Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Big Week at the Supreme Court...

Big week at the Supreme Court...
This is one of the biggest weeks we've seen in a while at the Supreme Court. The Court will hear two potentially landmark cases which, no matter their final rulings, are sure to upset a substantial number of people across the United States.

The two subjects before the Court this week involve same sex marriage and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

SCOTUSBLOG, has (probably) the premier coverage of the Court and offers this preview:

What are the two cases?
One concerns the right to same-sex marriage itself while the second involves the federal benefits available to legally married gay couples.
The first centers on California’s Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriage in the state. The initiative effectively overturned a decision by the California Supreme Court, which had ruled five months earlier that the state’s constitution required recognition of same-sex nuptials. Two couples seeking to marry are challenging the law.
The second case concerns the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 federal law that defined marriage as a heterosexual union. Under the law, gay spouses can’t claim the federal benefits available to other married couples, including the rights to file a joint tax return and receive Social Security survivor benefits. DOMA, as the law is known, is being challenged by Edie Windsor, an 83-year-old New York resident fighting a $363,000 federal estate tax bill imposed after the 2009 death of her spouse.
Click here to read the rest of their preview...
I have no predictions, but a few thoughts to share...
As the United States continues to evolve as a nation, we forget sometimes that we're still a fairly young member of the world governments. Civilization is a process, it seems, and we're certainly not done learning how to live with more civility toward all. In general, we seem comfortable expanding rights for various segments (Blacks, Women, etc...) of our population not contracting them as we move through time. I hope this week continues this trend. 
In my opinion, it is not the Federal nor State's right to determine which groups among us may enjoy the benefits of marriage and which may not. If we are all equal under the law, what is there to really discuss? Yes, that's a simplification of the two issues, but I say it really boils down to that basic premise. Are we all equal or not. 

Source: http://www.scotusblog.com/2013/03/how-historic-supreme-court-gay-marriage-case-will-unfold-qa/#more-161704 

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