Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Observations 3.27

Upon further review, well, maybe I spoke too soon. I'm going to stand by what I wrote yesterday about the Supreme Court and Prop 8 because I still think the Obama "nine state" decision is one of the possible results. After listening to some of the audio I'm not so sure it's very likely. More likely seems that either the court simply dismisses the case entirely or agrees with the appellate court. Either result ends Prop 8 in California but doesn't effect the rest of the country. Listening to the audio you get the feeling that for the most part they wish it would just go away so maybe a dismissal. I don't know, I'm just thinking out loud.

As expected what Justice Kennedy thinks will be more important than the other justices, especially the ravings of a mad hatter like Scalia. Kennedy seems to be struggling with the issue, wanting to do what he knows is right but probably goes against his own personal beliefs. Justice Kennedy asked Charles Cooper, attorney for Prop 8, a question about the 40,000 children in California who just want their parents married, "the voice of those children is important in this case, don't you think?" Not wanting to say the children didn't matter Cooper evaded the question. Later Justice Kennedy was the first to bring up just dismissing the case while Chief Justice Roberts and Kennedy both questioned whether Prop 8 backers had any legal standing for defending it in court.

Cooper, responding to a question from Justice Sotomayor, fully admitted that, other than marriage, he could not think of any legal reason to treat gays differently than anyone else. I found this interesting because I didn't see it mentioned much in the media yesterday.

I guess we'll find out in June.

Today SCOTUS hears the DOMA arguments, again beginning at 10 AM, with audio and transcripts to follow in the early afternoon. My gut feeling prediction on this case is easy, DOMA is dead, especially if the court isn't going to broadly rule on the Prop 8 case.

update - Here are the links for both the audio and the written transcript from today's DOMA oral arguments at the Supreme Court. Also here are a pair of links to the Prop 8 and DOMA transcripts on the Oyez Project website. The Oyez Project is at the Chicago-Kent Law School and is a multimedia archive of SCOTUS cases. What makes these transcripts interesting is that they are searchable by word and by speaker. To search the transcript click on the 'oral argument' link near the bottom of each page.

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