Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Oh for three

My prophetical abilities have taken a big hit lately.  I predicted, somewhat cynically, that the supreme court would strike down Obamacare, uphold human gene patents, and uphold DOMA.  I was wrong on all counts.  I would like to say that I couldn't be happier -- and I am glad of all three outcomes -- but my enthusiasm is tempered by the at best muddled and at worst utterly hypocritical legal reasoning behind at least the DOMA decision, and the voting rights act decision (which, needless to say, I am not nearly as happy about).

The most blatant example is Antonin Scalia's "paean to the democratic process" in the DOMA decision:
We have no power to decide this case. And even if we did, we have no power under the Constitution to invalidate this democratically adopted legislation.
The hypocrisy of this statement is rendered all the more striking by the fact that this decision was issued one day after Scalia voted to do exactly what he claims here that the court has no power to do, namely, to "invalidate... democratically adopted legislation," specifically, the voting rights act.

But this is not the time to rant about Scalia's hypocrisy.  Today is a day to celebrate a significant victory in the fight for marriage equality and freedom.  The battle isn't over.  It might not even be the beginning of the end.  But it is surely the best outcome one could reasonably have hoped for.  Indeed, it is a better outcome than I would have thought possible just a few short years ago.

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