Thursday, March 28, 2013

Quote du Jour (News Department) | SCOTUS Hears DOMA and Prop 8 Cases

Many decades ago, I would read the Supreme Court Reporter for fun and illumination. My doctoral dissertation focused on the sociology of constitutional adjudication relative to women's rights. I was super-geared up about the SCOTUS hearings on Proposition 8 and DOMA because so many of the constitutional issues relative to race, sex, and gender are applicable. Once again.

Although I'm not generally an auditory learner, I did find myself transfixed by audio coverage of the hearings. I chimed in. I tried to cite cases of first instance before counsel.

I also did lots of muttering about the verbal demeanor of some justices, which is why I was delighted to read Maureen Dowd's lede in her Op-Ed piece, Courting Cowardice: "As the arguments unfurled in Tuesday's case on same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court justices sounded more and more cranky."

Many many great lines and paragraphs to pull from Dowd's column but because I went ape-crazy when I heard bogus arguments about waiting for more social science data* to be generated, here's one of my favorites:

Donald Verrilli Jr., the U.S. solicitor general arguing on the side of same-sex marriage, told the justices, 'There is a cost to waiting.' He recalled that the argument by opponents of interracial marriage in Loving v. Virginia in 1967 was to delay because 'the social science is still uncertain about how biracial children will fare in this world.'
The wisdom of the Warren court is reflected two miles away, where a biracial child is faring pretty well in his second term in the Oval Office.
─  Maureen Dowd

*We actually do have longitudinal about the mental, emotional, and social health of children raised by gay and lesbian couples, dating back to the 1980s. I helped collect some of it during the 1970s.