Wednesday, August 04, 2010


Constitutionally Incapable

As my select readers have, no doubt, already learned, Federal District court Judge Vaughn R. Walker has struck down California's Proposition 8. It's a long decision, 138 double-spaced pages, that, like Judge Jones' decision in the Dover case, appears to go into what the anti-marriage forces, like the creationists before them, will find to be excruciating detail. As I get the chance to go through it, I will post any good or humorous (or both) parts I run across. The following is early on but delicious:

At oral argument on proponents' motion for summary judgment, the court posed to proponents' counsel the assumption that "the state's interest in marriage is procreative" and inquired how permitting same-sex marriage impairs or adversely affects that interest. Counsel replied that the inquiry was "not the legally relevant question," but when pressed for an answer, counsel replied: "Your honor, my answer is: I don't know. I don't know."

Despite this response, proponents in their trial brief promised to "demonstrate that redefining marriage to encompass same-sex relationships" would effect some twenty-three specific harmful consequences. At trial, however, proponents presented only one witness, David Blankenhorn, to address the government interest in marriage. Blankenhorn's testimony is addressed at length hereafter; suffice it to say that he provided no credible evidence to support any of the claimed adverse effects proponents promised to demonstrate. During closing arguments, proponents again focused on the contention that "responsible procreation is really at the heart of society's interest in regulating marriage." When asked to identify the evidence at trial that supported this contention, proponents' counsel replied, "you don't have to have evidence of this point."
Not only does the Righteous Right miss the point of the Constitution, they miss the point of a trial!

Wow, looks like proponents got their counsel from a Cracker Jack box. Whose side are they on anyway! Nice job proponents' counsel!
There's an old lawyer's saying: When the law's on your side, pound on the law. When the facts are on your side, pound on the facts. When neither the law nor the facts are on your side, pound on the table.

In this case, we might have to add something about not being able to find the table ...
The CBC news quoted some pro-8-er to the effect that there would certainly be an appeal, given the "biassed" way the judge conducted the hearing. I'm guessing "biassed" is another one of these terms (like "activist judge") to which the Right has given a Special Meaning, in this case: "insisting that our lawyers and witnesses present coherent arguments" (the big meanie!). Kitzmiller was "biassed" in the same way.
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