Obama Hopes Supreme Court Legalizes Gay Marriage in US

23 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Huckabee eyes nullification plan in response to marriage ruling.

It’s the U.S. NEW YORK — Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, a likely contender for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination and a leading voice for Christian conservatives, said Thursday that governors and state legislatures should consider ways to resist a Supreme Court decision that recognized same-sex marriage as a constitutional right.

WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama expressed hope that the Supreme Court would affirm a nationwide right to same-sex marriage, in an interview that aired on YouTube Thursday afternoon. “The Supreme Court now is going to be taking on a case.“My hope is that they go ahead and recognize what I think the majority of people in America now recognize,” Obama said of the justices on the high court. “Two people who love each other and are treating reach other with respect, and aren’t bothering anybody else, why would the law treat them differently.” His answer came during a YouTube interview that was part of his post-State of the Union push.

Obama has in the past focused on his desire to see same-sex marriage legalized on a state-by-state basis and demurred from discussing the issue on a nationwide basis. But as waves tend to do, it left some even older debris in its wake. “Nullification,” the theory that states can invalidate federal laws that they deem unconstitutional, had its heyday in the slavery debate that preceded the Civil War, but it has found new currency since 2010. Mike Huckabee (R) took some odd rhetorical shots at Beyonce, he complained about her “lyrical content.” The likely Republican presidential candidate was not arguing from a credible position – Huckabee performed on Fox News with Ted Nugent, with “lyrical content” that was anything but family-friendly. He has made matters worse by articulating an argument that is eerily similar to the one thrown up by anti-integration forces in the South after Brown v. With its announcement that it will hear the appeal of state bans on same-sex marriage from Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky, it is doing that job.

The battles in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee — the four states from which the cases under review come — are not simply about the rights of gay couples. I do not think Huckabee is a bigot, but I do think he misunderstands basic constitutional concepts, invites chaos and communicates in a way that non-evangelicals will interpret as preposterous. Because the Constitution guarantees the right to equal treatment for all, especially when it comes to something as fundamental as marriage, the Court should uphold the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry.

Defenders of same-sex marriage bans frame the issue as a choice between two incompatible views of marriage: The one they associate with same-sex couples centers on adult relationships and personal fulfillment. My colleague James Fallows has described efforts by Republicans in Congress to block duly passed laws—refusing to confirm any director of an agency established by an act of Congress, for example—as a new form of nullification. I may be lonely, I may be the only one, but I’m going to stand absolutely faithful to the issue of marriage not because it’s a politically expedient thing to do, because it isn’t. Consider these comments yesterday to conservative host Hugh Hewitt. “One thing I am angry about, though, Hugh, is this notion of judicial supremacy, where if the courts make a decision, I hear governors and even some aspirants to the presidency say, ‘Well, that’s settled, and it’s the law of the land.’ No, it isn’t the law of the land.

Marriage centers on adults and children, and it does so in ways that are consistent with — rather than antithetical to — the lives of same-sex couples. Chris Christie, have said court decisions recognizing the right make it a settled question. “Rather than just immediately capitulate to nine people in robes, and what it will probably be is five people in robes against four people who disagree … then you have a very, very divided court,” he told the weekly newsmaker series. “Do we really surrender the entire American system of government to five people, unelected, appointed for life, with no consequences for the decisions they make? Huckabee again pushed the idea of enabling legislation, adding, “[S]tate legislatures … would have to create legislation that the governor would sign. But even if the country would eventually get to national recognition of marriage equality — and that is a big “if” — the Court is doing its duty by stepping in now.

This will be no different.” The issue has been joined, he noted. “Already, marriage equality exists in 36 states, mostly because of court decisions, and there has not been the type of resistance Huckabee suggests.” Still, it is a sign of Huckabee’s appeal to the evangelical Christians who are among the GOP’s most loyal voters that his new book immediately shot to No. 1 in sales among political books on Amazon and into the top 100 among books of all sorts. As David Graham’s report explained, “In 1957, the state believed it could block the Little Rock School Board from adhering to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. In his folksy, conversational style, he unfavorably contrasts New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. — places he dubs “Bubble-ville” — with those from the heartland, which he dubs “Bubba-ville.” At one point in the book, he discussed how “goooood” it is to eat game. “I’m sorry if that sounds cruel to any vegan readers,” he added. “(And are there any?

Hewitt seemed a little taken aback: Was Huckabee counseling that county clerks simply ignore Supreme Court rulings and refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples? It was unquestionably right for the Court to issue its unanimous ruling making clear that even one such state law still on the books was one too many.

He also ran in 2008. “If everything continues to work well and I sense that there is, say, the proper financial and political support, then I think it’s a given that that’s where the destination is.” • Predicted former president Bill Clinton would be an asset to his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, if she runs for the Democratic nomination. “I mean, he had a good presidency. Marriage-equality opponents’ stark delineation between an adult-centered and child-centered model of marriage received its most prominent endorsement in Alito’s dissent.

Faubus is not an historical model most contemporary politicians would be willing to follow.” This is not the first time Huckabee has floated his bizarre legal theory. Alito distinguished between what he labeled a “conjugal” view of marriage, which “sees marriage as … an exclusively opposite-sex institution … inextricably linked to procreation and biological kinship,” and a “consent-based” view of marriage, which “primarily defines marriage as the solemnization of mutual commitment — marked by strong emotional attachment and sexual attraction — between two persons.” For Alito, the first model excludes same-sex couples, while the second accepts them. She doesn’t need to get into the vulgar in order to be successful and influential.” He also denied charges of hypocrisy, leveled this week by Jon Stewart in a combative interview on The Daily Show, because he had played bass backing up rocker Ted Nugent as he sang “Cat Scratch Fever,” a song with sexually suggestive lyrics of its own. • Discussed reports that the FBI had decided not to pursue civil-rights charges in the police shooting in Ferguson, Mo., saying the Justice Department would have proceeded if it could have found any standing to do so. “It was obvious that (Attorney General) Eric Holder wanted to be able to bring charges,” he said. “It was almost evident from the beginning that he was hoping that they would be able to find some way to indict or bring some charges against officer Darren Wilson.” Now, he said, “I hope that (civil rights activist and MSNBC anchor) Al Sharpton will have a rally and apologize for having incited so many people to actions that were hurtful to the people of Ferguson, hurtful to many minority business owners whose businesses were burned and looted because passions were inflamed.” The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees “equal protection of the laws” to “any person.” These words protect everyone — white or black, gay or straight, man or woman — against hostile and arbitrary discrimination by state governments.

Huckabee wants to end marriage just as segregationists in some places did away with public schools to avoid having to comply with the court’s decision? (Close the swimming pool instead of integrating? Whether Huckabee, a former two-term governor, is genuinely confused about the basics of American civics or is just looking for attention, your guess is as good as mine. Shut down the restaurant rather than serve blacks?) Huckabee can make that case, I suppose, but it will sound ridiculous to the average person, and it is.

MH: Well, if the federal Supreme Court rules that same sex marriage is protected under the 14th Amendment, you still have to have Congress and the President act to agree with it, because one branch of government does not overrule the other two. When it decides the issues later this year, it should do the right thing again and follow the Constitution, making history once more and finding that discrimination has no place in American society. Even as he related marriage to adult partnership, he focused attention on marriage’s parenting dimensions. “Without marriage,” he asserted, children struggle “to understand the integrity and closeness of their own family and its concord with other families in their community and in their daily lives.” Unlike Alito, Kennedy’s child-centered view is not rooted in a biological, gender-differentiated model of parenthood. Wydra is chief counsel of the Constitutional Accountability Center, which filed “friend of the court” briefs at the Sixth Circuit defending marriage equality together with the Cato Institute.

As his comments during oral argument in the related case challenging California’s Proposition 8 suggested, he had in mind the thousands of children already being raised by same-sex couples — children brought into such families through adoption and assisted reproductive technology. In my own state, when we had school funding legislation that had to be passed, the courts ruled, but we didn’t start sending out checks the next day. Beginning in the late 1960s and ’70s, states began to recognize husbands as fathers when the child was conceived through alternative insemination with donor sperm. The idea that state governments or for that matter the Congress can go their own way by ignoring duly passed laws and duly decided Court rulings seems like a less salubrious development.

For decades, heterosexual couples have emphasized marriage’s adult-based dimensions, focusing on emotional and financial partnership — and have reshaped marriage’s child-centered dimensions, filling marriage with nonsexual reproduction and non-biological parent-child relationships. But if some states can pick and choose laws, others will surely do the same—and in such a polarized national landscape, they’ll start picking and choosing increasingly contradictory options.

But for 200-plus years we have operated with the understanding that once the courts have spoken, other branches don’t continue doing exactly what they want even if they disagree with the result. The day after the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the vast majority of store owners, hotels and other places of accommodation that would not serve blacks the day before provided services to them just as they did to white customers.

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