Yes, this is a bit behind, but I had to make comments about some of the discussion points put forward by some of the conservative Justices of the Supreme Court during oral arguments on the marriage equality cases.
Georgia’s reigning Ms Helmet Hair and GOP Chairwoman, Sue Everhart, called it correctly when she recently told the Marietta Daily Journal, “Lord, I’m going to get in trouble over this, but it is not natural for two women or two men to be married.” She wasn’t kidding, because her big concern surrounding the possibility the Supreme Court might find the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional seemed to be less about how icky she finds gay people, and more about the possibility of…gasp…marriage fraud.
According to this poor deranged woman:
“You may be as straight as an arrow, and you may have a friend that is as straight as an arrow. Say you had a great job with the government where you had this wonderful health plan. I mean, what would prohibit you from saying that you’re gay, and y’all get married and still live as separate, but you get all the benefits? I just see so much abuse in this it’s unreal. I believe a husband and a wife should be a man and a woman, the benefits should be for a man and a woman. There is no way that this is about equality. To me, it’s all about a free ride.”
So, let’s dissemble a bit here if I may. According to Everhart, there are never any sham straight-marriages for reasons of immigration status or even to get benefits, but two straight men would quickly get married to share benefits if DOMA is overturned. Not only that, it would proliferate. Everhart certainly has an elevated opinion of how great gay and lesbian marriages are.
I’ve worked at the same company of about 350 people for over 13 years now. We did have one case of someone committing fraud related to the relationship by claiming to be married for the purposes of benefits, and guess what Sue, it was a straight couple.
And of course, no international incident, act of terrorism, or natural disaster can go un-blamed on we gayez. Frank Luter, President of the Southern Baptist Convention (that bastion of Christ-like love and acceptance), has decided that gay marriage is the reason North Korea’s Kim Jong Un is ramping up his anti-American rhetoric.
I pointed out in a post on May 8 that the GOP was already gearing up for a smear campaign on Obama’s SCOTUS nominee, whoever it turned out to be. Well, the hypocrites have certainly rolled out of the woodwork to condemn Judge Sotomayor. Let’s take a look, shall we?
The leader of the Republicans, Rush Limbaugh claims she should be stopped because, “She is a horrible pick, she is the antithesis of a judge by her own admission and in her own words. She has been overturned 80 percent by the Supreme Court, she may as well be on the Ninth Circus Court of Appeals given all the time she’s overturned.” Let’s get right to this reversal thing. Out of nearly 300 decisions, she’s had 6 reviewed by the Supreme Court, and been reversed 3 times…That’s 50%, but then Rush is using that Republican math I guess.
The average reversal rate is 75%. Let’s remember, the SCOTUS reviews cases in which it thinks there may have been an error. So I would think the reversal rate would be on the high side. The issue is how many cases reached the SCOTUS.
Rush goes on to say, “So she’s not the brain that they’re portraying her to be, she’s not a constitutional jurist. She is an affirmative action case extraordinaire and she has put down white men in favor of Latina women. She has claimed that the court is all about making policy.”
Well, first, I’ll take a smart Latina over old white men any day. Let’s see what Rush and the other old white men have brought us:
- A stolen Presidential Election
- The Presidency of George W. Bush
- Two simultaneous wars, one of which we entered on false terms
- Government sponsored torture
- The erosion of our Constitutional protections
- The health insurance industry
- Jim Crowe laws
- The Wall Street debacle
- The economic meltdown
And the hits keep on coming. So, I think it’s about time we give someone else a shot. But of course you can’t base a SCOTUS nomination on just that. So let’s take a look at the context of the comment on which they are relying to make their claim that she is a racist. Here’s what Media Matters has on it:
“Contrary to Kelly and Greenburg’s claims, Sotomayor did not say or suggest that Latina or Latino judges are “better” than white male judges, but was instead talking specifically about “race and sex discrimination cases.” From Sotomayor’s speech delivered at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law and published in 2002 in the Berkeley La Raza Law Journal:”
And now Orrin Hatch has weighed in opposing Judge Sotomayor. Never mind that he voted to confirm her for the Court of Appeals (and, oh by the way, it was George H. W. Bush who nominated her for appeals court). Hatch has his nickers all in a wad over a comment where they claim she said that Judges make policy. The statement on which they are relying is:
“The saw is that if you’re going into academia, you’re going to teach, or as Judge Lucero just said, public interest law, all of the legal defense funds out there, they’re looking for people with court of appeals experience, because it is — court of appeals is where policy is made.”
It was made as part of panel discussion at Duke University, but let’s get, as Paul Harvey used to say, “The rest of the story.” You see Sotomayor continues:
“And I know — and I know this is on tape and I should never say that because we don’t make law, I know. OK, I know. I’m not promoting it, and I’m not advocating it, I’m — you know. OK. Having said that, the court of appeals is where, before the Supreme Court makes the final decision, the law is percolating –”
The ink is barely dry on Justice David Souter’s letter of resignation from the Supreme Court, and the wingnuts in Rush Limbaugh’s Republican party are already complaining about Obama’s nominee for his replacement. The talking points are all so similar, it’s clear the effort is coordinated.
- One Senate Republican says the nominee is “far to the left.”
- A conservative group says the nominee is, “A hard-left judicial activist.”
- Another Republican Senator warned: “The nominee better remember that judges have to “subordinate themselves to the law.”
- Jeff Sessions, just elected the Republicans ranking member on the Judiciary committee, magnanimously allowed that the nominee could be a Democrat, but went on to say, “They can be liberals. As long as they have a deep commitment to the law and recognize that when they put on the robe, that they go beyond politics and they’re required to subordinate themselves to the law as written.”
Now Sen. Sessions was once nominated for a federal judgeship himself. He didn’t make it for a number of reasons. One of the reasons had to do with comments Sessions made while serving as a U. S. Attorney. According to people in the office Session said he, “used to think they [the Klan] were OK” until he found out some of them were “pot smokers.”
Sessions had previously demanded an up-or-down vote on Alito’s Supreme Court nomination. We’ll see if he insists on it for Obama’s nominee.
So, with all the huff and blow going on now, I can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like when the President actually sends up a nominee. God help us all.