Great news: Prof. Richard Epstein predicts victory for marriage at the Supreme Court.
Well, Richard Epstein is just one of the most distinguished constitutional law scholars in America. He's a professor at NYU Law, and also taught for many years at the University of Chicago Law School.
He's a libertarian, and personally in favor of gay marriage, so it caught my eye when Prof. Epstein was recently asked what he thought would happen to Judge Walker's decision at the Supreme Court level:
"I think this case will lose," Prof. Epstein said--meaning Judge Walker will lose, that opponents of Prop 8 will lose, that Ted Olson and David Boies will lose--and that you and I and 7 million Californians will win this case if it gets to the Supremes.
I think so too, and in a better world you would see more headlines like this, counteracting the absurd drumbeat of despair the mainstream media flings at us.
I also enjoyed watching Prof. John Yoo at Berkeley Law School (brave man!) say that even though he personally supports gay marriage, he agrees that Walker's decision was really bad constitutional law--and kind of mean-spirited to boot.
Okay, I added that last thought--but here's what Prof. Yoo actually said: “I thought it was a really poorly done decision; if you read it carefully it says this law is so irrational nobody could have any reason to ban gay marriage, it's just a product of hate. Millions of Californians are bigots.”
Well, that's certainly what major gay-rights groups like Human Rights Campaign think.
I grow amused at the extent to which some of these organizations can just “make up” stuff.
HRC's latest email announces that NOM is outside the mainstream--just a few months after Iowans kicked out pro-gay-marriage judges, and in both states where legislators voted for gay marriage (Maine and New Hampshire) the voters kicked them out, flipping both houses in both states to GOP control.
At least HRC got one thing right: “Thanks to right-wing groups like the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), 2011 brings as much trepidation as hope” to advocates of gay marriage.
We have marriage fights brewing in the coming weeks and months in Iowa, New Hampshire, Minnesota, New York, Maryland, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Indiana, North Carolina--and possibly in Congress. Sadly, the Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to consider our case defending the rights of voters in the District of Columbia. It didn't say why, as it usually doesn't.
City councilmembers have arbitrarily taken away the right to vote laid out in the D.C charter--its constitution. We will be looking at all options, from future legal pathways to action by Congress, to restore that right. It's really outrageous, quite apart from the marriage issue, for the city council politicians to say they can amend the charter without the approval of Congress or the people of D.C, and take away a constitutional right to vote.
This week we also filed our NOM amicus brief in the Defense of Marriage Act cases now at the First Circuit Court of Appeals. (You can read it here). Here's the bottom line: we filed this brief because the Obama Administration has withheld an enormous amount of information which judges need to make a good decision in this case. The Tenth Amendment is not a “reverse supremacy” clause, giving state governments the right to impose definitions on Congress; the federal government routinely defines terms like “marriage” and “child” for the purposes of federal law. And in the 19th century the Supreme Court itself approved the restrictions on polygamy Congress passed, which included requiring several western states to forbid polygamy perpetually in their state constitutions. Kudos to William Duncan at the Marriage Law Foundation for his assistance on this important brief.
Pres. Obama's politicized Justice Department, under pressure from his gay base, have repudiated Congress's good reasons for passing DOMA, undercutting not only marriage but the prerogatives of Congress in this case. “Collusive litigation” is what Prof. Epstein called the Obama administration's actions in an earlier column, and the good professor was right about that too.
Congress is becoming an increasing focus of our work. The National Organization for Marriage held its first reception for incoming freshman Congresspeople at the Capitol Hill Club this week.
It was awesome! Thanks to Congressman Steven King for his leadership, and also to Mike Pence, who made an amazing speech--forgive me, I’m paraphrasing--about how there aren't fiscal conservatives and social conservatives, there are just people willing to stand up for the principles of the American founding. Those are the ones we call conservatives in this day and age.
(And to you brave and hardy pro-marriage centrists and liberals, thanks to you as well for sticking with us on the marriage issue!)
NOM has worked primarily at the state level in our first three years, but we plan to pivot to have a bigger impact on House and Senate races in 2012, as court decisions threaten to nationalize gay marriage.
That's all for this week. Please keep your prayers, your comments, your advice and your support coming. We are here to be your voice for our shared values.
With marriage fights brewing in the coming weeks and months in Iowa, New Hampshire, Maryland, New York, Indiana, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, North Carolina--and in Congress--I really could use your help to replenish our coffers, so we can fight on multiple fronts in the next few weeks. In these tough times, I know you have many other responsibilities. But if you can give today without hurting your family, your faith community or other important responsibilities, can you reach down and give $15 for marriage this week? If God has given you the gift of greater means, consider a larger gift of $50, or $100, or even $1000 for marriage. We will be good stewards of your treasure. With your help we will fight for marriage--and win!