Tuesday December 01, 2015
July 3rd, 2015
On one point the four dissenting justices in the gay marriage case are quite right: Justice Anthony Kennedy's majority opinion shows how deeply the politics of identity have penetrated American culture and, now, jurisprudence.
If you subscribe to the caricature of devout religious believers as mostly sanctimonious hypocrites, the kind who rake in cash and care about human life only when it is unborn, come visit the doctor here.
It feels like the blink of an eye. At the turn of this young century, states were still free to prosecute gay couples for being intimate; as of Friday, states are required to offer them marriage licenses.
In one of the little acts of subversion that creeps into “The Simpsons” every now and then, a helicopter from Fox News was shown in 2010 with a logo, “Not Racist, But #1 With Racists.”
Wow, Supreme Court — what a week.
“The Supreme Court just upheld Obamacare yet again,” Jeb Bush said in a fundraising shout-out. “This is the direct result of President Obama. He deliberately forced Obamacare on the American people in a partisan and toxic way.”
So how far do we take this whole Confederate battle flag thing? That's the debate gripping the nation 150 years after the end of the Civil War.
In three majority opinions spanning 12 years, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy gave dignity to the lives of lesbians and gay men. His rulings respected their struggle for full inclusion in the American Dream and opened its doors to them. And with each successive decision, Kennedy presented the aspirations of gay and lesbian Americans not as a claim to special rights, but to equal rights.
Chief Justice John Roberts knew a torrent of conservative invective was headed his way, so perhaps praise from a left-of-center columnist is the last thing he needs.
Sorry, chief, here goes.
Roberts saved the Affordable Care Act, a second time, for the man who voted against confirming him. It was the right decision, a wise one, for the law, the court and the country.
What a deal. The Supreme Court's Obamacare decision reminds me of a demand that an aide to the late Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley is said to have given to reporters: Don't say what the mayor says, say what he means.
Conservatives hoped that the high court would hold congressional Democrats to what they wrote in the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, which they passed without a single Republican vote.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's call on her legislature to remove the Confederate flag from the state Capitol grounds has triggered a scramble among leading Republicans to find politically safe ground on the issue, aflame in the wake of the Charleston church massacre.