Matthew Franck at NRO provides the best brass-tacks but fair and clear summary of what the two Supreme Court decisions, Windsor v. U.S. and Hollingsworth v. Perry actually did today. Also on NRO is Hadley Arkes’s more alarming interpretation.

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My postcard version, the one conservatives should tell their friends and acquaintances when time is short, is this:

A.  The SC majority overruled the key part of DOMA, the part that applies to federal law. It left it up to the states to decide on whether to allow SSM, but we conservatives think its main argument will be used as precedent to rule all restrictions on SSM unconstitutional. That argument did not make adequate reference to which aspect of the Constitution DOMA supposedly violated, and scandalously said that the only legislative purpose DOMA ever had was to harm gays. Conservative feel grossly disrespected when their own SC refuses to even acknowledge the arguments they have in fact made, and instead claims the ability to read their hearts.

B.  In both the DOMA case and the CA case, the SC also made two controversial rulings on special judicial-review operational issues, namely, on the concepts of standing and cases and controversies . Both of these harmed the traditional-marriage-supporting side, but admittedly, the originalist justices were divided about the standing issue with respect to the CA case.

C.  Expert opinion thinks the status of CA’s prop 8 was made unclear by the ruling, but expects CA’s Democratic Governor to press the interpretation that it invalidates it—that decision and its likely application amount to a mess that is too complicated to discuss without much time and patience, but the story does clearly show the contempt of CA judges and Democrat politicians for the will of the majority. Basically, they together overturned the people’s amendment, and then played tricky games so as to give the people no way to get the SC to rule on their overturning.  Some conservative legal experts worry that this pattern of trickery could be used by Democratic judges and governors to invalidate such amendments in other states.

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Well, that isn’t much of a postcard, is it?  Maybe just emphasize A.

Articles by Carl Scott

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