In my latest column for the Fox News website, reacting to the first day of oral arguments in the Supreme Court marriage equality cases — and all the politics and passion surrounding the issue — I asked whether it really matters what the Supreme Court decides. My answer:
[T]he details sort of don’t matter — what is really on trial this week is the future of equal treatment for gay Americans. And the fact is, the tide is flowing forcefully in the direction of fairness and equality. The Supreme Court will either ride the wave or try to block it or dodge it, but ultimately it doesn’t really matter. The tide has irrevocably turned.
I argue what might matter more than the Court’s ruling is the fact that conservative Chief Justice John Roberts gave his family tickets to watch oral arguments to his lesbian cousin. Read the whole essay here.
As the Supreme Court considers two landmark marriage equality cases this week, I look at the growing bandwagon of Republicans supporting same-sex marriage — and how the reasons why might ultimately be more harm than help to the gay community:
In the interest of expediency and bringing as many unlikely conservative allies on board, the gay rights movement may give cover to or even amplify a set of narrow values that rank married families as better than un-married families, two parents as better than one parent — norms that continue to divide up America into good people and deserving families versus everyone else. And even if we temporarily succeed in getting gay folks added to the “good” category, is it worth it? Plus do we really think that’s the way we or anyone else will be treated equally?
The piece looks back at the history of the marriage fight within the gay movement and left to right. Check it out and tell me what you think!
Recently, Politico published an op-ed by a conservative arguing “Democrats have been virtually flawless in appointing reliable liberals to the court. Yet Republicans, more often than not, appoint justices who vote with the other side on critical decisions.” Politico’s Arena asked if that formulation makes sense.
Another reading of the so-called “defections” of judges appointed by Republicans is that fair jurisprudence actually leans center-left. Except for the most ardent ideologues willing to contort the Founder’s intent to serve a narrow agenda, even politically conservative judges know the Constitution is meant to confer rights and benefits, not restrict them. Perhaps the sour grapes on the Right come not from a few failed efforts at vetting but from the creeping realization that their whims are on the wrong side of justice.
If you wanna show me some love on Politico’s page, please do. And what do you think?
Fox News asked me to write the liberal response to the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act. I wrote that, thanks to Justice Roberts’ refreshing objectivity, the health care reform law stands. But conservatives will not be sated:
Chief Justice Roberts’ vote is so striking precisely because it bucks the recent trend of conservatives contorting their own past beliefs and principles to attack President Obama in any way possible….
It’s one thing to not like a law. It’s another to suggest that the highest court in the land should overturn centuries of precedent, not to mention the clear tax and commerce power enshrined by our Founders in the Constitution, in order to serve a partisan political agenda.
You can read my entire response here. And please share it around!
For the latest Politico Arena, I wrote:
Republicans were for the individual mandate before they were against it. And they were against partisan judicial activism before they were for it.
The president is right in pointing out what polls say 75% of Americans already know – that the Supreme Court will decide the health care case based on politics, not the Constitution. And the president is right to challenge intransigent conservative gridlock in Washington – from Congress to the high court – which is plainly putting partisan politics ahead of progress and the needs of the American people.
My latest column for the Fox News opinion page has generated a lot of clicks — and hate mail! Here’s an excerpt:
Never mind the fact that the law already shows promising and valuable impact even before it’s fully in effect. Never mind the fact that cost estimates are dropping and, starting in 2014, the law will contain overall health care costs that are crippling our household budgets. Never mind the fact that the central component of the law was a Republican idea. Conservative ideologues are willing to sacrifice much-needed health care reform and the well-being of millions of Americans who don’t have health insurance or are being denied care because of pre-existing conditions, lifetime caps on spending or other injustices — all for the sick goal of undermining President Obama.
Read the whole thing here and enjoy a good dose of facts on this heavily politicized topic.
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