Republicans Go Gay, Anti-Gay

Republicans passed legislation in the House Thursday to prevent federal courts from ordering states to recognize same-sex unions sanctioned elsewhere.
The bill would strip the Supreme Court and other federal courts of their jurisdiction to rule on challenges to state bans on gay marriages under a provision of the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act. That law defines marriage as between a man and a woman, and says states are not compelled to recognize gay marriages that take place in other states.

Way to go in the House!
You exceeded your Constitutional Mandate, in attempting to tell the Courts what cases they may hear.
You failed to understand basic Separation of Powers in the US Constitution.
You looked like a bunch of bigoted assholes, who are so scared of queers that you want to mangle the Constitution.
You tried to move the focus off the war in Iraq and the ongoing 9-11 report.
I do believe you will all go down in history as a bunch of impotent, fearful, morons.
I can’t wait to vote some of you twits out of office.

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2 comments

  1. Dave J

    While I agree completely with your sentiments, Steve, I’m less sure about agreement on the law.
    You write:
    “You exceeded your Constitutional Mandate, in attempting to tell the Courts what cases they may hear.”
    Article III, section 2 of the US COnstitution provides that “the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.” That language logically applies even more strongly to the lower federal courts: since they’re creatures of statute that Congress could choose to abolish tomorrow, one would presume they could also limit their authority short of that. Indeed, Congress did not provide them with jurisdiction over all questions of federal law until some time in the late 19th century. Up to that point they had largely been for admiralty cases, bankruptcy and diversity suits between citizens of different states.
    The state courts have concurrent jurisdiction over all matters of federal law that they are not specifically excluded from. Therefore, even if this bill is constitutional, it seems to do a lot less than both its most vocal supporters and opponents think it would do. Let me make it clear that I certainly do not think Congress could ever constitutionally remove any subject from the jurisdiction of BOTH the federal and the state courts: if the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment and Congressional authority to regulate the jurisdiction of the courts conflict, the latter must trump the former if for no other reason than it was adopted later. Due Process does not require that you have access to a federal forum for the adjudication of a federal question; it does, however, require that you have some forum.
    Moreover, even if this were left to the state courts, I don’t think Congress could take away the US Supreme Court’s authority to be the last word on interpreting matters of federal law in this area by reviewing the decisions of state supreme courts. This is because the federal constitution grants the Court original jurisdiction over any case in which a state is a party, and presumably any gay-marriage case would name the state as such (among others, presumably).
    Personally, I don’t think stripping the federal courts of their jurisdiction is a good idea, but I don’t think it’d be all that harmful. Conversely, and completely tangential to the gay-marriage issue, a helpful part of any federal tort reform might be to expand the diversity jurisdiction of the federal courts to its constitutional limits, thus making it a bit harder for the plaintiffs’ bar to forum-shop into backwoods county courthouses.

  2. Dave J

    Er, that should read “the former must trump the latter.” I’m sure you get the idea.