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Reagan Appointed Judge Strikes Down Michigan Gay Marriage Ban

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by GatorBen, Mar 21, 2014.

  1. GatorBen
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    GatorBen Well-Known Member

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  2. LittleBlueLW
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    LittleBlueLW Premium Member

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    What does the fact that Reagan appointed him have to do with this....even a little.
  3. GatorBen
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    GatorBen Well-Known Member

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    For judiciary watchers it's an interesting note - that it isn't only democratic appointees striking down gay marriage bans anymore.
  4. GatorBen
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    GatorBen Well-Known Member

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  5. DaveFla
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    DaveFla Well-Known Member

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    Not a damn thing...
  6. GatorBen
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    GatorBen Well-Known Member

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    As I noted, more than anything specific to Reagan, it's that Friedman is a Republican appointee. That tends to be notable on a politically charged judicial issue that has, in the past, been divided along the lines of which party appointed the judge to a degree,
  7. GatorBen
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    GatorBen Well-Known Member

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    Lots of factual findings about children raised in same-sex households that we haven't seen in other district court opinions striking down state bans. That's because this one had a trial while most of the rest have been resolved on summary judgment motions.

    Legal reasoning is largely the same as the others, the ban fails to survive even rational basis review:

    "The Court finds that the MMA impermissibly discriminates against same-sex couples in violation of the Equal Protection Clause because the provision does not advance any conceivable legitimate state interest. In light of this determination, the Court finds it unnecessary to address whether the MMA burdens the exercise of a fundamental right under the Due Process Clause."
  8. GatorBen
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    GatorBen Well-Known Member

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    Asserted state interests were: "(1) providing an optimal environment for child rearing; (2) proceeding with caution before altering the traditional definition of marriage; and (3) upholding tradition and morality."

    First ground was rejected for a number of reasons. The evidence at trial didn't support the conclusion that there was any difference in outcomes for children raised by gay couples. The fact that Michigan's marriage law does not include the ability to have children as a prerequisite, or allow for annullment if the couple can't conceive, or if the children do poorly in school, etc. belies the state's assertion that this is why Michigan recognizes only the marriages that they do. Further, the judge found that forbidding gay marriage actually worsened the child rearing environment for children of same-sex couples. In addition, Michigan doesn't similarly forbid marriage for types of heterosexual couples who are statistically likely to have sub-optimal child rearing outcomes.

    Rejected the "wait and see" approach advanced in the second ground outright because it doesn't work when constitutional rights are implicated because "any deprivation of constitutional rights calls for prompt rectification."

    Rejected the tradition/morality basis outright as well. On tradition, cited the SCOTUS opinion in Heller v. Doe for the quote that the "[a]ncient lineage of a legal concept does not give it immunity from attack for lacking a rational basis." Cited opinions from a number of federal courts that express the idea that "moral disapproval alone" cannot provide a rational basis to deviate from equal protection.

    Lastly addressed the assertions that there was added legitimacy to the Michigan Marriage Amendment because it had been enacted by popular referendum. On this issue the court quoted Justice Robert Jackson:

    "[t]he very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One’s right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections."

    Also quoted the Ohio opinion for a similar idea:

    "the Supreme Court has clearly stated that if . . . an enactment violates the U.S. Constitution - whether passed by the people or their representatives - judicial review is necessary to preserve the rule of law . . . [t]he electorate cannot order a violation of the Due Process or Equal Protection Clauses by referendum or otherwise, just as the state may not avoid their application by deferring to the wishes or objections of its citizens."
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  9. GatorBen
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    GatorBen Well-Known Member

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    Conclusion is particularly powerful:

    In attempting to define this case as a challenge to "the will of the people," Tr. 2/25/14 p. 40, state defendants lost sight of what this case is truly about: people. No court record of this proceeding could ever fully convey the personal sacrifice of these two plaintiffs who seek to ensure that the state may no longer impair the rights of their children and the thousands of others now being raised by same-sex couples. It is the Court’s fervent hope that these children will grow up "to understand the integrity and closeness of their own family and its concord with other families in their community and in their daily lives." Windsor, 133 S. Ct. at 2694. Today’s decision is a step in that direction, and affirms the enduring principle that regardless of whoever finds favor in the eyes of the most recent majority, the guarantee of equal protection must prevail.

    Accordingly,

    IT IS HEREBY DECLARED that Article I, § 25 of the Michigan Constitution and its implementing statutes are unconstitutional because they violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
  10. g8trjax
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    g8trjax Well-Known Member

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    Pro gay marriage judicial tyranny.
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  11. gatorman_07732
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    gatorman_07732 Well-Known Member

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    True, we know Reagan has mad some decisions on appointing judges that have been dismal. This is another example of unelected, unaccountable people furthering an agenda.
  12. GatorBen
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    GatorBen Well-Known Member

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    Or, rather, people where the entire point of structuring the federal court system the way it is is to have them not be accountable to the political whim of the electorate, because equal protection and fundamental rights aren't supposed to be subject to being denied on the whims of an electoral majority.
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  13. fastsix
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    fastsix Well-Known Member

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    So you're saying if he was a Democratic appointee, some of the usual subjects would make note of that and point to Democrats as being responsible for this bit of "judicial activism"?

    I don't believe that for a second. /s
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  14. gatorman_07732
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    gatorman_07732 Well-Known Member

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    Oh I don't disagree with you at all on this point Ben. My argument is legislation from the bench whether it's in the federal or state level.
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  15. Emmitto
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    Emmitto VIP Member

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    How do you figure this is legislating from the bench, out of curiosity. I'm not necessarily challenging that, just interested in your analysis.
  16. fredsanford
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    Any action that doesn't affirm their Fred Phelps worldview is tyranny.
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  17. bobbo
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    bobbo New Member

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    They just whine that it's "legislating from the bench" whenever they don't like a ruling.
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  18. asuragator
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    asuragator Well-Known Member

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    My question would be what exactly counts as legislation from the bench?

    Not meant necessarily for you to have to answer gman, I am just curious as to what others think it means.
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  19. asuragator
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    asuragator Well-Known Member

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    So if you flip the coin over do you get anti-gay marriage conservative tyranny?
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  20. Gatorrick22
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    Gatorrick22 Well-Known Member

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    Marriage is begotten by the Catholic church, grandfathered, established by law, trademarked by the Church as holy matrimony between one man and one woman... If this stands nation wide we will have to revisit a host of past laws.

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