On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for a case challenging California’s Prop 8, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Read the full transcript and listen to the courtroom audio here.
As the Supreme Court hears arguments today on California's gay marriage ban, follow along as we collect the smartest court-watchers' latest tweets.
Remember the Obamacare ruling debacle? Pundits read too much into the oral arguments—and got the outcome wrong. Adam Winkler warns against overanalyzing the clues in today’s gay marriage hearings.
In Arthurian legend, the sorceress Morgan Le Fay lured sailors to their death by using magic to create false yet alluring images of fairy castles out at sea. She was said to be capable of enticing even the most experienced ship captain to veer from his course and meet an untimely end. Her mirages offer a valuable lesson for prognosticators and legal commentators weighing every word spoken by the justices in the Supreme Court hearings over gay marriage this week.
People queue to enter the Supreme Court in Washington on March 25, 2013. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty)
Oral argument can be a window into the court and its deliberations. Justices hostile to a lawyer’s argument often reveal their disagreement through penetrating—sometimes devastating—questions, while a friendly justice can offer a struggling advocate a helping hand. Court watchers eager to get an early lead on how the justices will decide the most important questions of the day look to these hints, analyzing each change in tone and expression of frustration.
Even before the beginning of the marriage hearings, people have been reading the clues. On Monday, reports circulated that the lesbian cousin of Chief Justice John Roberts was attending one of the arguments as his guest. Was this is a sign that Roberts will rule in favor of gay rights? The cousin was hopeful: “I believe he sees where the tide is going,” she said. “I absolutely trust that he will go in a good direction.”
With public opinion shifting at ‘breathtaking’ speed, Republican politicians are finding themselves on the wrong side of gay marriage—but they must also keep their conservative donors happy, reports Eleanor Clift.
On no other public policy issue have attitudes have changed as rapidly as on gay marriage, and Karl Rove, the man George W. Bush dubbed “the architect” of his reelection, epitomizes the shift in the Republican Party. Asked on ABC’s This Week if he could “imagine” a Republican presidential candidate unequivocally backing gay marriage, Rove replied, “I could.”
Karl Rove and moderator Tom Brokaw appear on "Meet the Press" in Washington, D.C., Sunday, March 14, 2010. Rove, the former Senior Adviser to President Bush was a proponent in trying to pass anti-gay marriage legislation but said on the show over the weekend that he could see the possibility of a republican president who embraces gay marriage in the future. (William B. Plowman/NBC via Getty)
This is the same Karl Rove who in 2004 helped push a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and worked to put similar bans on the ballot in swing states such as Ohio to generate conservative turnout. Once a wedge issue that worked to the advantage of the GOP, gay marriage is now seen as benefiting the Democratic Party.
“This issue has been lost. It’s about time Republicans get over it,” says Ron Haskins, a former Bush White House official who co-directs the Center for Children and Families at the Brookings Institution. “Having hung out with Republicans for many years and knowing Republicans who either themselves were gay or had sons or daughters who were gay, Republicans always were very queasy about this issue,” he says. “Republicans think the less said, the better, but there’s a certain amount of relief. It’s hard to be a consistent conservative and be opposed to gay marriage.”
Michael Tomasky explains why he’s pessimistic about the odds of a pro-gay-marriage decision.
Brit Hume is wrong. Of course white people can talk about race, without being called racist. They just need to be smarter about it.
In a major policy shift Wednesday, President Obama told ABC News’s Robin Roberts that ‘same-sex couples should be able to get married.’ The move marked the first time a sitting president has thrown his support behind gay marriage and the end of Obama's self-described 'evolution' on the issue.