NOM’s Maggie Gallagher: Judge Walker’s “swan song” Prop 8 decision engineered for fame and fortune

October 1, 2010 at 2:30 pm 115 comments

Cross-posted at Good As You

By Jeremy Hooper

Screen Shot 2010-09-30 At 6.23.03 PmThis speculation/activist view of the court comes from our ol’ two step partner Maggie Gallagher:

How could Judge Walker exhibit such gross bias and deliver such an injudicious opinion? The answer appears to be, in part, that it was his swan song. He’ll leave the bench famous, a hero in his hometown, and a hot commodity in whatever private venture he moves into.

Compare that to where Judge Walker would be if he had done what a lower level federal judge probably should have done: found that Baker v. Nelson is binding precedent, even if he also felt compelled to state why he believed it should be overturned by the Supreme Court.”

Judge Walker’s Swan Song [NRO]

Right. Because that’s exactly the principle in which Judge Walker crafted his 146 page decision: Fame. Instant Celebrity. A thirst for his 15 minutes. In fact, didn’t he actually study at the Kim Kardashian School of Law?

Oh, and as for Baker v. Nelson (as much as we’d like to continue talking about reality TV instead): These social conservatives really need to stop acting like that case went completely unacknowledged at trial! Because Walker quite pointedly brought up that 1972 case (which SCOTUS dismissed with a one-sentence “for want of a substantial federal question” order), leading Ted Olson to even more pointedly explain why the current matter before the court was/is different:

THE COURT: Well, now, the Supreme Court in the Baker vs. Nelson case, decided that the issue which we are confronted with here was not ripe for the Supreme Court to weigh in on. That was 1972. What’s happened in the 38 years since 1972?

MR. OLSON: Well, a great deal has happened. Among the things that have happened is the Romer case. Among the things that have happened is the Lawrence vs. Texas case. You know what those cases involve. A lot of other things have happened. Changes in the ballot propositions. California has adopted something completely different than the state — I guess it was Minnesota or Michigan, involved in that case. So there are a lot of factual situations that are different. This case is very different. And, by the way, the Supreme Court rejected the opportunity to take a miscegenation case. Now, I think it was — Dr. Cott testified to this. I think it was 1955. And then they took the case, the Loving case, in 1967.

CONTINUED: Closing Arguments [AFER]

As Olson aptly mentioned: The reality of both the world and the law has greatly changed since 1972. Romer v. Evans. Lawrence v. Texas. DOMA and anti-LGBT ballot initiatives, which while anti-equality, certainly raise new legal questions about the constitutionality of bias that did not exist in 1972. Plus the undeniable reality that is five U.S. states and one jurisdiction in our nation’s capital with equality, as well as the many other countries with marriage equality abroad. Oh, and the civil unions and domestic partnerships that are spread all over, including in California.

Baker would only be binding if the current court was deciding the precise issue that it examined almost four decades ago. But things have undeniably changed, regardless of how much the Maggie Gallaghers of the world think the Earth’s trajectory is dependent on their team’s heels alone!

Entry filed under: NOM Exposed, Right-wing.

#NOMtourFAIL Exposed: Alfonso Aguilar’s “Underpants Gnomes Theory” Day 5 on the NOM California tour: When the going gets tough, Vota Tus Valores blows it off

115 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lesbians Love Boies  |  October 1, 2010 at 2:31 pm


    • 2. Jonathan H  |  October 1, 2010 at 2:33 pm

      Don’t even have time to read the article, just scribin and out the door

    • 3. Ann S.  |  October 1, 2010 at 2:37 pm


      • 4. Felyx  |  October 1, 2010 at 5:05 pm

        Subscribing… for want of a substantial ethereal question.

    • 5. JonT  |  October 1, 2010 at 9:34 pm

      A very late subscribe. please forgive my tardiness.

  • 6. Straight Ally #3008  |  October 1, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    NOM et al.: speed bumps on the road to equality.

  • 7. Sagesse  |  October 1, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Scribin’ from work. Will read more fully later.

  • 8. Kate  |  October 1, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    I love that tight crop of Mag’s face. That would be great for making some of those stiff printed masks helds by a stick. We could all show up at the next “tour” stop holding them in front of our faces.

    • 9. Lesbians Love Boies  |  October 1, 2010 at 2:53 pm

      Too scary, it’s not halloween yet : )

  • 10. Kathleen  |  October 1, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Walker discusses Baker directly during a hearing on Proponents’ motion for summary judgment, transcript available here:

    Do a ‘find’ search of the pdf file for “Baker” to locate all the references, but see especially starting on pg 75.

  • 11. Ronnie  |  October 1, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Maggie “Shoe Flinger” Gallagher…get over yourself….that’s all….. : / …Ronnie

  • 12. Carpool Cookie  |  October 1, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Okay, I haven’t read this entry yet, but Maggie’s pic caught my eye. For those of you without avatars, notice how that image is boxed in really close to her features, so you could see it if it were made small.

    This is the first smart thing she’s done.

  • 13. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  October 1, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Because that’s exactly the principle in which Judge Walker crafted his 146 page decision

    Emmmm… It was a 136 page decision.

    — ♂K♥F

  • 14. Lesbians Love Boies  |  October 1, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    What Makes a Family?
    To more Americans, gays with kids count.

    The idea that gay couples who are married or have children qualify as “families” has rapidly become the majority view in the U.S., and researchers credit public discussions about gay marriage—by supporters as well as vehement opponents—for the unexpectedly fast pace of change. That’s the surprising conclusion of the Constructing the Family Surveys, which monitor Americans’ opinions about what makes a family. The surveys were launched in 2003 by researchers at Indiana University; the University of California, Irvine; the University of Utah; and the University of South Carolina. A detailed analysis of the results are included in the new book Counted Out: Same-Sex Relations and Americans’ Definitions of Family.

    These results are particularly startling because of the widespread assumption that the passage of “defense of marriage” legislation in many states (and the federal Defense of Marriage Act) in recent years represented a growing backlash against gay marriage and gay families. But based on the new data, Brian Powell, a professor of sociology at Indiana University, says he has to conclude that any such backlash was short-lived. “Social change usually occurs at a glacial pace,” he says. “What we’re seeing is a very rapid shift in people’s views of who they consider to be a family.”


    • 15. Sagesse  |  October 1, 2010 at 5:32 pm

      And Newsweek is more mainstream and more credible than NRO. Score!

  • 16. Kathleen  |  October 1, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center receives $13.3 Milion federal grant to fund development of a model program to protect and support LGBTQ foster youth:

    • 17. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  October 1, 2010 at 4:05 pm

      Thank you for posting something so cheery Kathleen :-)

    • 18. JonT  |  October 1, 2010 at 10:26 pm

      I second Marks’ post. Thanks Kathleen :)

      That is good news indeed.

  • 19. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  October 1, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    Romer v. Evans, Lawrence v. Texax, DOMAs, anti-LGBT ballot initiatives, US and foreign jurisdictions with marriage equality and other forms of recognition of same-gender relationships hardly form the exhaustive list of things that should be mentioned here.  How about the fact that in 1972 US health professionals still believed homosexuality is a mental disorder, only to recognize it is not in 1973, a year after Baker v. Nelson?  Surely, if you’re a Supreme Court Justice and you consult the doctors who presume the so-called “homosexual behavior” is caused by a mental disorder, you would not even fathom to recognize relationships based on that “malady.”  But when the scientific evidence tells you otherwise, it is exactly the time to reconsider earlier decision.

    — ♂K♥F

    • 20. Felyx  |  October 1, 2010 at 4:10 pm

      I am moving to Texax with ma Rusky! Hehehehe!

  • 21. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  October 1, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Or could it be that Maggie is projecting about her own swan song? Could this issue be Maggie’s swan song, her own claim to fame and she is determined to ride a dead horse as far as it will take her.

  • 22. Kate  |  October 1, 2010 at 3:27 pm


    Is your e-mail down?????


    • 23. Anonygrl  |  October 1, 2010 at 5:54 pm

      It’s all good, Kate.


  • 24. Mandy  |  October 1, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    I have to admit that every time I hear/read swan song the thong song starts playing in my head.

  • 25. Felyx  |  October 1, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    Kudos to whoever made Maggie look good…. albeit in a Dr. Who Cassandra type way.


  • 26. bonobo  |  October 1, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    So, I take it we have no idea, yet, if the bus and our Trackers, ever made it to Hollister, Salinas, Soledad, Paso Robles or Santa Maria? Guess I’ll go check the bus schedule.

  • 27. bonobo  |  October 1, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Well, they’ve got it updated to 3:15 Paso Robles. Can’t wait to find out what happened.

  • 28. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  October 1, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    I’m assuming our wonderful staff received an email from NOM about — they are laughing at the new website and asking for money to fight the gayz who write those laughable things about them. Go figure.

    So, I won’t even post it here: we will probably hear about it shortly.

    – ♂K♥F

  • 29. Lodi Gal  |  October 1, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    I was just tossed off the NOM facebook page after an afternoon of respectful posts in which I simply asked a few questions. Don’t think I broke any rules except for “don’t question the orthodoxy.” They took someone else down at the same time. It is so very dangerous for them to be asked to think.

    • 30. Kate  |  October 1, 2010 at 4:56 pm

      Wow – you latest longer than any of the rest of us!

      • 31. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  October 1, 2010 at 5:05 pm

        I only lasted several minutes on OMOW Facebook page.

      • 32. Lodi Gal  |  October 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm

        I’m back up on the NOM facebook page as another character asking

        “There is lots of belligerent and profane language expressed here, but it seems only those opposed to your views get tossed off. You say you welcome discussion “no matter which side of this topic you stand”, but it seema pretty one sided. Can someone address that? I am asking as someone who would sincerely like an open discussion of the issues.”

        Let’s see if anyone responds.

      • 33. Lodi Gal  |  October 1, 2010 at 5:55 pm

        I was kicked off again simply for asking if they would be willing to have a discussion. The moderator actually posted something to the effect of “We don’t mind discussion, but what is there to discuss? Marriage is one man one woman.” Wow, that place is an echo chamber of epic proportions.

      • 34. Carpool Cookie  |  October 1, 2010 at 10:25 pm

        “We don’t mind discussion, but what is there to discuss? Marriage is one man one woman.”

        This motto should be carved in stone over the doors of their office ! ! !


  • 35. Anna Bryan  |  October 1, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    NOM’s complaint in Rhode Island against that states election laws has been dismissed. Does this sound familiar though?

    Judge Mary M. Lisi dismissed NOM’s complaint on grounds that it violated federal litigation rules. The court, among other things, found that “the factual allegations in the complaint are buried in… conclusory and argumentative passages” and that it “places an unjustified burden on the court and the [state] to respond to it because they are forced to ferret out the relevant material from a mass of verbiage.” The court gave NOM until next week to file an amended complaint that comports with the rules.

    • 36. Ann S.  |  October 1, 2010 at 5:07 pm

      LOL! Now they’re gonna start calling the judge names, just watch.

    • 37. Kathleen  |  October 1, 2010 at 5:16 pm

      LOL! This is brilliant!!

    • 38. Ann S.  |  October 1, 2010 at 5:17 pm

      She’s a Clinton nominee, let’s see how soon they sling that around.

      • 39. Ann S.  |  October 1, 2010 at 5:17 pm

        Of course, she was confirmed by voice vote in the Senate. Highly controversial.

    • 40. Jonathan H  |  October 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm

      I know where the judge is coming from, whenever I try to read through their crap I’m always screaming “Get to the point already!” I’ve been known to be excessively verbose myself, but these guys seem to be trying to hide what they’re actually saying under layers of bullshit.

    • 41. Sagesse  |  October 1, 2010 at 5:41 pm

      A judge can do that? Should happen to NOM, Protect Marriage, the PJI more often.

    • 42. Kathleen  |  October 1, 2010 at 5:53 pm

      Here’s a copy of the complaint, for anyone who want to read it:

      • 43. Kathleen  |  October 1, 2010 at 5:57 pm

        And you can read the judge’s order here:

        NOM has until Oct 7 to file an amended complaint.

    • 44. Dpeck  |  October 1, 2010 at 9:09 pm

      Ha ! That’s great ! So the court basicaly said:

      NOM – your doin it wrong.

    • 45. Carpool Cookie  |  October 1, 2010 at 10:27 pm

      Those comments are priceless. Bonus points for using the word “ferret”.

      • 46. Kathleen  |  October 1, 2010 at 10:46 pm

        What I don’t get is, with all their money, NOM couldn’t hire an attorney capable of producing a complaint that complies with procedural rules of the federal courts?

      • 47. Jonathan H  |  October 1, 2010 at 10:49 pm


        What I don’t get is, with all their money, NOM couldn’t hire an attorney capable of producing a complaint that complies with procedural rules of the federal courts?”

        It wouldn’t surprise me if they did, and that attorney told them, “You’re screwed”, so then they found one who’d write a lot of obfuscating crap. If nothing else, it might buy them time, eh?

      • 48. Carpool Cookie  |  October 2, 2010 at 10:34 am

        I was wondering exactly the same thing: what dustbin do they ferret their lawyers out of?

        They’re forced to rely on far-reaching and not-really-applicable arguments because there’s nothing of clear substance to say.

  • 49. Lesbians Love Boies  |  October 1, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    “Fringe” Group NOMs new website:

    • 50. Ray in MA  |  October 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm

      …typical NOM sh!t. …can’t contact them or leave a public comment and full of pleas for money.

      • 51. Ray in MA  |  October 1, 2010 at 5:56 pm

        What is their “matching grant” from?

        ” All of that will be doubled by our matching grant so you will have effectively raised $400,000.”

        NOM themselves?!?!? That would be a good trick.

      • 52. Anonygrl  |  October 1, 2010 at 6:05 pm

        We KNOW they are all about the money… no surprises there. But I wonder who, exactly, is reading their websites? The same people who show up for their rallies?


      • 53. Lesbians Love Boies  |  October 1, 2010 at 6:08 pm

        I am going to take a wild stab at who is funding the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a “Fringe” group’s pockets…

        Married, Retired, Fundamental Conservatives who didn’t have children and are mean, broken people.

    • 54. Kate  |  October 1, 2010 at 6:11 pm

      Here they go again with their quadruple negatives.

      how far can it go?

    • 55. Ronnie  |  October 1, 2010 at 6:30 pm

      i repeat….really?….really?….I mean really?….how childish…..really?….REALLY?….. : / …Ronnie

    • 56. Rhie  |  October 3, 2010 at 5:41 pm

      lol….oh dear.

  • 57. Luke  |  October 1, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    this woman and the organization she heads is so hypocritical, first of all, she encourages people to overturn prior court rulingsallowing for ssm but at the same time uses the court system to bypass election rule and transparency laws for funding. Which by the way they have never won a case in the court of law. Alos she is not a lawyer so how can she judge walkers ruling without any legal training, shes a bitter sad person who needs a therapist to figure out where all of her hate comes from

  • 58. Anonygrl  |  October 1, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    I got as far as page 5, and found that they had spelled October wrong (Octobner).

    If you were submitting a court document, wouldn’t you at least run it through the spell checker?

  • 59. Lesbians Love Boies  |  October 1, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    Do you think they will use every error we correct on the “Fringe” group NOMs Oct. 7 new filing? We should keep a list somewhere just to see : )

  • 60. Lesbians Love Boies  |  October 1, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    Love this post on the “Fringe” group National Organization for Marriage’s Facebook page…

    Jennifer Gail Weitlauf hmmm…one has to wonder how often people who are living sinful lifestyles commit suicide??? Everyone sins, but not everyone fights it…some people wallow in it and let it define who they are…thieves, murderers, pedophiles, rapists, homosexuals, and politicians(jk about the politicians)

    • 61. Ronnie  |  October 1, 2010 at 6:34 pm

      Hey Jennifer Gail Weitlauf….you’re an uneducated murdered enabling Nazi Pig… >( ….Ronnie

    • 62. RebeccaRGB  |  October 1, 2010 at 8:27 pm

      That jk needs to be moved over one item to the left, Jennifer Wail Wetleaf.

  • 63. Eric  |  October 1, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Have you guys seen this article? Haha!

    • 64. Kate  |  October 1, 2010 at 6:18 pm

      There’s that “unelected judges” again, this time Brian. Uh…. isn’t that kinda sorta maybe the definition of federal judges who are APPOINTED?

      • 65. Rhie  |  October 3, 2010 at 5:43 pm

        And aren’t elected judges facing an impossible conflict of interest? What if they are called to judge a case involving a large supporter as a defendant? How can they possibly rule fairly?

      • 66. Ann S.  |  October 3, 2010 at 5:57 pm

        Rhie: That’s the problem with elected judges.

      • 67. Rhie  |  October 3, 2010 at 8:25 pm

        Hrm. Maybe that’s exactly why the Religious Right wants elected judges. They want to get judges in that they can manipulate.

  • 68. Anonygrl  |  October 1, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    OK… I am up to page 8 of NOM’s “verified complaint” (who verified it, exactly?) and they have used the term vis-a-vis five times.

    I am bored and going to take the judge’s advice, and wait for their modified filing.

    • 69. Kate  |  October 1, 2010 at 6:20 pm

      Maybe they’ll add pages and confusions and convolutions instead of taking them out. Seems in character.

  • 70. Ray in MA  |  October 1, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    OT, but how would you feel about being “Auto-upgraded” ?!?!

    Like “Instant Oatmeal”?

    • 71. Anonygrl  |  October 1, 2010 at 6:57 pm

      I would probably dance around in glee.

      Then I would make sure everyone I knew and loved was made aware that equality is happening, despite all the efforts of NOM and their confederates.

      It seems sort of back handed… but I would think it better to take it and run. It looks like CT’s way of saying “we want to make things right.” which can be very hard for a state to do… because it involves an admission of being wrong prior to that. I say accept it graciously, and move on.

    • 72. nightshayde  |  October 1, 2010 at 6:58 pm

      I’d say it’s much better than being auto-downgraded or completely nullified.

    • 73. bonobo  |  October 1, 2010 at 8:24 pm

      Can’t agree with that, Ray. My brother and his significant other/girlfriend/wifeoutlaw/whatever have a domestic partnership here in california. Because of her job getting married and changing her name would cause all kinds of professional headaches. Besides, they’ve both been married before and never want to do that again.

      Now if they should contact you by paper and ask first, check here if you want to be married, then I’m all for it. I tend to think it’s the same shock to the system if you wake up to the radio announcing your divorce, or your marriage. Ouch.

      • 74. Ann S.  |  October 1, 2010 at 9:08 pm

        I can understand what you’re saying, but have a small nit to pick — marriage doesn’t automatically mean that your name changes.

      • 75. bonobo  |  October 1, 2010 at 9:19 pm

        Something about the differences in paychecks, plus she has 2 kids, Joe has none. I’ve tried to point out to them that dp’s really suck, especially when they go out of state/country but they feel its right for them. Other than that they seem to be intelligent critters.

    • 76. Carpool Cookie  |  October 1, 2010 at 10:33 pm

      Okay, I can’t follow that link because I’m on the slowpoke home computer…..but isn’t that huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge??????

      • 77. Kathleen  |  October 1, 2010 at 10:56 pm

        cc, you mean the announcement about the auto-updates? I think this is just the final step in the implementation of the marriage equality laws in Connecticut. Marriage licenses have been available to ss couples since Nov ’08. I think our own PamC decided to actually get a marriage license and marry her wife ahead of this auto-convert date so that it was an actual event and not an auto-event.

      • 78. Carpool Cookie  |  October 2, 2010 at 10:37 am

        Have other states offered this when they ushered in marriage equality? I hadn’t heard of that before.


      • 79. Kathleen  |  October 2, 2010 at 11:25 am

        I don’t really know. I haven’t paid attention to how states have been implementing the laws. Maybe someone from the other states can answer the question.

      • 80. Ann S.  |  October 2, 2010 at 11:25 am

        I finally got around to listening to Kate Kendall’s talk at the Commonwealth Club (highly recommended, if you haven’t already heard it!) and she mentions that Massachusetts did away with DPs when they implemented marriage equality, which she thought was a bad thing — there should be both, ideally.

  • 81. Lesbians Love Boies  |  October 1, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    Don’t watch this if you are eating anything, drinking anything, or in a funky mood!

    But definitely read the comments posted on the youtube page. (pst. the person who uploaded the video attempts to answer all the negative comments…it’s funny.)

    This is a video post on the “Fringe” group the National Organization for Marriage’s Facebook page…

    • 82. Anonygrl  |  October 1, 2010 at 7:01 pm

      “Some of ya are turnin’ whiter than you already are…”

      Well, doesn’t THAT just say it all?

    • 83. Ray in MA  |  October 1, 2010 at 7:11 pm

      This one was quite funny:

      “If we don’t sin, jesus died for nothing.”

      …So if you love Jesus, sin away!!!


    • 84. Fulton  |  October 1, 2010 at 7:45 pm

      Wow…didn’t watch the video cause I’ve have more than my fill of Hagee, but the commentary is fabulous! I swear it reads like a spoof. Kinda sad that many of them actually believe in God’s hatred.

  • 85. Ronnie  |  October 1, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    cross posting from my post on Freedom Fighters for Equality…..

    “My name is Christian, and I’m openly gay.” This proud declaration from a 14-year-old Colorado Springs native has been years in the making..

    (awesome article) this kid sounds really strong. He knows exactly who he is & I am sure he is going to do amazing things with his life. The episode titled, “Sticks, Stones, and CyberSlams” airs on Nickelodeon

    Local youth on ‘Nick News’ to highlight GLBT bullying

    Oh…& Happy LGBT History Month!!!!!!!…oh yeah did you know that October has actually been declared LGBT History Month?….It’s awesome….Halloween, Columbus Day, National Coming out Day (Oct. 11th), The Hate Crimes Bill went into effect last October (2009)…..<3…Ronnie

  • 86. Lesbians Love Boies  |  October 1, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    tickles me pink! The “Fringe” group, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) thinks this article makes them look good…I think they didn’t read to the end of the article (or the caption on the photo on the left).

    NOM put the article on their Tus Valores website AND tweeted about it…I love this!

    Here is the caption:

    Protesters from SEIU surround Richard Ramos, right, the Christian outreach coordinator from Vota Tus Valores, and Alfonso Aguilar, left, executive director for the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, Friday during a campaign stop in Central Park in Salinas. The Vota Tus Valores campaign, which is supporting Carly Fiorina for U.S. Senate, aims to convince Latinos to vote for social conservative values, but Friday’s Salinas appearance drew nearly 30 protesters who crowded around the bus, objecting to Fiorina’s support of Arizona’s immigration law, among other policies. (Scott MacDonald)

    Here is the article:

    • 87. Kate  |  October 1, 2010 at 7:13 pm

      More excellent coverage for us! When the article says that the protesters outnumbered the tour-types 2 to 1, were they including all those numerous staff people on the bus? Were there really any non-tour “supporters” there all? Anyone here who attended?

    • 88. Kathleen  |  October 1, 2010 at 7:48 pm

      I’m guessing they’re just thrilled over any press coverage at all. :)

  • 89. Paul in Minneapolis  |  October 1, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Can someone please explain how Baker, which was decided in Minnesota and dismissed by SCOTUS, could possibly set binding precedent outside of Minnesota?

    Absent a federal court ruling in review of a state court decision, can that state court (up to and including a state supreme court) decision ever be binding on a federal court — or even on any other state court?

    Don’t states enjoy autonomy of their own laws when a relevant federal court decision doesn’t exist? Why/how would, say, a Vermont supreme court decision be binding in, say, New Mexico if the federal courts are silent about the Vermont decision?

    • 90. Joel  |  October 1, 2010 at 7:49 pm

      I’m not sure, and IANAL, but I think these constant references to Baker are references to the fact that the SCOTUS refused the case for lack of a federal question.

      • 91. Joel  |  October 1, 2010 at 7:51 pm

        Shit, forgot to close the tag. Only the word “Baker” should be italicized.

    • 92. Kathleen  |  October 1, 2010 at 8:09 pm

      Once upon a time, certain cases could be appealed to the US Supreme Court as a matter or right, rather than only if the Court granted cert (as is the case now). These included cases which came from the highest court in a state’s court system (like the Minnesota State Supreme Court) if the case involved issues of federal law–for example, if the party claimed a law violated the US Constitution). This right of appeal was removed in 1988 with the passage of the Supreme Court Case Selections Act.

      This case (Baker) came to the Supreme Court by way of that mandatory review. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal “for want of a substantial federal question.” And because the case came by way of mandatory review, such a dismissal is considered a decision on the merits – that is, the ruling is treated as meaning that the Supreme Court said that a challenge of a law like that in Baker poses no question of federal law.

      Walker addresses this head on in his discussion at the hearing for summary judgment (link and reference here somewhere – I’ll find it again if you need it). Here’s a snippet:

      A summary dismissal “for want of a substantialfederal question” does constitute a decision on the merits; although it is not entitled to full precedential weight.

      A summary dismissal prevents a lower court from reaching opposite conclusions on the precise issues presented and necessarily decided in the jurisdictional statement.

      Lower federal courts should adhere to the view that if the Court has branded a question insubstantial, it remains so except when “doctrinal developments indicate otherwise.”

      If there are later developments that alter or erode the summary disposition’s authority, lower courts are not bound by the Supreme Court’s characterization of the issue presented as insubstantial.”

      Walker then goes on to distinguish the facts in Perry from those presented in Baker.

      • 93. Paul in Minneapolis  |  October 1, 2010 at 8:19 pm

        Thanks, Kathleen!!

        I would hope that Lawrence and other rulings since 1972 — not to mention the aforementioned fact that the APA declassified homosexuality as a mental illness after Baker was decided — would constitute “doctrinal developements.”

      • 94. Kathleen  |  October 1, 2010 at 8:25 pm

        You’re welcome. That first sentence of mine above should read “… as a matter of right…” (nor ‘as a matter or right’)

        It’s worth reading Walker’s discussion in the transcript. It points to developments since Baker and also distinguishes the facts in that case vs those in Perry.

      • 95. Kathleen  |  October 1, 2010 at 8:26 pm

        I see I made a typo in my post which was meant to correct my previous typo. I give up. :)

      • 96. Paul in Minneapolis  |  October 1, 2010 at 8:51 pm

        No worries about the typos — I understand what you meant! : ) And I have read Walker’s decision. It’s brilliant, just like the Iowa decision; both are excellent reads.

      • 97. Kathleen  |  October 1, 2010 at 8:56 pm

        The discussion I’m referring to isn’t in the decision. It’s part of the transcript of a hearing before the trial. Transcript here:

        See, beginning pg. 75

      • 98. Paul in Minneapolis  |  October 2, 2010 at 10:58 am

        Thanks for the link, Kathleen!

  • 99. Lesbians Love Boies  |  October 1, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    Constitution Day 2010 at MICA

    This is a 7 part series video (I am only putting up part one). If you want to view all, I will post the YouTube channel as a reply to this post.

    This Constitution Day, MICA and the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland (ACLU-MD) will delve into the hot topic of marriage equality for same-sex couples. The free symposium features a panel of experts, advocates and artists who will bring forward different viewpoints and look at what the future holds for marriage equality, as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights in general.

    The panel, moderated by WYPR’s The Signal producer Aaron Henkin, includes internationally syndicated columnist Dan Savage; Baltimore-born and nationally acclaimed performance artist Sharon Hayes; and Dr. Kendall Thomas, a law professor at Columbia University who writes and lectures on constitutional law, civil rights, race and sexuality.

    Art has long been a method of expression, and artists throughout history have been instigators of change, engaging society in conversation of pressing issues. Established in 2005, this annual event recognizes the ratification of the United States Constitution and continues MICA’s tradition of leadership in raising and engaging in important issues surrounding people’s freedoms.

    • 100. Lesbians Love Boies  |  October 1, 2010 at 7:15 pm

      • 101. Lesbians Love Boies  |  October 1, 2010 at 7:32 pm

        If anyone is having problems getting all the videos from the youtube channel (they are not all there in my browser), here is a link with them all:

    • 102. Lesbians Love Boies  |  October 1, 2010 at 7:28 pm

      Wow, it’s so nice to hear sane people discuss the subject of Marriage Equality after reading all the drivel on the NOMbie pages…

    • 104. Anonygrl  |  October 1, 2010 at 8:05 pm

      That is pretty cool, actually! We knew that there were some Mormons not in support of the church position (we have several who post here regularly)… but it is good to see that this is spreading.

    • 105. bonobo  |  October 1, 2010 at 9:15 pm

      I love Joanna, Misken, but haven’t read her column for awhile. She’s a fine, fair writer. Thank you for bringing it up to our attention.

    • 106. Sheryl, Mormon Mother of a wonderful son who just happens to be gay  |  October 2, 2010 at 1:06 am

      Just keep in mind that he did not apologize for the LDS Church’s involvement in the passing of Prop 8, it was a personal apology for the anguish caused to people because of Prop 8. To me, a major difference. I firmly believe that the LDS Church will change it’s stance on same-sex marriage but it will come in small steps.

      Also want to say that I know Dean Criddle personally and he is a wonderful, caring man. That fact that he is doing all that he can do “mend the rift” caused by Prop 8 in his stake elevates that caring to another level. If only there were more leadership in the church like him, we would be further along on this issue.

      If you go to the Affirmation website (, there are three articles about this meeting with Elder Jensen. I found Carol Lynn Pearson’s to be the best (perhaps because she was involved with this and was at the meeting).

      Sheryl, Mormon Mother (once again reminding you of the Oct. 15 gathering of P8TT family members at BATS Improve in SF; e-mail for details)

  • 107. DazedWheels  |  October 1, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    Just checking in. Hi everyone! <3 David

    • 108. Kate  |  October 1, 2010 at 7:48 pm

      Where have you been???

    • 109. Kathleen  |  October 1, 2010 at 8:20 pm

      Hi, David!

  • 110. Lesbians Love Boies  |  October 1, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    “Fringe” group, Focus on the Family, blames the recent bullying across the nation on the “homosexual agenda”

  • 111. Lesbians Love Boies  |  October 1, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Westboro (can i call Wesboro a “fringe” group?) is at it again…why do they call it “peace rally?”

    Peace rally expected opposite church protest at North High

    A church group known for anti-homosexual protests nationwide is expected to face a peaceful counter rally in Hagerstown on Tuesday.

    Westboro Baptist Church, based on Topeka, Kan., is planning to picket near North Hagerstown High School from 8:15 to 8:45 a.m.

    The church has held thousands of rallies to rail against “a nation of abysmal ignorance of the Bible,” member Shirley Phelps-Roper said Friday.

    Hagerstown is one of the final stops for church members on their way to Washington, D.C., where a case involving an earlier protest will be heard Wednesday by the U.S. Supreme Court.

    The question is whether a 2006 Westboro protest of homosexuality infringed on the rights of a Maryland family burying a Marine killed in Iraq or if it was protected First Amendment speech.

    When word of Tuesday’s Westboro protest reached Washington County, Robert Snyder thought about fighting “completely unnecessary hatred” with a message of love, he said.

    Snyder, who lives near Hagerstown, circulated his idea for a peace rally to several friends, who spread it further.

    Within 24 hours, more than 1,600 people responded to a Facebook page he created. Some posted comments in favor of ignoring the church picket.


    • 112. Carpool Cookie  |  October 1, 2010 at 10:44 pm

      The Westboro Baptist Church is great for LGBT (never sure I get those letters correct) rights, because the group uses strictly Biblical passages to support their views, and ordinary people see the anger and hatred in the church members and think, “Gee, that book was written a loooong time ago. Do we really want all that laid down as law??”

      Which leads them to think about separation of church and state, etc.

  • 113. Bob  |  October 1, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    the positive thing about this is that it’s on the news, talked about, in the open,

    but rather than placing blame, they should be focusing on a solution.

    it’s like I mentioned earlier, the religious right is pro-bullying, cause it attacks the gay agenda, WOW

    things usually get worse before they get better, at least the issue is making it front and centre in the news.

    and unfortunately the pressure on society to deal with these issues is vented on the most vulnerable.

    So by asking to be treated equal our Rainbow Youth are being attacked.

    I’m so grateful for the “It gets better” project, the hudge donation to the L.A. youth centre. the implementation of laws for underage kids to seek psychiatric care without parents consent.

    All these things empower youth to cirumvent parental abuse.

    These are good places to focus our energy, for those brave teens who stand up in the face of everything, It’s an indication we are making progess. But the proof of our success will be when we stop counting the dead

  • 114. Lesbians Love Boies  |  October 1, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    NOMbust just updated their tour page (removed previous tour schedule…but we have screen shots):

  • 115. Chris B  |  October 2, 2010 at 3:15 am

    Speaking of SCOTUS precedent, wouldn’t the Right just jump at the chance to bring an abortion case to SCOTUS, so they could overturn their own precedent set in Roe v. Wade?

    These ‘precedent’ arguments only work when you are on certain sides of the particular case.

    SCOTUS itself has revisited issues and overturned it’s own earlier rulings.


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