DOMA Is The End Of Scalia’s Gay (Happy) Reign

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Josh Gad is USA TODAY’s newest, and perhaps most unusual, columnist. Filing whenever he can – or whenever the “news muse” strikes!

 

By Josh Gad – USA Today 

Today, as many are celebrating the historic Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage rights, there is one victim left in the dust. His name is Antonin Scalia. You may know him. He’s the judge whose face looks like a Panic Pete squeeze toy when he gets angry. He’s offended because he did not get his way. That’s right. Justice Kennedy and his four conspirators cheapened the law of the land by giving these “gays” the right to have equal benefits. Scalia and his marriage crusaders (including the divorced Justice Clarence Thomas, who chewed gum like an angry bovine as the decision was read) saw their precious straight-people-only utopia go up in flames. (Pun intended.)

In his scathing dissent, Scalia wrote: “It is one thing for a society to elect change; it is another for a court of law to impose change by adjudging those who oppose it hostis humani generis, enemies of the human race.” Going further, Scalia accused the majority of “declaring anyone opposed to same-sex marriage an enemy of human decency … In the majority’s telling, this story is black-and-white: Hate your neighbor or come along with us.” And how right he is! He even has the Latin language to back him up. The original dissent went further to say Gayus Manus Makum me Sickus. Fearing a backlash, however, the last part was redacted.

You see, as Scalia fights for the rights of people to not have rights (i.e.: yesterday’s brave decision to strike down a civil rights law providing protection against voter discrimination), moments such as the DOMA reversal are a dangerous impediment to Scalia’s legacy: that of being the Senator Palpatine of his generation. It’s unfair to call him unbending. Just because he doesn’t recognize homosexuals as individuals does not mean he has no heart. For example, his staunch defense of corporations as individuals was a fearless reminder that General Electric and Koch Industries have feelings just like you and me.

I remember the first time I saw General Electric crying on a street corner after he had his lunch stolen by Comcast. I was like, “Man, I hope the Supreme Court gives him the same rights as me one day.” And indeed, Scalia paved the way for corporations to provide unlimited funds toward elections without having to disclose anything. Now that’s brave. That’s a legacy.

You see, Scalia understands that laws are laws. It doesn’t matter that, in the words of Kennedy, “DOMA instructs all federal officials, and indeed all persons with whom same-sex couples interact, including their own children, that their marriage is less worthy than the marriages of others.” Who cares? Now, we’re just dealing with feelings. Under the nuance of Scalia’s wrath, we must remember that laws do not account for moral justice.

You see, it matters not if Frank and Bob, both crippled by the burden of not being able to share simple things like health and financial benefits, are subject to discrimination and are, in the eyes of their children, not as “worthy” as their friends’ parents. Forget that if moral equality weren’t adjudicated, women would still not have the right to vote and interracial marriage would still be outlawed.

According to the laws of Scalia’s land, we cannot judge on right or wrong or on conscience. Because the consequences of that might very well be…universal happiness. I shudder at the thought. After all, a happy gay is a dangerous gay. Pretty soon, we’ll all be drowning in a sea of confetti and satin. Now we must continue to abide by the LAW, not to be “interpreted,” not to be mettled with. After all, I’m positive there was no clause in the decision to make corporations individuals. There couldn’t have been. No.

That would be, to use a Scalia-approved Latin term, hypocrisy.

 

Supreme Court Strikes Down Sect 4 – A Key Provision Of 1965 Voting Rights Law

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Field Director Charles White of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) speaks at a podium outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

By Bill Mears, CNN

A deeply divided Supreme Court has limited use of a key provision in the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, in effect invalidating federal enforcement over all or parts of 15 states with past history of voter discrimination.

The court said it is now up to congressional lawmakers to revise the law to meet constitutional scrutiny.

“Our country has changed, and while any racial discrimination in voting is too much, Congress must ensure that the legislation it passes to remedy that problem speaks to the current conditions,” said Chief Justice John Roberts for the 5-4 conservative majority.

Section 4 of the law was struck down, the coverage formula used by the federal government to determine which states and counties are subject to continued oversight. Roberts said that formula from 1972 was outdated and unworkable.

Read the ruling

The practical impact of the majority ruling means the separate Section 5– the key enforcement provision– cannot be enforced.

Any changes in voting laws and procedures in those covered states– including much of the South– must be “pre-cleared” with Washington. That could include something as simple as moving a polling place temporarily across the street.

The two key provisions were reauthorized by Congress in 2006 for another 25 years and officials in Shelby County, Alabama, subsequently filed suit, saying the monitoring was overly burdensome and unwarranted.

“Congress could have updated the coverage formula at that time, but did not do so,” said Roberts. “Its failure leaves us today with no choice but to declare Section 4 unconstitutional. The formula in that section can no longer be used as a basis for subjecting jurisdictions to preclearance.”

The case is Shelby County, AL v. Holder (12-96).

Veterans of forgotten voting war count the cost

Opinion: How segregation got busted

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