The Court and Gay Marriage
The high court same-sex marriage win; Scalia's chutzpah; immigration consequences; future liberal majority.
Another quick reaction: Obviousy, this is great. Anthony Kennedy!
I'm still reading up on all the ramifications, but clearly the Court's majority has done a great thing here, on the DOMA case and on not hearing the Prop 8 case. Apparently same-sex marriage will be legal again in California, although that's not 100 percent clear yet and there could be future challenges.
Scalia...did you see his line, re the DOMA ruling, about how the Court lacks the standing "to invalidate this democratically adopted legislation." Funny, he didn't seem to say that yesterday. Amazing, this guy. Putz. Yep.
Here's one question: What does this mean for the immigration bill? Remember Pat Leahy's amendment, granting path-to-citizenship rights to same-sex partners? The Democrats agreed to toss it because the R's said it was a dealbreaker. But with this ruling, which evidently ends the federal definition of marriage as between a man and a woman, the Leahy provision can go through, and some Democrats will press the issue again. Has the politics of immigration reform changed as a result of this? Very interesting question worth keeping an eye on.
UPDATE: It may be the case that this ruling makes the Leahy amendment unnecessary--that with this decision, same-sex partners can already sponsor their partners for citizenship. I think that's what I've been told by experts in the past, will double-check.
And finally, one larger point. This ruling should make you imagine what it would be like to have an actual liberal majority on the court, which is why I wrote about that the other day. Just imagine if the next President Clinton gets to replace four justices in eight years, two of them being Scalia and Kennedy (who is of course conservative on everything else). That would create a functioning 6-3 liberal majority. Rulings like this would be par for the course, and rulings like yesterday's would be (will be) reversed. Something to think about.