Greece decision is one such really stupid decisions, in my humble opinion. Regardless of intent, when you must pray to participate in government, the government IS establishing a religion, albeit for a brief period of time.
The Supreme Court is expected to rule on whether Hobby Lobby needs to cover contraception as part of its health care plan.
Owners of the crafts chain object to certain forms of contraception. Under the affordable care act employers are now required to cover birth control.
The Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby in a 5-4 decision. So much for saying there is no war on women. The buffer zone ruling and the contraceptive ruling both are directed at women. No one else.
To prove a point, the Court specifically stated their ruling was just about contraception, and not other things, like blood transfusions. You don’t get any more religious than the Jehovah’s Witness ban on blood transfusions for their members. That was a mighty short sighted ruling, in my opinion. Furthermore, corporations shouldn’t have religious beliefs. Corporations are legal units serving as one body. Funny how inanimate bodies can now have religious beliefs.
New York Times email:
The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a pair of cases on whether corporations may refuse to provide insurance coverage for contraception to their workers based on the religious beliefs of the corporations’ owners.
The cases present a new challenge to President Obama’s health care law. The Supreme Court in 2012 upheld another part of the law, one that requires most Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty.
The Obama administration has exempted many religious groups from the law’s requirements for contraception coverage. But it said for-profit corporations could not rely on religious objections to opt out of compliance with the law. The lower courts are divided over whether such corporations may object to generally applicable laws on religious liberty grounds.
These cases are totally bogus. No one is being required to use contraception.
Washingtonpost.com: (Dana Milbank)
The associate justice, a George W. Bush appointee, read two opinions, both 5-4 decisions that split the court along its usual right-left divide. But Alito didn’t stop there. When Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg read her dissent from the bench, Alito visibly mocked his colleague.
Ginsburg, the second woman to serve on the high court, was making her argument about how the majority opinion made it easier for sexual harassment to occur in the workplace when Alito, seated immediately to Ginsburg’s left, shook his head from side to side in disagreement, rolled his eyes and looked at the ceiling.
His treatment of the 80-year-old Ginsburg, 17 years his elder and with 13 years more seniority, was a curious display of judicial temperament or, more accurately, judicial intemperance. Typically, justices state their differences in words — and Alito, as it happens, had just spoken several hundred of his own from the bench. But he frequently supplements words with middle-school gestures.
Oh Megyn, give me a break. Rachel Maddow called it as she saw it, trying to explain why Justice Scalia would make such an offensive remark. It was Maddow’s right to call him a troll, as it was his right to have made offensive remarks.
Megan can be all offended if she wants. Her last line did bother me though. She said that the justices vote their consciences? Shouldn’t they be voting according to their understanding of the law? I know they are only human but surely interpreting according to the constitution has to be the goal.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court revisited the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Speaking of section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, during the proceedings Antonin Scalia stated:
“I think it is attributable, very likely attributable, to a phenomenon that is called perpetuation of racial entitlement. It’s been written about. Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes.”
The courtroom spectators audibly gasped after he spoke. His words set off a firestorm among political activists, especially those older ones, like Rep. John Lewis who had been involved in the original fight for voting equality in the 1960’s.
Justice Scalia is probably right. He also hasn’t been to the SOTU Address for the past 16 years, regardless of who is president. Scalia says he doesn’t want to give dignity to the event. Salia further adds that the justices can’t clap for much of anything other than when the president says, America is a great country. The rest of the time, they keep their eyes on the Chief Justice to see when clapping is appropriate.
Justice Scalia also told tales out of school. He revealed that on a hunting trip, Justice Elena Kagan is turning into quite the hunter. She dropped a white tail doe with one shot while some of them were on a hunting trip in Wyoming. . She had no hunting experience before joining the court. Scalia quipped that even though they had a license for shooting mule deer and antelope, they never saw any. He said Kagan could have shot the white tail in his driveway without having to go to Wyoming. (yea, Tony, but was it doe season?)