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Thread: Louisiana ruling breaks pro-gay marriage streak

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    Re: Louisiana ruling breaks pro-gay marriage streak

    Quote Originally Posted by Navy Pride View Post
    I am against changing the name of marriage......What part of that do you not understand?
    They spell marriage differently in states with legal recognition of same sex marriages?
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    Re: Louisiana ruling breaks pro-gay marriage streak

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    Since your bigotry is going to come to the surface, why not your racism too, since Louisiana is one of of the blackest states in the country.
    Right, I can't criticize someone without being bigoted against them... As usual, I don't think you have any idea what bigotry actually is or what it feels like to experience it.
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    Re: Louisiana ruling breaks pro-gay marriage streak

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    Right, I can't criticize someone without being bigoted against them... As usual, I don't think you have any idea what bigotry actually is or what it feels like to experience it.
    I know exactly what it looks and feels like. It looks exactly lije your comments towards Louisianians. You're leveling criticism angainst people because they're from the South and that's bigotry.
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    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

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    Re: Louisiana ruling breaks pro-gay marriage streak

    Quote Originally Posted by matchlight View Post
    I haven't read Judge Feldman's decision and doubt that I will. But going by the brief descriptions of it I read, it makes sense. Apparently the party challenging Louisiana's marriage law made at least two claims.

    The first, as best I can tell, was that homosexuals are a suspect class for Fourteenth Amendment equal protection purposes. In equal protection challenges, a law that makes a suspect classification will be reviewed under the Supreme Court's "strict scrutiny" standard. Under that standard, the law will be unconstitutional unless the government can show it was necessary to achieve an essential government purpose.

    Laws make suspect classifications when they single out people for disparate treatment based on their race, national origin, or alienage. The challengers evidently argued that the court should declare homosexuals a new suspect class, and the judge declined to do that. That seems proper, because he would have had no legal precedent for doing that.

    Absent any suspect classification, rational basis review would have applied, with the Louisiana law being presumed valid and the burden on the challenger to show it was not rationally related to a legitimate government interest. This standard is ordinarily pretty easy to meet, and it was met in this case.

    The second claim failed because the judge recognized Louisiana's authority to define marriage by law. In U.S. v. Windsor last year, the Supreme Court held section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. But the Court was careful to note that DOMA is a federal law, and (however disingenuously) it emphasized it was not questioning the states' traditional authority to define marriage. The judge was just recognizing that authority.

    Section two of the DOMA is still in place--at least for now--and it gives states authority not to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. The Full Faith and Credit Clause, Art. IV, sec. 1, requires states to recognize the "public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state." But it also gives Congress power to make laws prescribing how those acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and what effect they have. And that's what section two of the DOMA does.
    It is trivial to prove that a same sex marriage ban does not result in more children in the homes of their biological parents. That standard was not met, but you'd know that if you'd read the decision. It was only "met" because the judge said so. He clearly had no legitimate reason.
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    Re: Louisiana ruling breaks pro-gay marriage streak

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    I know exactly what it looks and feels like. It looks exactly lije your comments towards Louisianians. You're leveling criticism angainst people because they're from the South and that's bigotry.
    No, I'm leveling criticism towards the prevailing political attitudes of Louisiana and some of the other states near it. That you can't tell the difference is why you don't understand what bigotry really is.
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    Re: Louisiana ruling breaks pro-gay marriage streak

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    It is trivial to prove that a same sex marriage ban does not result in more children in the homes of their biological parents. That standard was not met, but you'd know that if you'd read the decision. It was only "met" because the judge said so. He clearly had no legitimate reason.
    Your last sentence only makes it more clear that you don't know enough about standards of review in due process and equal protection challenges to make an informed judgment about whether the applicable standard was met. It wasn't Judge Feldman who needed a legitimate reason, but the state of Louisiana.

    The Supreme Court has reiterated that in rational basis review, the court's job is not to decide whether it thinks the law under review was a reasonable means of achieving a legitimate government purpose. The court's job is rather to decide if it's conceivable that the legislators who made the law could have thought it was a reasonable means of achieving a legitimate government purpose.

    The law is presumed rational, and courts usually defer strongly to the legislature's decision that it is. The law does not need to be best law that could have been written to achieve the legislative goal. In fact it doesn't need to go very far toward a conceivable legislative goal--courts will uphold a law that takes a "first step" toward a legitimate legislative goal, even if the court thinks the law is ill-advised.

    I don't have a Supreme Court decision discussing this in front of me, but if anyone wants to read the Court's explanation of how rational basis review works, I'm sure I can find one.

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    Re: Louisiana ruling breaks pro-gay marriage streak

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    Right, I can't criticize someone without being bigoted against them... As usual, I don't think you have any idea what bigotry actually is or what it feels like to experience it.
    You weren't making a valid criticism of anyone. By likening modern Louisiana to the Louisiana that was a Confederate state, you obviously meant to slander Louisianans generally as bigots. And I agree with the poster from Louisiana that by doing that you revealed your own bigotry toward Southerners.

    In my personal experience, a disproportionate share of the bigoted and narrow-minded people I've come across have--ironically--liked to call themselves "liberals." In fact, of course, they are anything but.
    Last edited by matchlight; 09-04-14 at 08:46 PM.

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    Re: Louisiana ruling breaks pro-gay marriage streak

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    No, I'm leveling criticism towards the prevailing political attitudes of Louisiana and some of the other states near it. That you can't tell the difference is why you don't understand what bigotry really is.
    No, your basing your criticism on the fact that Louisiana is in the South. The former Confederate states don't hold the monoply on anti-gay marriage legislation.

    You also said that Louisiana is currently a Confederate state, because you can't tell the difference. News flash: anti-gay attitudes don't exist exclusively in the South.
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

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    Re: Louisiana ruling breaks pro-gay marriage streak

    Here's a good discussion of rational basis review by the Supreme Court. It's not hard to see just how deferential to the legislature it is.


    We many times have said . . . that rational-basis review in equal protection analysis "is not a license for courts to judge the wisdom, fairness, or logic of legislative choices." Nor does it authorize "the judiciary [to] sit as a superlegislature to judge the wisdom or desirability of legislative policy determinations made in areas that neither affect fundamental rights nor proceed along suspect lines." For these reasons, a classification neither involving fundamental rights nor proceeding along suspect lines is accorded a strong presumption of validity. Such a classification cannot run afoul of the Equal Protection Clause if there is a rational relationship between the disparity of treatment and some legitimate governmental purpose. Further, a legislature that creates these categories need not "actually articulate at any time the purpose or rationale supporting its classification." Instead, a classification "must be upheld against equal protection challenge if there is any reasonably conceivable state of facts that could provide a rational basis for the classification."

    A State, moreover, has no obligation to produce evidence to sustain the rationality of a statutory classification. "[A] legislative choice is not subject to courtroom factfinding and may be based on rational speculation unsupported by evidence or empirical data." A statute is presumed constitutional, see supra, at 319, and "[t]he burden is on the one attacking the legislative arrangement to negative every conceivable basis which might support it," whether or not the basis has a foundation in the record. Finally, courts are compelled under rational-basis review to accept a legislature's generalizations even when there is an imperfect fit between means and ends. A classification does not fail rational-basis review because it "'is not made with mathematical nicety or because in practice it results in some inequality.'" "The problems of government are practical ones and may justify, if they do not require, rough accommodations-illogical, it may be, and unscientific." (internal citations omitted) Heller v. Doe, 509 U.S. 312, 319-320 (1992).

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    Re: Louisiana ruling breaks pro-gay marriage streak

    Quote Originally Posted by matchlight View Post
    Here's a good discussion of rational basis review by the Supreme Court. It's not hard to see just how deferential to the legislature it is.


    We many times have said . . . that rational-basis review in equal protection analysis "is not a license for courts to judge the wisdom, fairness, or logic of legislative choices." Nor does it authorize "the judiciary [to] sit as a superlegislature to judge the wisdom or desirability of legislative policy determinations made in areas that neither affect fundamental rights nor proceed along suspect lines." For these reasons, a classification neither involving fundamental rights nor proceeding along suspect lines is accorded a strong presumption of validity. Such a classification cannot run afoul of the Equal Protection Clause if there is a rational relationship between the disparity of treatment and some legitimate governmental purpose. Further, a legislature that creates these categories need not "actually articulate at any time the purpose or rationale supporting its classification." Instead, a classification "must be upheld against equal protection challenge if there is any reasonably conceivable state of facts that could provide a rational basis for the classification."

    A State, moreover, has no obligation to produce evidence to sustain the rationality of a statutory classification. "[A] legislative choice is not subject to courtroom factfinding and may be based on rational speculation unsupported by evidence or empirical data." A statute is presumed constitutional, see supra, at 319, and "[t]he burden is on the one attacking the legislative arrangement to negative every conceivable basis which might support it," whether or not the basis has a foundation in the record. Finally, courts are compelled under rational-basis review to accept a legislature's generalizations even when there is an imperfect fit between means and ends. A classification does not fail rational-basis review because it "'is not made with mathematical nicety or because in practice it results in some inequality.'" "The problems of government are practical ones and may justify, if they do not require, rough accommodations-illogical, it may be, and unscientific." (internal citations omitted) Heller v. Doe, 509 U.S. 312, 319-320 (1992).

    This is all very true...

    However to make a definitive statement that rational basis review is the standard that will apply is unknown at this time, that's what the SCOTUS will have to determine. Those better at the law then I can surely make an argument (and have done so in cases that have already been reviewd and upheld by the 10th and 4th Circuit courts.

    First, as your unsourced quote (presumably it is from a SCOTUS case) points out, rational basis is not the level of scruitiny applied when laws work to inhibit a fundamental right. The SCOTUS has repeatedly recognized that Civil Marriage is a fundamental right (Zablocki v. Redhail and Turner v. Safley and Loving v. VIrginia).

    Second, the independent area of examination is "suspected lines". Starting with Romer v. Evans the court began to recognize that laws that target homosexuals were unconstitional not even surviving a rational basis examination.

    Romer v. Evans
    Amendment 2 fails, indeed defies, even this conventional inquiry. First, the amendment has the peculiar property of imposing a broad and undifferentiated disability on a single named group, an exceptional and, as we shall explain, invalid form of legislation. Second, its sheer breadth is so discontinuous with the reasons offered for it that the amendment seems inexplicable by anything but animus toward the class that it affects; it lacks a rational relationship to legitimate state interests.

    Lawrence v. Texas
    The second post-Bowers case of principal relevance is Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620 (1996). There the Court struck down class-based legislation directed at homosexuals as a violation of the Equal Protection Clause. Romer invalidated an amendment to Colorado’s constitution which named as a solitary class persons who were homosexuals, lesbians, or bisexual either by “orientation, conduct, practices or relationships,” id., at 624 (internal quotation marks omitted), and deprived them of protection under state antidiscrimination laws. We concluded that the provision was “born of animosity toward the class of persons affected” and further that it had no rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose. Id., at 634.

    Windsor v. United States
    The responsibility of the States for the regulation of domestic relations is an important indicator of the substantial societal impact the State’s classifications have in the daily lives and customs of its people. DOMA’s unusual deviation from the usual tradition of recognizing and accepting state definitions of marriage here operates to deprive same-sex couples of the benefits and responsibilities that come with the federal recognition of their marriages. This is strong evidence of a law having the purpose and effect of disapproval of that class. The avowed purpose and practical effect of the law here in question are to impose a disadvantage, a separate status, and so a stigma upon all who enter into same-sex marriages made lawful by the unquestioned authority of the States.

    Romer, Governor of Colorado, et al. v. Evans et al., 517 U.S. 620 (1996).
    LAWRENCE V. TEXAS
    UNITED STATES v. WINDSOR | LII / Legal Information Institute


    **********************************



    The the first question the SCOTUS will have to answer: is marriage a fundamental right that applies to same-sex couples? Secondly, did the passage of laws that denied equal treatment under the law, which anyone will honestly recognize as starting after the Hawaii case in the early 90's, target same-sex couples along suspect lines.

    The court has repeated said that Civil Marriage is a fundamental right - that could raise the bar above rational basis. Independently the courts have also found unconstitutional laws that target homosexuals for discrimination - that could also raise the bar above rational basis. Whether that would be heightened scrutiny (along the lines of gender) or strict scrutiny (along the lines of race and religion), we don't know yet.

    Then of course they could use rational basis and point out that the law doesn't even meet that standard.



    >>>>
    Last edited by WorldWatcher; 09-04-14 at 10:42 PM.

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