And the streak continues, as a federal judge in Kentucky, recommended by Sen. Mitch McConnell and appointed by George H.W. Bush, rules the bluegrass state must recognize same-sex marriages. Let’s note it was Vaughn Walker, another federal judge appointed by George H.W. Bush [corrected], who struck down California’s Prop. 8.
Also in February, Nevada’s Republican governor, Brian Sandoval, and attorney general announced that the state would no longer defend its 2002 ban on same-sex marriage in federal court.
And, of course, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, author of numerous pro-gay-equality rulings, including the high court’s decision overturning key portions of the Defense of Marriage Act, was a Reagan appointee. This is pointed out because the din of the “one party is all we need and it starts with a ‘D’” crowd is sometimes deafening.
Meanwhile, in another victory, an Obama-appointed federal judge struck down Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage, in what conservative (and not always gay friendly) site Breitbart termed “an historic ruling with special resonance on Valentine’s Day. Except the history of the historic ruling isn’t exactly up to par: Judge Arenda Wright Allen claimed the Constitution declares that ‘all men are created equal,’ which is, instead, the first line of the Declaration of Independence.”
Given the importance of Virginia and its history (with Loving vs. Virginia leading to the overthrow of state bans on mixed-race marriages), a legally literate ruling from the old dominion state would have been even more welcome.
Update. Judge Allen’s decison has now been amended. I don’t agree this was just an editing error; the Declaration inspires us, but court rulings must be grounded in the law and, ultimately, the Constitution.
More. An optimistic analysis, via Slate, says “It’s Over.” We’ll see.
…the federal judge in Boston who struck down a significant portion of the Defense of Marriage Act, ruling that it denied gay and lesbian couples the federal benefits afforded to straight couples, was appointed to the bench by President Richard Nixon. And the chief judge of the Iowa Supreme Court who wrote the unanimous decision striking down that state’s marriage ban was appointed by Republican governor Terry Branstad, who was just renominated for governor by Iowa Republican voters.
We’d only need to support one party if the legislature and judiciary also drew only from one party. That might be the political ideal for some, but it certainly shouldn’t be ours.