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Courts are the last bastion of reason in the United States
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Bradylama
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Old Aug 4, 2010, 09:11 PM Local time: Aug 4, 2010, 09:11 PM #1 of 13
Lightbulb Courts are the last bastion of reason in the United States

And with the way the Supreme Court is stacked we might just all be doomed anyways.

But the Prop 8 law passed in California in 2008 was struck down today, due I'm sure in no small part to the complete inability of the Prop 8 defense to provide any meaningful testimony that could stand up in a court of law.

Breaking News: Prop. 8 Ruling | Coverage of the Prop 8 Federal Trial From The California Report and KQED
Quote:
Defense lawyers called just two witnesses, claiming they did not need to present expert testimony because U.S. Supreme Court precedent was on their side. The attorneys also said gay marriage was an experiment with unknown social consequences that should be left to voters to accept or reject.

Former U.S. Justice Department lawyer Charles Cooper, who represented the religious and conservative groups that sponsored the ban, said cultures around the world, previous courts and Congress all accepted the "common sense belief that children do best when they are raised by their own mother and father.''


In an unusual move, the original defendants, California Attorney General Jerry Brown and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, refused to support Proposition 8 in court.

That left the work of defending the law to Protect Marriage, the group that successfully sponsored the ballot measure that passed with 52 percent of the vote after the most expensive political campaign on a social issue in U.S. history.
So with their asses left blowing in the breeze, the moneyed interests who backed Prop 8 in the first place had no recourse but to continue using their money to advance the same arguments that convinced California voters to pass Prop 8. All of these arguments are of course opinions on policy and not constitutional arguments, which is what Prop 8 was being challenged on.

If this case reaches the Supreme Court and Protect Marriage continues using the same "expert" testimony which completely unraveled their defense, even judicial hacks like Scalia and Thompson will be embarrassed into judging against Prop 8.

Last month by the way, Protect Marriage did basically the same thing, bringing only one expert witness to testify.

Quote:
Prop 8 judge chastises weak defense of gay marriage ban New Mexico Independent

“What testimony in this case supports the proposition?” Walker asked.

“You don’t have to have evidence of this,” Cooper replied.

“You have to have a reason,” Olson said of denying same-sex couples marriage rights. “I don’t know, and I don’t have any evidence, doesn’t cut it.”
Considering how much post-secondary education is required to practice law, the US courts system is probably the only American institution in which anti-intellectualism cannot hold sway. This is why the Prop 8 ruling is so important for the future of the Culture War, because right wingers can no longer hide behind democratic functions such as voter referendums as a sound means of stripping people of their rights.

Originally Posted by Judge Walker
Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.
PDF of the full decision (and it is a laugh riot)

Jam it back in, in the dark.

Last edited by Bradylama; Aug 4, 2010 at 09:18 PM.
Radez
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Old Aug 4, 2010, 09:35 PM #2 of 13
It's my understanding that in appeals the courts do not call additional witnesses but merely review the facts and conclusions of the trial as it was held. That's why the findings of fact were so important, and I think it's particularly significant that Walker made the same suspect class identification that Ginsberg made in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, and which Tauro made in Gill v. Office of Personnel Management. It requires strict scrutiny of legislation which would make classifications based on sexual orientation and as a result moves the burden of proof onto the legislature.

Granted, the Prop 8 proponents, like Walker said, couldn't satisfy even the most generous of review standards, but it will (hopefully) make it more difficult for future restrictive measures while at the same time making future legal challenges easier.

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Dopefish
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Old Aug 4, 2010, 09:49 PM 4 #3 of 13
Instead of typing up this whole 138 page ruling, the Judge should have just said "I rule against Proposition 8 because, well, uh...duuuuuuh."

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Old Aug 4, 2010, 09:54 PM 3 #4 of 13
Instead of typing up this whole 138 ruling, the Judge should've c-walked all over the Prop 8 proponents faces. Each of them, in turn. They can all lie down in one big line for the judge to walk over.

But his way is a little bit classier.

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Radez
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Old Aug 4, 2010, 10:00 PM #5 of 13
https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/cand/0...nce/index.html

Actual evidence submitted at the trial. Including video of the anti-gay ad campaigns and the depositions at the bottom. These were defense witness depositions submitted by the plaintiffs because Boies essentially bent them over his knee.

I was speaking idiomatically.
Bradylama
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Old Aug 4, 2010, 10:07 PM Local time: Aug 4, 2010, 10:07 PM #6 of 13
Instead of typing up this whole 138 ruling, the Judge should've c-walked all over the Prop 8 proponents faces. Each of them, in turn. They can all lie down in one big line for the judge to walk over.

But his way is a little bit classier.
It also hurts a lot more.

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Old Aug 4, 2010, 10:07 PM #7 of 13
Oh my god, the Findings of Fact pdf is fucking fantastic, the whole thing is just dripping with barely-veiled contempt

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Old Aug 6, 2010, 05:33 PM Local time: Aug 6, 2010, 03:33 PM #8 of 13
From my understanding, the defendants really didn't do their homework right.

It's comforting to know the people who are in arms to shoot down Prop 8 to a pulp are few of the top-notch people in the nation in their field.

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Old Aug 6, 2010, 06:36 PM #9 of 13
Instead of typing up this whole 138 ruling, the Judge should've c-walked all over the Prop 8 proponents faces. Each of them, in turn. They can all lie down in one big line for the judge to walk over.
...Can Average White Band's "Got The Love" be playing when this happens?

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slessman
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Old Aug 10, 2010, 11:47 PM #10 of 13
The problem is that nobody has really considered that gay marriage and civil rights for all is an inevitability. We can drag it out all we want, but with the media spinning homosexuality in a glorified and accepted light generations from now when we are all old we will achieve the victory for the homosexual population that they deserve right now. Ultimately though, the courts will probably have little to do with approving of gay rights because they are not as fully committed to justice as one would assume. The supreme court is made up of appointed officials who can serve for life. This allows the anti-gay agenda to remain an influence in the courts for a literal lifetime. While I don't believe that we should be telling the LGBTQ community to have patience because they deserve better I think that ultimately patience will win the war.

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VitaminZinc
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Old Aug 31, 2010, 04:33 AM #11 of 13
What I find amazing is that many countries allow gay marriage. I can't help but feel like the US is busy living in the stone age while the rest of the world is progressing past all the bigotry and hate.

This thing is sticky, and I don't like it. I don't appreciate it.
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Old Aug 31, 2010, 11:38 AM Local time: Aug 31, 2010, 10:38 AM 1 #12 of 13
What I find amazing is that many countries allow gay marriage. I can't help but feel like the US is busy living in the stone age while the rest of the world is progressing past all the bigotry and hate.
Hey, I'm the first one to say the US is helping lead a charge right to a new dark age of ignorance and fear of knowledge, but there are only 10 countries that allow gay marriage in the entire world. And something around 17 where being gay is subject to the death penalty. Over 50 where being gay is punishable as a crime.

So, yes, the US is stupid. Let's not quarrel over the obvious, there. But it's hardly a progressive, intellectual world we live in.

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