Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Supreme Court Hearings in Gay Marriage Cases Reveal Extent of Bias and Ignorance on the Part of the Court’s Conservatives

No Equality Before the Law There

Regardless of how one feels about the issue of gay marriage, everyone, Conservatives and Progressives alike have to be dismayed about the performance of the Court during the recent hearings on whether or not laws refusing to allow or recognize gay marriage are Constitutional.  The conservative members of the Court displayed their biased in a straight forward manner.  Now biases are ok, The Dismal Political Economist certainly has his, but in a court of law they are supposed to be absent.

First up was the comments by the Chief Justice, John Roberts about Obama’s unwillingness to stop enforcing DOMA since he thought it was Unconstitutional.  Mr. Obama had no choice here, DOMA and its related 1,000 regulations has been in force for over a decade.  Had the President unilaterally changed those regulations he would have been subject to severe criticism and probably impeachment.  He did what he was supposed to do, he kept the law in force and asked for the Supreme Court to rule.

But the Chief Justice essentially called Mr. Obama a coward, a person who does not have the courage of his convictions.  All this did was expose the Chief Justice for what he is, a partisan ideologue intent on imposing his views on America regardless of their legal basis.

In Associate Justice Scalia’s comments we have an example, thanks to Ezra Klein, of how this bigoted and biased judge just makes things up.

On Wednesday, I wrote about Justice Antonin Scalia’s comment that “there’s considerable disagreement among sociologists as to what the consequences of raising a child in a single-sex family, whether that is harmful to the child or not.”

Okay, first of all note that there is nothing in these cases about children or the ability of same sex couples to adopt and raise children. All this comment did was to reveal the animus and bias of Justice Scalia.   And it turns out Justice Scalia was wrong.

It relied, remember, on the idea that sociologists are, in some significant way, split on this question. That’s not what the American Association of Sociologists thinks. Here’s its official statement on the matter:

The claim that same-sex parents produce less positive child outcomes than opposite-sex parents—either because such families lack both a male and female parent or because both parents are not the biological parents of their children—contradicts abundant social science research. Decades of methodologically sound social science research, especially multiple nationally representative studies and the expert evidence introduced in the district courts below, confirm that positive child wellbeing is the product of stability in the relationship between the two parents, stability in the relationship between the parents and child, and greater parental socioeconomic resources. Whether a child is raised by same-sex or opposite-sex parents has no bearing on a child’s wellbeing.

Oh, and where was this information?

That paragraph isn’t buried in a press release on its blog or in an editorial from its trade magazine. It’s from the amicus curiae brief that the ASA filed in the very case Scalia was commenting on.

In other words, the official organization representing American sociologists went out of their way to provide the Supreme Court with their “consensus” opinion on the effect of same-sex parents on children. And yet, when struggling for a “concrete” harm that could come from gay marriage, Scalia went with “considerable disagreement among sociologists.” So we’ve gone from a weak claim — “considerable disagreement” over harm is not the same thing as actual harm — to an explicitly wrong claim.

But this is par for the course for Conservatives.  When the facts don’t fit the argument, make the stuff up.

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