The Gross National Debt

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The war continues

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There's a LOT of misconceptions about yesterdays two Supreme Court rulings. I've read some excellent news stories on them and some opinions that ranged from accurate and factual to ones that are full of misunderstanding.
Mike L at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution nailed this one perfectly.

Here's what was decided.

1) Homosexual couples who are legally married have rights to federal benefits.

2) Those defending California's proposition didn't have the right to do so.

DISCOURSE ON RULING 1

Here's a piece that does pretty good job of explaining what the first decision means. It does have profanities. There are errors in it.
This is cool.

"If You Are Currently in a Heterosexual Marriage: This decision does not affect you in any way."

Not true. This may be a fine point, but hey! that's how lawyers make a living. See Ruling 2. The first SCOTUS decision gives homosexual partners equal rights and access to federal benefits.


Who pays for federal benefits? Taxpayers. If you are a heterosexual taxpayer, then part of you taxes will go to providing benefits for partners in homosexual marriages.  This affects you.

If a homosexual couple seeks marriage or divorce under a state's laws, the marriage license may pay for all the paperwork and employee salaries needed to officially record it, but I doubt it. Taxpayer dollars cover the difference. A divorce, through the courts, also relies on taxpayer dollars to support the infrastructure needed.

DISCOURSE ON RULING 2



SCOTUS dodged the issue (wusses) by saying those who defended it do not have standing to do so. If the State of California decides to defend the referendum, then the proposition can go live again until SCOTUS hears the case, again.

Personally I think the Supremes using a legal dodge to avoid a ruling is so much a sack of fresh fertilizer.

DISCOURSE IN GENERAL

So, do homosexuals have the right to marry?

SHORT ANSWER

It depends on what state they are in. Some states allow it. Some don't.
LONG ANSWER

States which have a man-wife marriage only law or constitutional amendment are now Ground Zero in this battle. Both sides are gearing up for what should be the final battle. SCOTUS should take one of these cases and rule. I wonder if they will.

This non ruling is gonna make a lot more lawyers rich.


Here's the problem. Say Fred and George or Sue and Jan get married in Washington State. They then move to Mississippi and while there, decide they hate each other. They file for divorce. Mississippi, being a state that specifically does not allow homosexual marriage, doesn't admit the two are married to begin with. No marriage, no divorce.

Oy.

Let's compound this problem. Ruling 1 says homosexual couples are entitled to all the federal rights and benefits as heterosexual couples. This includes economics, which was the base reason behind U.S. v Windsor. This case was about TAXES (economics). This case was about actual and provable harm one person suffered because of unequal treatment under the law.

SCOTUS has repeated ruled federal law trumps state law.

So. Let's throw the biggest monkey wrench of all into this morass.


Article I, Section 8, Clause 3: [The Congress shall have Power] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes;


This is the "interstate commerce clause" which gives Congress the right to regulate economic transactions which cross state lines. US. v Windsor is about economics. Congress has the right to regulate it.

Like it or not, marriage has a LOT to do with economics. Think inheritance, insurance, tax refunds and other benefits. These also cross state lines.

Furthermore, some licenses can cross state lines and be effective. Think driving in Alaska on a Maryland driver's license. Some licenses do not. Think medical, lawyer and some others.
Wednesday's rulings are a partial victory. A battle was won. The war rages on. Certainly only an idiot can't see which way the tide is running, but only an idiot forgets while the tide goes out, after a while it also comes in.

This ain't over.

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