Tag Archives: United States Supreme Court

LGBT History Month 2013: The Death of DOMA!

26 Jun

Constitution-No-DOMAToday marks a landmark decision from the United States Supreme Court and a victory for the LGBT community.  Clinton’s legacy of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is now dead.  Even now, I am having to write this article through tears of joy!  The unconstitutional, shamefully discriminatory DOMA has finally been put to rest.

The 5-4 decision found Justice Kennedy siding with the reliably progressive Justices Bader Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagan, and Sotomayor. The ruling is quite clear, emphasizing that by ignoring state marriage law, the federal government violated the Fifth Amendment. It reads, in part:

The federal statute is invalid, 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.

Of course, Scalia and his other school yard bullies  (including homophobic Chief Justice Roberts) voted to keep DOMA intact. They put forward a few different rationales, but basically relied on the “gays are icky” defense.  Sadly, Chief Justice Roberts who holds enormous power, has sent a clear message that he does not intend to treat all citizens equally or equitably.

Congratulations to Edie Windsor, whose steadfast insistence on having her marriage recognized moved this case forward. She is a true hero and her legal team deserves our thanks.

We still have a way to go. The patchwork of state-by-state marriage equality means that LGBT Americans get different rights based on where they live. This decision, however, makes it clear that marriage is marriage. That’s a huge step forward.  Poor John Boehner who spent so much of our tax payer dollars defending DOMA.  Is that a tear I see, Mr. Boehner?

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Dear Justice Thomas: Do We Need a Lesson on Ethics?

19 Jun

I Can't Be Bothered With Ethics

TSM has made no secret of our disdain and disappointment in Clarence Thomas’ behavior, dating back to his sexually harassing Anita Hill.  TSM has also followed the trail of ethics violations attributed to Justice Thomas.  Finally, it was nice to see the New York Times calling Thomas out on his bad behavior.    Thomas’ involvement with the Koch Brothers and with Citizens United may prove to be his undoing as a supreme court justice–let’s hope so, if justice is to be carried out.

In yesterday’s New York Times’ we see yet more controversial behavior leading up to ethics violations.  Thomas’ involvement with real estate magnate and long-time conservative funder Harlan Crow proved to be quite advantageous.  Yet again, we need to look into Thomas’ extrajudicial activities.  We have talked before about his appearing before right wing audiences to raise money for Tea Party candidates, as does his wife Ginni. It is hard to trust a justice who actively campaigns for partisan politics.  Click here to read the full article.

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