Thursday, August 05, 2010

Happy Days Are Hear Again For The GLBT Community

Cheers for the rainbow coalition! The news was agog yesterday over the ruling by Judge Walker in the Prop 8 case. I still have my "No on 8" sticker attached to my book case at work (which I am sure irritates a few people)!

While watching and listening and reading all the different responses to the ruling, the most important thing I've learned is the way in which the ruling was set out, with approximately 25 different sets of "statements of facts." See, in our legal world (of which most people have no clue since they don't work in the system - and let me stress for those that do not work as lawyers, judges, clerks and whatnot, that the law is not based on common sense -- the law is the "law" and law is set by rulings that become precedents for future rulings) the process of appeals is not about "hey, I don't like how this proceeding ended, I want to appeal and get a different ruling." Once a decision in a court of law is rendered, the appeal process is a very narrow process, and procedurally bound by certain rules. One of these rules is that an appeal does not allow "new" ideas or arguments -- in essence, a re-hearing. An appeal requests the next court above to review the manner in which a court or judge made a decision, and absent a clear "abuse" by the court or judge, the higher court is bound by that ruling if it appears, by the "statement of facts" that no other ruling could have come out in the case.

Judge Walker's statement of facts, a longer list than is typically normal, sets the stage for complete "refutation" (laughs) of Prop 8. The proponents for this proposition (the defendants in this case) did not present a credible argument to the court, nor did they put on any credible witnesses (Judge Walker ripped a new asshole into each of the defendants' witnesses, finding them to be whack jobs at best), and stuck to the legal framework of existing law that prohibits discrimination in this State, and that by singling out one identifiable group of people and stripping them of rights, is not based on any legal authority as is statutorily written in our laws.

The argument that the majority rules falls on deaf ears when it comes to the judiciary. Mob mentality is abated by the use of the judicial system, so that when, despite a majority held belief, a principal adopted is so egregious to another group of people, the judiciary is where such acts are generally struck down. It has been repeated over and over so the stupid people (my meme!) can understand that if the majority rules process really were the law of the land, women would still be in the house, having as many babies as the Duggars, would not be voting, blacks would still be using a separate entrance to buildings, and male blacks would still be lynched for looking at a white woman. The stupid people can yell all they want about the majority ... it's the legality of the issue the majority is touting that has to be looked at by the judicial review. And, in the case of Prop 8, finally heading its way to the Supreme Court, that will be our Roe v. Wade for the GLBT community to finally get equality in marriage. SCOTUS, regardless of any one individual judge's opinion on the issue of marriage, will have to review this case from the standpoint of rights. And as has been ruled time and time again, a law cannot be formed that enshrines personal rights to one group while at the same time prohibits those same rights to another group.

Get over it - and that includes YOU, Mr. President. This was a HUGE victory for equal rights, and it will be upheld all the way through the Ninth Circuit up to SCOTUS.

No comments: