Thursday, March 5, 2009

Reactions to California Prop 8 Oral Arguments

Prop 8 Oral Arguments
Today I am happy.  There seems a chance that democracy and justice might truly prevail against relativism and emotionalism.  As soon as Prop 8 opposition “took the stand,” justices lit into them on the issue of revision vs. amendment, firing question after question.  Then, Justice Kennard nobly defended the people’s right to amend the Constitution, recognizing her own limitations as a Supreme Court Justice:

"And what I'm picking up from the oral argument in this case is this court should willy-nilly disregard the will of the people," she said.

"I think what you are overlooking is the very broad powers of the people to amend the constitution," Kennard told Marshall as he finished up his arguments.

[Read more…]

So while it appears, reasonably, that Proposition 8 will be upheld, what remains in question is the fate of the 18,000 couples who were “married” before California voters confirmed that marriage between one man and one woman was the definition they would firmly defend.  Ken Starr, Prop 8 counsel, reminded the California Supreme Court justices that Proposition 8 was well on its way to the ballot before the judges issued their ruling on May 15, 2008.  With the knowledge that Prop 8 would be on the ballot in November, the Supreme Court justices were asked to stay the effects of their May 15 ruling until after the will of the people was made known on November 4th.  They declined, couples were joined, Prop 8 passed making the sovereign will of the people known (for the second time) on this matter.  I pray the justices will accept full responsibility for their actions and accept Starr’s compromise that 18,000 “married” couples can retain the privileges and protections of Domestic Partnerships while surrendering the sacred title of marriage reserved for the union of one and one woman.

From Maggie Gallagher of NOM

We will know for sure in 90 days, but if I were a Prop 8 opponent, I'd be very discouraged right now. The argument that a 14-word definition of marriage is a wholesale revision of the constitution is legally and logically absurd and at least two of the pro-same-sex marriage justices expressed pretty profound skepticism.

Justice Kennard, in particular, seemed to be open to the idea you could not take away sweeping equal protection guarantees from gay and lesbian citizens through the amendment process--but could not wrap her head around the idea that protecting the meaning of the word "marriage" was such a radical sweeping thing to do.

From Beetle Blogger

To start off, the justices hardly let the opposition’s lawyers even get their hellos in before they started ripping them with questions.  They seemed completely uninterested in speeches and pontifications, and unimpressed with the emotional aspects of the opposition’s most loved rhetoric.  Two hours later, the court still had questions.

By far the worst lawyer and arguments were for Jerry Brown’s case.  All I can say is THANK GOODNESS FOR PROTECTMARRIAGE.COM bringing in Ken Starr!!  Jerry Brown’s case was TERRIBLE.

He argued that Prop 8 was a legal amendment, but a bad one and the judges shouldn’t allow bad laws to be made.  The justices looked blank for a minute and then open season began as they ripped into his “novel theory”.  Justice after Justice quoted to him from the constitution which itself says: Power comes from the people.  Judges get their power from the people.  Not the other way around.  Jerry Brown’s counsel, tripped up early and never really got his footing back.  It was a complete disaster.  Um….uh…I don’t know….yep.  Lawyer fail.

I think Starr’s approach was much cleaner.  He came across as your favorite grandpa, not trying to sell you on something you don’t need, and not trying to guilt you into reacting, just telling it the way it was.

With less than half the time allotted the opposition, Ken Starr hit home run after home run.

We owned the hearing today, in no small part to an honest case articulated perfectly by Starr who rattled off answers to every question posed.  By the time he finished, the justices had no more questions.  That’s saying a lot for judges who seemed full of questions.

[Read more…]

Hip, hip hooray!  I know it’s premature, but I’m celebrating nonetheless.  It’s been a hard-earned and long-anticipated optimism I’ve looked forward to.

Happy March 5th, Pearl People.



Euripides said...

Yay rah Pearl! It's been a good day for California and for marriage.

Jennifer Roback Morse said...

I heard the same thing from other supporters who were in the court: Starr was great. I also heard that there were about 3,000 demonstrators outside, and that Reuters reported that they were about 50/50 pro and con.
dr J

Sara said...

why are you celebrating the fact that loving, caring people can not have the same joyous feelings that i had, and still have every day of my life, when i married my husband? thinking of someone telling me that i could not marry the love of my life makes me sick to my stomach, and it should make you feel the same. the majority should never be able to take rights from the minority; one day our great-grandkids will look back on this and be ashamed.

Pearl said...

If you read my blog, Sara, which you are most welcome to do, you will quickly discover why marriage is not a "right" that has been taken from the minority.

From another great blogger, Op-Ed:

"Marriage is a right. Redefining it isn't. Proposition 8 is about the purpose of marriage in our society. Marriage takes care of children by providing a vehicle for responsible couples to raise the children they produce. Why discard that to turn marriage into just a bunch of arbitrary government benefits for couples? Proposition 8 doesn't seek to change how people live or love. It ensures marriage will continue to promote the responsibility in procreation we need."

Government does regulate marriage, Sara. We allow some related people to marry but not others. We prohibit already married people from getting married and there are age restrictions requiring parental consent, all with the intent to preserve the best and most responsible environment for the healthy development of children and, therefore, society.

From UFI:

"Heterosexual marriage is a government imperative. This is not an issue of love, rights or sexual preference. It is an issue of which activities and unions provide societies with a net benefit and which do not."

In truth, as I have already indicated, my celebration is premature. The court could still rule contrary to my presumptions, but the fact that I do not think they will is the basis and encouragement for my celebration. And so I celebrate.

Your emotional appeal is piercingly reminiscent of the campaign run by the No on 8 side all these past months, and by homosexual activists for decades now. I am sorry for anyone's pain, but for those who still value logic and reason, emotionalism falls far short of a convincing argument for redefining an age-old and time-tested institution upon which society and government is built.

Contrary to popular No on 8 thought, love is not all you need and it is not all about love. And truthfully, how does denying them the word marriage to define their union inhibit homosexuals' ability to love each other?

I am not ashamed of my vote or my beliefs and opinions on this matter. Marriage between a man and a woman is the fundamental building block of society. From there, cause and effect ripple out into the creation of children, families, neighborhoods, communities, society, government, world. All this cannot naturally emerge from a homosexual union and to intentionally stunt society in such a way and introduce gender confusion and gender apathy is to invite chaos. Equally appalling is the selfish act of denying children access to one opposite-sex parent by design.

So Sara, yesterday, and still today, I celebrate what I believe will be the protection of children, family, and society for a couple more years, at least.

One day our great-grandkids will look back on this and thank their grandparents for preserving the pure definition of marriage and Democracy in a state unfortunately succumbing to minority mob rule, government by the loud and threatening, and the legislative, executive, and judicial undermining of the power of the people.

There's something to be said for the definition of marriage being between one man and one woman when SEVEN MILLION PEOPLE are willing to brave the threats and intimidation of the homosexual activist machine in order to defend, protect, and preserve it with their Democratic vote. That, dear Sara, is true courage.

Chairm said...

Pearl, did I just see you on the 6 o'clock news doing a snoopy dance?


From what I saw of the video, Kenneth Starr exemplified the approach that the vast majority of marriage defenders have taken when responding to the strained rhetoric of the pro-SSM campaign.

He was respectful and moderate.

And I don't just mean his tone but also in his reasoning and willingness to acknowledge the grey areas and to tip his hat to the valid points in the pro-SSM arguments.

The other advocates appeared shrill or confused. They are true to SSM argumentation when they press for special new rules.

I'm biased, but I try to listed to serious arguments dispassionately.

But I have to say, just as I've observed of SSMers in general, the No-on-8 counsellors came across as seeking the Court's favor not in aid of justice, but "just us".

Each spoke in a tone that was matched by their reliance on emotivism. There were a few good points in there, but not enough to build a strong case against Starr's answers to the Court's three main questions.

The SSMers tried to describe a hierarchy of rights. Fundamental. Inalienable. Civil. Constitutional. Natural. And so forth. But not one of them could plainly state the distinguishing feature of the right at stake. It was a jumble.

Instead, they relied on a special status for gayness. They attached this to the subjective color of a particular "right".

When Starr was asked to explain the meaning of an inalieable right, he pointed to process rather than to some subjective test.

He said: "It cannot be taken away except with the appropriate process."

And he stood by that even with the parade of hypotheticals the Justices trotted out.

"The People do have the raw power to define the rights. That is the nature of the consent of the governed."

And he appealed to the principle of judicial restraint: "We're asking you to stay the judicial course and not to chart a new course."

The No-on-8 counsellors asked the Court to write a new definition of revision, and another definition of amendment, all in aide of the judicial redefinition of marriage.

Astonishing, really, how blatant their endgaming has become.