Speaking on behalf of the American Principles Project, Maggie Gallagher had some insight into how “swing vote” Justice Kennedy may lean in the coming Supreme Court cases on Prop 8 and DOMA: “Backers of Proposition 8 say they’re confident Kennedy Continue reading
Maggie Gallagher is quoted twice in this recent Politico article noting the silence of GOP elites on the issue of gay marriage: “I’m personally grateful to Speaker Boehner for being willing to defend the law, but it’s clear GOP elites Continue reading
Just in: New York appeals court strikes down DOMA New York (CNN) — A federal appeals court in New York on Thursday became the nation’s second to deem the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. The divisive Clinton-era law was passed Continue reading
We’re all still trying to digest what Chief Justice John Roberts just did in providing the crucial fifth vote to uphold Obamacare. I’m pretty sure he’s trying to digest it too.
I do not fault him for bending over backwards to try to find a legitimate reason to uphold Obamacare. Deference to the people’s representatives (even if the people don’t currently like our representatives much!) is part of the basic structure of the Constitution. But if we are to be a nation ruled by laws, not men, words have to have plain meanings. Communication must be possible.
Pres. Obama promised that this mandate was not a tax. In the law, it is described specifically as a mandate, a requirement. The money you have to pay if you decline to buy government-mandated insurance coverage is laid out in the legislation as a “penalty” for failing to do something the government is requiring you to do.
Robert’s decision to redefine the mandate as a tax also raises new questions, as Ilya Somin points out on Volokh.com: if this is a tax what kind of tax is it? If it’s a direct tax on the states, it must be apportioned proportionate to the population of the states. “If it is not an income tax, excise tax, tariff, or impost, it’s not a tax authorized by the Constitution—even if it also isn’t a direct tax
By redefining what Congress clearly described as a penalty as a tax, Roberts may have saved this law, but he has lost something more basic to the rule of law. Truth matters. Lines may get blurry, which is why we need courts, but courts may not creatively reinterpret the plain meaning of a statute. Otherwise the exercise of democracy means nothing. Continue reading
There is no honest way to overturn Prop 8 without creating a fictitious right to gay marriage and inserting it into our Constitution. Now it’s up to the Supreme Court to leave the future of marriage to the good sense Continue reading