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Dec 14 2012

Even Maggie Gallagher Thinks DOMA is Gone

As people from all sides of the fence try to handicap the outcome of the two marriage equality cases the Supreme Court has agreed to hear, even virulently anti-gay Maggie Gallagher, the first leader of the National Organization for Marriage, thinks DOMA is going to be overturned:

I think Kennedy will overturn DOMA (perhaps joined by Roberts) and then uphold the right of states to refuse to accept gay marriage (i.e. uphold Prop 8).

The victories this November for gay marriage at the polls make that outcome more likely. Justice Kennedy will likely see it as not at all unlikely voters will overturn Prop 8 soon and see that as a much better outcome than constitutionalizing gay marriage.

But the question then is, will they overturn DOMA entirely or just Section 3? Section 2 says that the states do not have to recognize the validity of same-sex marriages performed in other states, while Section 3 says that the federal government cannot recognize those marriages. In the cases before the court now, only Section 3 is being challenged. The key to how all these cases turn out is what standard of review the court decides to apply. If they apply heightened or intermediate review, DOMA is gone and, eventually, so are all the state bans on same-sex marriage.

14 comments

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  1. 1
    Abdul Alhazred

    One can only hope.

    As a more general observation, the trend seems to be toward more equality and inclusion of gay people.

  2. 2
    gshelley

    Interesting to see she thinks Roberts will join the right side for this one. I have seen a lot of talk that Kennedy is the deciding factor, for a 5-4 decision, but haven’t really seen much evidence for how Roberts will go on the issue. I don’t think he is theocratically minded like Thomas, Alito and Scalia and haven’t seen much evidence that his judicial philosophy is fluid so that he can get the results he wants, as with Scalia.

  3. 3
    jamessweet

    Interesting to see she thinks Roberts will join the right side for this one

    My guess is that she is mostly just still stinging from Roberts’ concurrence with the majority opinion in upholding the Affordable Care Act (and we know that all good Christians hate universal healthcare, since they follow the example of Jesus in refusing to heal the sick… oh wait, wut?). It’s not entirely crazy, but I wouldn’t put money on it.

  4. 4
    tomh

    I don’t see why you think Section 2 is important. It’s an irrelevant part of the law, since states can already refuse to recognize marriages from other states for just about any reason, the way that some states do in the case of first cousin marriages. Pretty much the only way to ensure that states have to recognize other states’ marriages is to declare that bans on such marriages are unconstitutional laws, the way it was done with interracial marriages.

  5. 5
    Michael Heath

    Ed reports:

    . . . even virulently anti-gay Maggie Gallagher, the first leader of the National Organization for Marriage, thinks DOMA is going to be overturned . . .

    I can see how some people would find it interesting that Ms. Gallagher is predicting a loss. However, I would hate for people to presume that provides any weight at all when it comes to predicting the outcome of the pending gay rights cases. Gallagher is a serial liar and therefore not to be trusted; even when she takes the position opposite of her cause. The fact she’s a liar should by default disqualify all of her assertions.

    A similar example was when Richard Muller from U.C. Berkley recently conceded that the planet was warming. As if that should add to the weight of evidence it is. No it doesn’t, he’s long been a liar so his conclusions are meaningless unless we also have convincing evidence he’s abandoned his being a systemic liar; where we have no evidence for him or Ms. Gallagher that’s true. So I’ve always found the generic, “even ‘so-and-so’ thinks that’s true”, in no way a compelling argument. I’ll instead defer to those who demonstrate both trustworthiness and expertise.

  6. 6
    slc1

    Re MH @ #5

    Serial liar Anthony Watts claims that Muller has always accepted climate change and defrauded the Koch brothers via his report.

    I would have to disagree with MH here about his characterization of Prof. Muller. I took my first course in physics at Berkeley from one of his co-researchers, Prof. Arthur Rosenfeld who has held a number of important positions in government, including serving as a commissioner in California’s Energy Commission. There is no way, IMHO, that he would have associated himself with Muller’s study if he felt that the latter was dissembling. I find it outrageous that MH has joined Anthony Watts in bad mouthing Prof. Muller.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Rosenfeld

  7. 7
    slc1

    Re MH @ #6

    A Google search a few minutes ago finds the following article about an interview that Prof. Muller gave to Rachael Maddow, not noted as a right wing sycophant. It appears that the good professor and I are on the same page relative to phasing out coal burning power plants in favor of natural gas (although he quotes a figure of 1/3 for the amount of carbon produced by burning natural gas relative to coal for the same energy output, whereas I have been using a figure of 1/2; the difference may lie in whether anthracite of bituminous coal is being utilized).

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/07/30/richard-muller-get-rid-of-coal-power-to-halt-global-warming/

  8. 8
    steve84

    Section 2 is completely redundant anyways. The Supreme Court long carved out a so-called “public policy exemption” to the Full Faith and Credit Clause that allows states to ignore any law they like if it conflicts with a clearly stated public policy. Such a constitutional amendment.

    As said if a state gave a fuck they could ignore a first cousin marriage from elsewhere. In most cases they just don’t bother to deal with it.

  9. 9
    Michael Heath

    slc writes:

    I find it outrageous that MH has joined Anthony Watts in bad mouthing Prof. Muller.

    As always, slc1 misrepresents what I write, which is why I don’t engage with anymore.

    I didn’t “join” Anthony Watts. In fact I argued the very opposite in the post which slc1 references; where I argued we should always condemn and ostracize liars – we certainly should not “join” them. Where Mr. Watts is a perfect example of a liar and therefore a perfect example of the type of a person I argued we should condemn and ostracize.

    The fact Mr. Watts defames Prof. Muller is unrelated to my condemnation of Prof. Muller given Watts and my perspective are grounded in distinctly different motivations and perspectives. Watts defames Muller because one or a handful of Muller’s current arguments have become politically inconvenient to Watts’ agenda. I argue we should continue to ignore Prof. Muller because he has yet to demonstrate any contriteness for his past dishonesty which provides no compelling reason we can begin to trust him now. Thus, both Watts and Muller are in the same set from my perspective, those whose arguments are meaningless when it comes to how I think we should go about informing ourselves.

  10. 10
    slc1

    Re MH @ #9

    Apparently, MH can’t tell the difference between a scientist who was wrong and a scientist who was dishonest. Prof. Muller has already admitted he was wrong about climate change. In order to show that Prof. Muller was not only wrong but dishonest, MH has to show that he was deliberately wrong, i.e. that he made statements that he knew to be false. That’s exactly the position of Anthony Watts, namely that Prof. Muller made false statements purporting to show himself to be a skeptic of climate change, knowing he was lying. In the frenzied mind of Anthony Watts, Muller was actually a wolf in sheep’s clothing who clandestinely accepted the conclusions of the climate scientists, but pretended otherwise, presumably to obtain funding from the Koch brothers, who he proceeded, according to the Watts scenario, to stab in the back. In that sense, MH is quite mistaken, he and Mr. Watts are on the same page, namely that Prof. Muller was being deceptive about being a climate change skeptic. As dumb as the Watts scenario is, it at least provides a plausible motive, however unlikely. I thus far fail to see what MH thinks was his motive.

  11. 11
    Nibi

    slc1

    Apparently, MH can’t tell the difference between a scientist who was wrong and a scientist who was dishonest. Prof. Muller has already admitted he was wrong about climate change. In order to show that Prof. Muller was not only wrong but dishonest, MH has to show that he was deliberately wrong, i.e. that he made statements that he knew to be false.

    Since we can’t know what thoughts really go on inside Muller’s head, it would be impossible to prove he was deliberately dishonest. However, his public statements prior to the BEST results indicate intellectual dishonesty whether or not it was conscious and deliberate.

    Below is a link to a Berkeley lecture given by Muller on March 19, 2011. It’s been over a year since I’ve watched the whole thing so my memory of the lecture is a bit fuzzy. I started watching it again and only twenty minutes in I’ve lost track of number of denialist canards, talking points, red herrings, and outright falsehoods he’s spouted.

    Muller – Berkeley Lecture

    At 12:00 we get into the IPCC FUD, starting with the Pachauri Himalayan glacier error and segueing into a broad dismissal of other IPCC statements that actually have solid scientific support. Starting at 17:00, give or take, he discusses surface temperature records with a bit of Watts’ surface station FUD thrown in. At 19:55, he starts in with the Arctic v. Antarctic red herring.

    Muller’s problem here is that he wasn’t being a true skeptic or scientist. He was more than willing to repeat denialist garbage before seriously investigating the validity of the competing claims. That he chose to actually commit an act of science (BEST project) doesn’t give him immunity from criticism of his past behavior.

  12. 12
    Michael Heath

    Nibi writes:

    Muller’s problem here is that he wasn’t being a true skeptic or scientist. He was more than willing to repeat denialist garbage before seriously investigating the validity of the competing claims. That he chose to actually commit an act of science (BEST project) doesn’t give him immunity from criticism of his past behavior.

    Exactly. As I noted before, Dr. Muller has demonstrated no contriteness for the obvious falsehoods he promoted prior to the study which has him now conceding that climate scientists who observe and report temperature trends and changes to the earth’s energy budget were and are correct. Prior to that paper he wasn’t a skeptic, but a liar; where he hasn’t repented for such yet nor shown any evidence he’s changed the way he thinks in a way to give us confidence we can now trust him merely because he concedes the obvious. The problem isn’t that his prior skepticism to the fact the planet was and is warming, but the defective, dishonest arguments he made on several topics. Simply conceding one fact long understood by experts provides no compelling evidence we can trust him given his prior “skepticism” was rooted in logical and rhetorical fallacies.

  13. 13
    slc1

    Re Nibi @ #11

    Having listened to Muller’s lecture on the posted link, I would agree that he was being disingenuous in a number of instances. In particular, his claim about glacier coverage in Antarctica is wrong; they are receding there, in addition to which the ice coverage in the Antarctica ocean surrounding the continent is also receding. However, it should be pointed out that that lecture is more then a year old and much of the evidence relative to the Antarctic continent is subsequent to that. He has also misrepresented the issue of the tree rings, which apparent discrepancy has been explained to the satisfaction of the experts. I am also not nearly as optimistic as he he is about clean coal technology, nor am I optimistic about his claim that the cost of solar cells will fall to essentially zero and that solar generated electricity will become competitive with natural gas.

    He also missed the bus on the Japanese nuclear reactors, focusing on expected fatalities and neglecting the multibillion dollar losses due to their total destruction. He also missed the point that the destruction was not due to the earthquake (the reactors came through the earthquake quite smartly) but due to the tsunami. They had constructed the reactors in anticipation of a 15 foot tsunami. In the event, the tsunami was 30 feet high and shorted out the diesel generators that are required to slowly shut down the reactors. Just as a point of comparison, the 5.8 earthquake in Virginia last fall, the epicenter of which was fairly close to the nuclear reactors at the North Anna station, caused no significant damage to them. They were shut down for an inspection to take place but were soon restarted and are now merrily turning out power for Virginia Power. Had the reactors in Japan been designed to sustain a 30 foot tsunami, they too would now be back in operation.

  14. 14
    Nibi

    slc1 @13

    To be fair to Muller, there were reasonable statements he made during the lecture. In particular, during the Q&A he mentioned the possibilty of global conflict in the future as a consequence of warming and alluded to the externalities of burning coal. Unfortunately, given the other problematic points we’ve discussed it’s hard to assess what parts of his talk are reasonable or credible.

    Perhaps he too readily adopted the denialist talking points, mistaking them for reasonable scientific objections, without really understanding that the goal of the denialists and cranks is not to improve the scientific discussion but rather to cast doubt on the certainty and validity of climate science as a whole.

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