Sorry for getting a late start today, but I wanted to take a few minutes to at least skim the DOMA decision released by the Supreme Court today. While I agree with the result, I also agree with Scalia’s dissent that if the Plaintiff and Government agreed with the result of the lower court, thus ended the controversy, and the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court would then have no jurisdiction to hear an appeal.
I’m also fine with invalidating DOMA on the grounds that the federal government has no power to define marriage; something that has long been the realm of the states. Though, I wonder how this would work if a state chose to recognize polygamous marriages, and federal law simply wasn’t equipped to deal with marriages involving multiple parties. But this was not a federalism ruling, it was an equal-protection ruling, which seems to be a setup for a future case that challenges states that refuse to recognize or sanctify same-sex marriages on equal protection grounds. Again, while I would agree with the result, I’m not sure how one could distinguish why same-sex couples would have equal-protection to enjoy the benefits of marriage, but first cousins or even siblings would not. The states must have some power to define marriage (though agreeably within the confines of the constitutional guarantees barring discrimination on the basis of race which are already placed on the states through the 14th Amendment).
I support all 50 states recognizing same-sex marriage, but I’m concerned about process. I think the proper realm for that issue to be decided is by state legislatures and state courts, and not through the federal court system. I say that even though I believe conservative opposition to same-sex marriage is handing a whole generation of younger voters to the left. Process is important, and I’m generally very concerned about the left’s, and much of the general population’s disregard for it.