Gay marriage

Roots of totalitarian liberalism

Featured image With the cashiering of Brendan Eich as Mozilla’s chief executive officer last week, we are struggling to understand what we have just seen. There is an important book that remains to be written about the totalitarian imperative at the heart of liberalism, and the insight into the nature of the larger forces at work is one of the many reasons Eich’s forced departure strikes a nerve. It is a revealing »

The rise of totalitarian liberalism

Featured image George Orwell gave us a look at the operation of a totalitarian one-party state in 1984. This week Mozilla gave us a look at its nascent liberal variant. Recently appointed CEO Brandon Eich was officially made a nonperson. He was dispatched down the memory hole as the company announced that he has “step[ped] down from his role as CEO” as a result of his contribution of $1,000 to the passage »

Mozilla speaks, sort of

Featured image Under the heading “Brendan Eich steps down as CEO,” Mozilla has posted the following statement in the name of executive chairwoman Mitchell Baker. Eich has “stepped down” from his position at Mozilla days after his appointment, following the revelation that he contributed $1,000 to the campaign supporting the passage of Prop 8 in California six years ago. The Wall Street Journal covers the story here. Baker’s statement is must reading, »

Liberal fascism revisited

Featured image The hearing of the Hobby Lobby case by the Supreme Court this week inspired Kevin Williamson to meditate on the deeper currents running through it. Williamson’s NRO column is “The right not to be implicated” and I commend it to your attention. Williamson notes the dramatic revision of public orthodoxy that moves us “from forbidden to compulsory in record time, and vice versa.” He invites us to consider the case »

Brewer vetoes S.B. 1062

Featured image Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has vetoed Arizona S.B. 1062, legislation that I wrote about here and here. Brewer claimed that S.B. 1062 “does not address a specific or present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona” and that it was “broadly worded and could result in unintended and negative consequences.” Her first claim makes little sense. Arizona already has a Religious Freedom Restoration Act. S.B. 1062 amends the Act to »

No, this is not Jim Crow for gays, Part Two

Featured image As I explained here, Arizona S.B. 1062 would not subject gays to a regime of discrimination. The bill is simply an attempt (successful in my view) to balance the right to religious freedom and the right of non-discrimination. Eleven leading religious-liberty scholars have written to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to provide her with a sorely needed rational analysis of S.B. 1062 as she considers whether to sign it. The professors »

No, this is not Jim Crow for gays — understanding Arizona S.B. 1062

Featured image The Arizona legislature has passed S.B. 1066. It amends a 1999 Arizona law called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). It does so in an attempt to strengthen the ability of vendors to follow their religious conscience by, for example, declining to provide services at gay weddings. The text of the legislation can be found here. The legislation has generated much criticism. The two most recent Republican presidential candidates have »

Supreme Court halts gay marriage in Utah, for now

Featured image The Supreme Court has stayed a Utah federal district judge’s decision that struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court’s order stops for now a wave of same-sex marriages across the state. Utah’s ban is reinstated and will remain in force pending appellate review. There were no dissents from the Supreme Court’s stay order, which suggests that all nine Justices agree with it. However, the order tells »

Polygamy: It’s Coming

Featured image In Lawrence v. Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court, reversing its own then-recent holding in Bowers v. Hardwick, ruled that laws against homosexual sodomy are unconstitutional–even though the Constitution says nothing about sex, let alone sodomy–on the ground that the right of privacy (also never mentioned in the Constitution) protects all consensual, private sexual contact between adults. Lawrence immediately was seen as a milestone in the campaign for gay marriage. Some »

Study: Graduation rates lag among children from same-sex households

Featured image A Canadian study by professor Douglas Allen of Simon Frazier University finds that children raised by married biological parents do better in school than children raised by same-sex couples. The study appears in the Review of Economics of the Household, which I understand is a peer-reviewed journal. The study uses a random 20 percent sample of 2006 Canadian census data. According to the author, this sample size “allows for control »

House of Cards of Windsor

Featured image Justice Scalia registered a stinging dissent in the Windsor case, in which the Supreme Court invalidated the Defense of Marriage Act on grounds that–to be polite–are opaque. My old friend Larry Tribe, now the Left’s favorite constitutional scholar, took Scalia to task. And George Mason’s Michael Greve unloaded on Tribe with both barrels. You won’t see better pyrotechnics until the day after tomorrow. You really should read it all, but »

Why the unusual 5-4 split in the Prop 8 case?

Featured image The Supreme Court’s decision in Perry that the parties defending the constitutionality of Prop 8 lack standing did not conform to the usual pattern in cases decided 5-4. Usually in such cases, we see the Court’s four liberal Justices — Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan — voting one way while either four or five of the remaining Justices vote the other. Typically, if only four of these Justices vote together, »

What Does It All Mean?

Featured image I’m not sure I can recall a 48-hour period that has sowed more confusion that the 48 hours just past.  Sandy Levinson, a straight-shooting liberal, says the Court’s gay marriage decisions are judicial camels (a horse designed by committee).  I guess I’ll have to wade through the Court’s two opinions, but I doubt that will help very much. Once again, Justice Kennedy has marred what might be a defensible holding »

Justice Alito denounces our “arrogant legal culture”

Featured image Justice Alito’s dissent in the DOMA case contains an instant-classic footnote (number 7). I reproduce it below in its entirety, hoping that you will read the whole thing: The degree to which this question [the traditional view of marriage vs. the consent-based view] is intractable to typical judicial processes of decisionmaking was highlighted by the trial in Hollingsworth v. Perry. In that case, the trial judge, after receiving testimony from »

The Supreme Court does marriage [with updates]

Featured image The Court has begun the festivities by holding that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. The decision was 5-4, with Justice Kennedy writing the opinion. Chief Justice Roberts wrote a dissent, as did Justice Scalia. Scalia says the ruling springs from a “diseased root: an exalted notion of the role of this court in American democratic society.” That’s it exactly. I made this point here, among other places. I’m »

This day in Supreme Court essentialism

Featured image Next month, the U.S Supreme Court, in it wisdom, may pass judgment on the age-old definition of marriage. Until very recently, marriage has universally been deemed to require an opposite sex component, but the Court may overturn this definition. The fact that the Supreme Court is even considering such a change represents, for me, the reductio ad absurdum of American constitutional law jurisprudence. The fact that, until very recently, marriage »

A New Wine for Our Times

Featured image As I mentioned here once before, the fad in California wines for more than a decade now has been the heavy emphasis on what I call MSG wines.  No, that’s not a designation of something to order in your favorite Chinese restaurant; rather, it refers to Rhone-style blends featuring Mourvedre-Syrah-Grenache.   Many of these blends are knockouts, and adjusting the blend allows winemakers to bob and weave depending on the weather »