• Please keep all posts on the Rittenhouse verdict here: Rittenhouse Verdict. Note the moderator warnings in the thread. The thread will be heavily moderated with a zero tolerance policy for any baiting, flaming, trolling or other rule breaks. Stick to the topic and not the other posters. Thank you.
  • This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every person's position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

Prop 8 Ruling vs DOMA Ruling

Redress

Liberal Fascist For Life!
Moderator
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 5, 2008
Messages
108,518
Reaction score
52,736
Location
Bradenton Fla
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Very Liberal
I asked this in the BN thread on the Prop 8 ruling thread, but my question is getting buried. Please note in advance I want to keep this to being just about the rulings and how they can be reconciled, and not about whether gay marriage is right, polygamy, or any other things. SO I ask respectfully to stick to just the question and those things directly related. Now, to my question:

The Prop 8 ruling was that California's Prop 8 was unconstitutional, violating the federal constitution. The DOMA ruling stated in part that the federal ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional because it interfered with a states right to regulate marriage. Now, it seems, at least on the surface, that the two rulings are in opposition to each other. I think I can see ways to resolve the two rulings, but I am not a lawyer, judge, or a legal expert in any way. Can the two be resolved? If one ruling is right, is the other inherently wrong?
 

walk-in

New member
Joined
Dec 29, 2009
Messages
35
Reaction score
20
Location
Alaska
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Conservative
My own opinion is that the DOMA ruling was correct and the Prop. 8 ruling is wrong. In addition to the DOMA ruling, Baker v. Nelson addressed this very issue. The Supreme Court dismissed a challenge to a state law banning same-sex marriage because there was not a significant federal question involved. The dismissal constituted a ruling on the merits of the case, and therefore should have been controlling precedent in the Prop. 8 case. I mentioned this in my blog today, and will be expanding on it over the next week or so.
 

Hoplite

Technomancer
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Messages
3,779
Reaction score
1,077
Location
California
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Moderate
I'd be interested in hearing a lawyer's perspective on this.
 

Redress

Liberal Fascist For Life!
Moderator
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 5, 2008
Messages
108,518
Reaction score
52,736
Location
Bradenton Fla
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Very Liberal
My own opinion is that the DOMA ruling was correct and the Prop. 8 ruling is wrong. In addition to the DOMA ruling, Baker v. Nelson addressed this very issue. The Supreme Court dismissed a challenge to a state law banning same-sex marriage because there was not a significant federal question involved. The dismissal constituted a ruling on the merits of the case, and therefore should have been controlling precedent in the Prop. 8 case. I mentioned this in my blog today, and will be expanding on it over the next week or so.

This is new information to me, thank you for that, it gives me yet more research to do.
 

Groucho

DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 19, 2009
Messages
1,363
Reaction score
933
Location
Pocono Mountains, PA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
I'd like to read the decision first before commenting; I just haven't had time recently.
 

CriticalThought

DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 11, 2009
Messages
19,647
Reaction score
8,446
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
I asked this in the BN thread on the Prop 8 ruling thread, but my question is getting buried. Please note in advance I want to keep this to being just about the rulings and how they can be reconciled, and not about whether gay marriage is right, polygamy, or any other things. SO I ask respectfully to stick to just the question and those things directly related. Now, to my question:

The Prop 8 ruling was that California's Prop 8 was unconstitutional, violating the federal constitution. The DOMA ruling stated in part that the federal ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional because it interfered with a states right to regulate marriage. Now, it seems, at least on the surface, that the two rulings are in opposition to each other. I think I can see ways to resolve the two rulings, but I am not a lawyer, judge, or a legal expert in any way. Can the two be resolved? If one ruling is right, is the other inherently wrong?

State's powers are lmited by the Federal Constitution. Just because Prop 8 was overturned does not mean that a state does not have the right to regulate marriage. It only means it can't regulate marriage in a way that violates the Federal Constitution. The Federal Government exceeded its authority when it established DOMA because it overstepped the powers allotted to it by the Federal Constitution. That ruling in no way gives states the authority to regulate marriage in a way that would violate the Federal Constitution.

As such, there really isn't any contradiction between the rulings. They both attribute the Federal Constitution as the highest law of the land, over both federal and state governments.
 
Last edited:

Geo Patric

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 28, 2010
Messages
3,671
Reaction score
1,057
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Independent
an excellent response very well stated.

geo.
 

Orion

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 25, 2008
Messages
8,080
Reaction score
3,916
Location
Canada
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
I find the two rulings complementary, but the way the rulings were formed were based on priority sequence of rights.

State rights are pretty important, so DOMA was tossed out on those grounds. DOMA does violate state sovereignty, but with Prop 8 I believe SCOTUS will rule on similar grounds as CA did in that it violates equal protection. I think if each state started creating their own versions of DOMA, challenges that make it to SCOTUS would also result in them being tossed out since the State sovereignty issue has already been addressed, and it moves into the civil rights realms.

If individual states can't create things like slavery laws, or laws against women, then they will be hard pressed to demonstrate why 'separate but equal' should apply to same-sex marriages. DOMA was from the top down (from Fed to State) in its power structure. Prop 8 is from the bottom up (from State to Fed) in its litigation. Gays can't have equality in one state but not in another. I think the Fed should just make a blanket ruling on it since it's a clear civil rights and equal protection issue.

If SCOTUS decides to make it a Federal issue, then I think we will see anti-GM laws being overturned nationwide in a mere couple of years. Even if not, full faith and credit will require all states to acknowledge CA's same-sex marriages. It's win-win in my eyes.
 
Last edited:

Geo Patric

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 28, 2010
Messages
3,671
Reaction score
1,057
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Independent
If SCOTUS decides to make it a Federal issue, then I think we will see anti-GM laws being overturned nationwide in a mere couple of years. Even if not, full faith and credit will require all states to acknowledge CA's same-sex marriages. It's win-win in my eyes.

i'll be surprised if SCOTUS takes it on. I am certain that the 9th circuit will pass if it arrives as is. I think SCOTUS will leave 'marriage' ( an nebulous thing anyway) alone as long as those legal provisions that 'marriage' provides are not denied.

but... i will be interested to see. I have some friends who are STILL dancing in the streets.

geo.
 

Deuce

Outer space potato man
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Messages
82,629
Reaction score
37,204
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
i'll be surprised if SCOTUS takes it on. I am certain that the 9th circuit will pass if it arrives as is. I think SCOTUS will leave 'marriage' ( an nebulous thing anyway) alone as long as those legal provisions that 'marriage' provides are not denied.

but... i will be interested to see. I have some friends who are STILL dancing in the streets.

geo.

It only takes four of the SCOTUS judges to put a case on the schedule.
 
Top Bottom