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The Bushes' Court

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 "Supreme Court overrules God" -- tweet by Todd Starnes, Fox News

On June 26, the Hateful Four held together but failed to prevail in their homophobic support for the Defense of Marriage Act in United States v. Windsor.  Abandoning the Hateful Four this time, Kennedy wrote the majority opinion that upheld a lower court's ruling that federal tax law treated a lesbian couple with blatant unfairness when compared to the way it treated mixed-gender couples.

"The federal statute is invalid," Kennedy wrote, "for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity. By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment," which provides, among other things, for "the equal liberty of persons" under law. 

The Defense of Marriage was no less offensive to the constitution in 1996, when a frightened bi-partisan Congress passed it (342-67 in the House, 85-14 in the Senate) and a querulous President Clinton signed it into law in September of that Presidential election year. 

Scalia Has No Problem with Intentional Discrimination Here

To express his displeasure with this 5-4 decision, Scalia read his dissent aloud.  It was not a surprise coming from the justice who wrote in an earlier dissent in Lawrence v. Texas (2003) where the court overturned Texas law criminalizing sodomy: 

"Of course it is our moral heritage that one should not hate any human being or class of human beings. But I had thought that one could consider certain conduct reprehensible -- murder, for example, or polygamy, or cruelty to animals -- and could exhibit even 'animus' toward such conduct. Surely that is the only sort of 'animus' at issue here: moral disapproval of homosexual conduct..."

Scalia's sexual prejudice was not at the heart of  U.S. v Windsor, where the issue was the catch-22 that allowed the government to pick the pocket of the estate of a  member of a long-standing relationship simply because the women were not married, which was illegal under other laws.  Their behavior was not an issue, nor was it in evidence, since the state's injustice would have prevailed had the ladies lived together as chastely as nuns. 

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Because People Have a Right to Vote Doesn't Mean We Should Encourage It

On June 25, Roberts led the Hateful Four plus Kennedy to a victory over the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  Writing for the majority at the height of his personal hypocrisy, Roberts concludes the decision: "Our country has changed. While any racial discrimination in voting is too much, Congress must ensure that the legislation it passes to remedy that problem speaks to current conditions."

One thing that makes his argument hypocritical is that Roberts, 58, has actively opposed the Voting Rights Act for more than 30 years, at least since 1981 when he was in the Reagan Justice Dept.  He wasn't concerned with "current conditions" then -- his concern was that violations "should not be too easy to prove" and to achieve that, Roberts helped the Reagan administration push for elimination of voter discrimination only when it could be proved to be intentional.  The unspoken immorality of that position is that unintentional discrimination becomes fine and dandy, a position long enjoyed wherever discrimination has been practiced. 

The Right of Citizens of the United States to Vote Shall not be Denied" 

The constitutional basis of the Voting Rights Act is the 15th Amendment (1870) to the Constitution (1791).  The amendment in its entirety: 

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Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. [1]

As Roberts knows perfectly well, the intent of the amendment is to eliminate discrimination, without regard to whether that discrimination is intentional, unintentional, or striped like a zebra.  But that's not what he wants (quia volo). 

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Vermonter living in Woodstock: elected to five terms (served 20 years) as side judge (sitting in Superior, Family, and Small Claims Courts); public radio producer, "The Panther Program" -- nationally distributed, three albums (at CD Baby), some (more...)

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