Break Out the Champagne to Celebrate Same-Sex Marriage, but . . .

FrenchChampagne To celebrate today’s two partial victories for same-sex marriage, I recommend champagne for your aperitif tonight — from France, since we finally shed our bias against same-sex marriage.  Or, put differently, our Puritan (read prudish), antiquated protection of marriage only between a man and a woman, or heterosexual marriage.  DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) went down in a 5–4 decision in U.S. v. Windsor. and while the Court left it up to the states to decide their own marriage laws, it is still a victory.

CAChampagneBut for the Prop 8 case (Sekhar v. U.S.), you’d better switch to a California champagne, since you can hopefully marry in this state.  The Supreme Court will not try to fight the nationwide trend in support of same-sex marriage, though this is on the basis of jurisdiction (a question of standing), rather than the merits of the case.* That the question was one of jurisdiction (many scholars would call this a “technical”matter), is reflected in the larger vote that was not cast along right/left ideological grounds.

Scalia delivered the opinion, with Roberts, Thomas, Ginsburg, Breyer joining.  Then, Alito writing a concurring opinion with Kennedy and Sotomayor joining.

Now, if you’re not too tipsy yet, go ahead and get on the states’-rights or “federalism for public purpose” bandwagon that Obama supports, not just with same-sex marriage but also climate control and in the implementation stage of Obamacare, and even the Dodd-Frank Consumer Protection Act, as I spelled out in Out of Many, One: Obama and the Third American Political Tradition.

And go ahead and switch the order of domestic versus foreign bubbly, since this same-sex celebration is a glass that’s half, or let’s say 3/4 full.

CivilRightsPersonally, yesterday’s ruling on the Voting Rights Act put a damper on me imbibing anything, unless it’s drunk at a civil-rights protest or a march across some bridges in the South or Arizona.  Let’s hope Representative John Lewis from Georgia or other civil-rights leaders can lead us there, and it does not turn into a historic brawl.

*corrections from yesterday.

By | 2013-06-27T16:29:36+00:00 June 26th, 2013|Beyond Polling, Courts as Living Institutions, Federalism for "d" Progressive Purpose, Full Text Supreme Court Rulings, Obama vs. Court(s), Obama's Impact in Political Thought, Roberts Court|Comments Off on Break Out the Champagne to Celebrate Same-Sex Marriage, but . . .

About the Author:

Professor Ruth O’Brien, who earned her Ph.D. in political science at UCLA, joined the Graduate Center’s doctoral faculty in 1997 and, in 2004, founded the “Writing Politics” specialization in political science. She also serves as an adjunct affiliated scholar with the Center for American Progress. In her research and books, she focuses on American politics, law, political theory without national borders, globalism, and American/global dichotomy. She edits the award-winning “Public Square” series for Princeton University Press, showcasing public intellectuals such as Jill Lepore, Jeff Madrick, Anne Norton, Martha Nussbaum, and Joan Scott. O’Brien is also launching “Heretical Thought,” an Oxford University Press political-theory series that is global in outlook. Her latest book, Out of Many One: Obama and the Third American Political Tradition (2013), with a foreword by journalist Thomas Byrnes Edsall, distinguished professor at Columbia’s School of Journalism, was honored with a 2013 “Author Meets Critic” American Political Science Association convention session. She also wrote Bodies in Revolt: Gender, Disability, and a Workplace Ethic of Care (2005), Crippled Justice: The History of Modern Disability Policy in the Workplace (2001), which received an honorable mention from Gustavus Meyers Center for the Study of Human Rights and Bigotry (“Meyers Center”), and Workers’ Paradox: The Republican Origins of the New Deal Labor Policy, 1886–1935 (1998). “Writing Politics” emanated from two books she contributed to and edited: Telling Stories out of Court: Narratives about Women and Workplace Discrimination (2008) and Voices from the Edge: Narratives about the Americans with Disabilities Act (2004), which earned another honorable mention from the Meyers Center. O’Brien’s controversial blog led Rush Limbaugh to dub her a “professorette.”