Gay Dem Barney Frank: Gay Marriage at Supreme Court "Premature", a "Mistake"


The HuffingtonPost:

Regarding the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the Prop 8 case, [Rep. Barney] Frank is less jazzed.

“I was critical of the decision to take Prop 8 to court,” he said. “I don’t the think the five-member Supreme Court majority that we have is ready to declare that there is a constitutional right to marry everywhere. To bring a lawsuit when you’re not likely to win it, prematurely, is a mistake. So I was very critical of those people in California who were doing that. When the Supreme Court decides the Prop 8 case, what I believe is likely to happen is that they will accept the decision by of the circuit court in the west coast [ the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which had narrowed the decision to apply only to California]. It’s people being rescued from themselves. Some of them are still trying to push the broader case, which I think is a mistake.”


  1. Barb Chamberlan
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    In the article Rep. Frank calls Justice Scalia "stupid," calls him a "bigot." He obviously lacks a cogent argument to Scalia's opinion, so he resorts to name-calling, as is the common practice of marriage redefinition advocates.

    Classy guy, that Barney.

  2. Ash
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    While I agree with Barney that SCOTUS is unlikely to declare a nationwide right to ssm, I disagree that the "narrowing" of the question to CA makes victory for SSMers more likely. Many ssm advocates believe that striking down Prop 8--even on the grounds that it's impermissible for a state to withdraw a given benefit, or to amend their constitution in response to a state supreme court decision--is still a pretty large pill for SCOTUS to swallow. In fact, some ssm advocates cheered the 9th Circuit's "limited" ruling on Prop 8 only because they had hoped that it would make SCOTUS less likely to even take the case.

  3. Son of Adam
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    What precedent is there that states once a court invents a new right or law from the bench, it can never be reversed? If that were the case, then the Dred Scott Decision is still in effect which declared slavery legal in all the US territories - now states and that blacks could never be US citizens.

    The founding fathers established a system of checks and balances for a good reason. And no government branch dominates the others, not even the Supreme Court.

  4. Posted December 28, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    "save them from themselves".


    That's it exactly.

    Democracy counts you see, just so long as the outcome is acceptable to Mr. Frank and his co-thinkers.

    Any deviation can of course be rectified by the Courts, which shall "save us from ourselves".


  5. Michael Ejercito
    Posted December 30, 2012 at 4:43 am | Permalink

    What precedent is there that states once a court invents a new right or law from the bench, it can never be reversed?

    Two cases come to mind.

    Dayton Board of Education v. Brinkman, 433 U.S. 406 at 414 (1977)

    Crawford v. Los Angeles Board of Education, 458 U.S. 527 at 535(1982)

    Also, there was a court challenge involving an amendment that prohibited anti-discrimination laws for homosexuals, but not heterosexuals. If I remember correctly, the Supreme Court struck down the amendment to the extent it eliminated pre-existing laws, while leaving it intact to the extent it barred the adoption of new anti-discrimination laws as applied to homosexuals.