Judge Richard Posner in Slate: "John Stuart Mill in On Liberty drew an important distinction between what he called 'self-regarding acts' and 'other-regarding acts.' The former involves doing things to yourself that don't harm other people, though they may be self-destructive. The latter involves doing things that do harm other people. He thought that government had no business with the former.... Unless it can be shown that same-sex marriage harms people who are not gay (or who are gay but don't want to marry), there is no compelling reason for state intervention, and specifically for banning same-sex marriage. The dissenters in Obergefell missed this rather obvious point." CW: As Akhilleus would tell us, Posner's thesis has a long history, beginning with the Greeks, & expressed more recently in Isaiah Berlin's positive & negative liberties. Viewed in this light, marriage equality is mighty conservative. See also freeeedom.
Sally Kohn of the Daily Beast: "... the fight over gay marriage is far from over. Now we enter the Republican temper tantrum phase.... Even before the Supreme Court's ruling, several prominent Republicans had pledged to disobey any high court ruling in favor of marriage equality -- and had called on their fellow Republican leaders to do the same. For instance, Republican presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee have both signed a pledge that reads, 'We will not honor any decision by the Supreme Court which will force us to violate a clear biblical understanding of marriage as solely the union of one man and one woman.'... Here we have Republicans ... actually pledging to violate their duties and break the law.... The modern Republican Party is operating less like a responsible partner in governance and more and more like an underground crime network -- continually abusing and threatening the otherwise democratic process if it doesn't get its way." ...
... Tim Egan: The Republican party is a "refuge for racists." ...
... Jonathan Martin of the New York Times: Some GOP strategists are urging candidates to get over that & other winger 'tudes; the candidates are struggling, at best. ...
... Philip Rucker & Robert Costa of the Washington Post write on the same theme. ...
... CW: I'm afraid stories like these may fool liberals into thinking that the majority of Americans are suddenly turning left. I don't believe it. Even out-and-out racists watch their tongues in public. That's what dog whistles are all about. From Lee Atwater to Rick Santorum to Paul Krugman, people who understand what Republican "small government" policies are about understand that they are based in, or at least sold as, economic & social racism. So-called conservatives may cite philosophical sources, but their appeal is to the baser instincts of human nature.
I don't believe for a minute the polling that shows a majority of the country favors marriage equality. Why is ObamaCare less "popular" than marriage rights? Because racists can get away with pretending they're against ACA policy, when they're really against anything that disproportionately helps "those people" & was the product, at least in part, of the black guy in the White House. Sam Alito was onto something when he wrote in his dissent to the Obergefell opinion, "I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers and schools. By imposing its own views on the entire country, the majority facilitates the marginalization of the many Americans who have traditional ideas." He's not just talking about himself -- though that, too -- he's talking about how bigots are going to have to invent & adhere to a new set of dog whistles & keep their gay jokes & hatred in "quiet places." Officials & ordinary people have already learned to couch their bigotry against both women & gays in terms of "religious freedom," a safe, Constitutionally-protected advocacy with which liberals cannot disagree. Ditto Second Amendment freeeedom. The right to bear arms was born of racism -- a guarantee that Southerners could protect themselves against slave rebellions -- and it has once again been repurposed as a means of protecting whites against "lawless" blacks. Meanwhile, if the confederates must abandon their flag, they will wave the U.S. flag with even greater fervor. The symbol of our nation has been for a long time a dog whistle for the right; it's about to become an outright embarrassment. ...
... Paul Rosenberg, in Salon, on the false equivalency South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley applied to feelings about the confederate flag. Rosenberg contrasts Haley's speech with the remarks of Paul Thurmond, son of Strom, who completely rejected the flag & the white supremacy it represents. Rosenberg delves into how supremacists rework their magic to fit time & circumstance.
Jenny Kutner of Salon sees a nugget of hope for reproductive rights in Anthony Kennedy's majority opinion on marriage equality. From the opinion:
A first premise of the Court's relevant precedents is that the right to personal choice regarding marriage is inherent in the concept of individual autonomy.... Like choices concerning contraception, family relationships, procreation, and childrearing, all of which are protected by the Constitution, decisions concerning marriage are among the most intimate that an individual can make.
... CW: Kutner doesn't say so, but it's useful to remember that Kennedy joined the plurality decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), a decision that upheld, but modified, Roe v. Wade. The decision acknowledged the state's interest in the life of the fetus & changed the definition of fetus viability, both of which have been the bases of anti-abortion legislation.
David Atkins in the Washington Monthly: "Ted Cruz' solution to 'judicial tyranny'? Direct election of SCOTUS judges.... Making judges fearful of the public whim negates much of the entire purpose of having a judicial branch to check the legislative. But even from a purely conservative utilitarian standpoint, that strategy tends to work best in more conservative states and where judges are elected in non-presidential cycles. Also, much has changed in the last decade in terms of popular opinion.... There's no evidence that a serious public opinion backlash will arise against the Court over marriage equality and the Affordable Care Act.... Indeed, by far the most unpopular of the SCOTUS' recent decisions was its stand on Citizens United.... All of which is to say, Ted Cruz should probably be careful what he wishes for."
Annals of "Journalism," Ctd. Willa Paskin of Slate: Fox "News" personalities could not figure out how to deal with the Supreme Court's Obergefell decision. "As if today hasn't already proved how far gay rights has come, know, also, that no one on Fox News wants to be seen as anti-gay anymore either."
The Trouble with Being Bush (or Why One Candidate Calls Himself Jeb!) Eli Stokols of Policito: "With conservatives up in arms over [Chief Justice John] Roberts' role in preserving Obamacare, Jeb Bush suddenly finds himself called to answer for the chief justice appointed by his brother, George W. Bush. And not just Roberts -- Jeb is also taking flak for David Souter, the liberal justice appointed by his father, George H.W. Bush." CW: Yo, Eli, Souter is not a liberal. He's an old-fashioned New England Republican. If you'd ever read one of his opinions, you'd get that. P.S. Roberts' opinion on the ACA isn't even close to liberal; in fact, there's a good change he was one of the justices who agreed to hear the King case, albeit he may have decided from the get-go to use the case as a warning to ideological litigants on both sides: don't clutter up my courts with attempts to nix legislation on frivolous grounds.
New York Times: "Iran's top nuclear negotiator was heading back to Tehran on Sunday to consult with his nation's leadership, as negotiators remained divided over how to limit and monitor Tehran's nuclear program and even on how to interpret the preliminary agreement they reached two months ago. With all sides now acknowledging that the talks would need to continue beyond Tuesday, once considered the absolute deadline for a final deal, officials from several nations said some of the politically difficult questions ... are still just as vexing as they were when the 18-month negotiation odyssey began."
New York Times: "David Sweat, the remaining prison escapee on the run in northern New York for three weeks, was shot by a state trooper on Sunday, according to the authorities. Mr. Sweat, 35, was shot twice in the torso and was taken to Alice Hyde Medical Center in Malone, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Sunday night at a news conference here. Mr. Sweat was in stable condition. 'The nightmare is finally over,' Mr. Cuomo said. The shooting occurred about 3:20 p.m. after Sgt. Jay Cook saw a suspicious man walking down a roadway in the Town of Constable, according to the state police. The sergeant ordered Mr. Sweat to stop, but he broke into a run and the sergeant, a firearms instructor, opened fire...." ...
... AP: Sweat "has been transported to an Albany hospital, where he is listed in critical condition."
Washington Post: "An unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket bound for the International Space Station exploded a couple of minutes after liftoff Sunday morning. It was the third cargo mission to the space station to be lost in recent months."
Guardian: "A solar plane took off for what could be the longest solo flight in history on Monday, with its Swiss pilot confronting the 'moment of truth' of a journey around the Pacific Ocean and around the world. The Solar Impulse 2 set off about 3am from Nagoya, Japan, en route to Hawaii, a trip expected to take five days and nights of continuous flight."
New York Times: "Greece will keep its banks closed on Monday and place restrictions on the withdrawal and transfer of money, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in a televised address on Sunday night, as Athens tries to avert a financial collapse."
AP: Law enforcement officials are confident they are closing in on New York state prison escapee David Sweat.