Bench Memos

Barack Obama as Bull Connor

On NRO’s home page, Kevin Williamson has a fine piece that begins:

The Supreme Court will soon rule on a bundle of gay-marriage cases, and many Court-watchers, who perform acts of haruspicy on the justices’ public actions that call to mind the exertions of Cold War Kremlinologists, expect that the outcome will be the gutting of traditional-marriage laws across the United States. The belief that marriage as historically understood should enjoy a unique legal status that reflects its unique social role would in effect be branded a species of bigotry so outrageous that lawmakers in Austin or Montgomery infected by it must be overturned by Washington. President Barack Obama — who ran both for the Senate and the presidency as a candidate opposed to same-sex marriage — was, under this understanding, a bigot legally indistinguishable from Bull Connor and the rest of the segregationist Democrats of the Jim Crow era. His stated belief — “I believe that American society can choose to carve out a special place for the union of a man and a woman as the unit of child rearing most common to every culture” — would be considered beyond the pale as a matter of legislative reasoning.

And from near the end:

[Civil-marriage law] is not about the fulfillment or happiness of married people. It is about where babies come from. Those who believe that to be an “unreasonable” position arrive at that conclusion mainly by refusing to consider the position at all. 

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