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Lawrence Lawyer: Obama Best For Supremes, Gays


Taxes, health care and energy dominated the presidential debate this week. As important as those domestic topics may be to our nation’s future, voters must also remember the President’s power over the Supreme Court.

We’ve already stressed the scariness of John McCain’s conservative judicial vision – one he reiterated during Rick Warren’s Saddleback Forum – but it’s a point that deserves to be hammered. Paul M. Smith definitely agrees.

Smith, the lawyer who successfully argued 2003’s Lawrence v. Texas, which essentially dismantled sodomy laws, wrote an op-ed this week highlighting the absolute necessity of considering the candidate’s Court choices.

With his commitment to less ideologically strident judges, Barack Obama, writes Smith, is the only option for LGBT voters and their allies:

We won Lawrence 6-3, but one of those who supported us, Justice O’Connor, has been replaced by the strictly conservative Samuel Alito. So the Lawrence majority is very likely reduced to 5-4 already. And one or more of those in the majority are likely to leave the court in the next four years.

If those departing justices are replaced by John McCain appointees, he has made it perfectly clear where they will stand. [He favors] justices like the court’s current very conservative bloc — Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito.

President Obama, by contrast, would be likely to appoint justices like the four whom McCain rejected. When asked at Saddleback which justices he would not have appointed, he mentioned Justices Thomas and Scalia.

Would a McCain court really overrule Lawrence? It’s hardly a long shot. The case as written by Justice Kennedy is closely tied analytically to the constitutional right to choose to have an abortion. If the latter goes (as it almost surely would if McCain wins) the Lawrence case would be left hanging by a thread.

The days when Republican presidents appointed surprise moderates or progressives are now past. So as a community, we have every reason in the world to support Sen. Obama this year. We have a chance to see a president who has championed our rights his entire career. It’s not a chance we should pass up.

The decision really comes down to whether one prefers a judges who reads the Constitution or one who reads a specific party platform.

By:           Andrew Belonksy
On:           Oct 17, 2008
Tagged: , , , , , ,
  • 28 Comments
    • Jon
      Jon

      Why is this a gay post? Does this mean that Diana and Mary Wilson are going to get back together?

      Oct 17, 2008 at 5:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777
      fredo777

      I already considered this + it’s a major part of why I’m voting for him.

      The notion of uber-religious, uber-conservative wolf-shooter Sarah Palin achieving the second-highest (potentially the first-highest) position + of John “I don’t think Roe v. Wade supporters are qualified” McCain appointing justices makes my blood run cold.

      Obama/Biden ’08

      There is no other logical choice, where my vote is concerned

      Oct 17, 2008 at 6:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      Queerty and Paul M. Smith couldn’t be more wrong.

      The courts try to balance a constitution animated by the revolutionary experiences of 1776 and 1860 with the right wing policies of the Democrats and the Republicans. Their balancing act usually consists of ratifying rights that have been won by massive, militant movements for change. The courts are not really interested in what arguments they hear and their decisions don’t depend on who nomintes them. What matters is the political situation, and that’s something we can create on our own.

      Despite their claims of judicial independence judges are first and foremost political animals who feed at the trough of the same partisan politics that motivate the Congress and the White House. Unlike common street prostitutes, the leaders of the two parties get to appoint their own judges when they come before the dock. Nominees to Supreme Court have to have a proven track record as right centrists, traditionalists and passionate supporters of the status quo. The system they oversee produces union busting, bigotry, war, environmental disaster, economic disaster misogyny and immigrant bashing for starters.

      Actually, all the major democratic advances in US history, beginning with the Bill of Rights, have been based on combative mass campaigns that threatened to get out of hand if we didn’t get our way. Slavery was not ended by court order by the guns of the Union Army and the self emancipation of slaves. Female suffrage was won by a determined decade’s long battle which the 19th amendment recognized. The union movements struggle for closed shops, union contracts, decent wages and benefits were not granted by legislation or the courts. They were won on hard fought bitter industrial battlefields by hardened union strikers. The war in Vietnam didn’t end with a Supreme Court decision, but by the fierce insurgency of the Vietnamese combined with the combativeness and enormous political weight of the civilian and GI antiwar movement.

      The key to gaining our equality is not to rely on capricious and vacillating political judges but on ourselves and our ability to fight through to the end, whatever the means and no matter the consequences, to get our share of what the world offers.

      Oct 17, 2008 at 6:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • akaison
      akaison

      Yeah- Brown v Board wasn’t by the S.Ct. Bill- you are on of those people who assume your audience is stupi-gay?

      Oct 17, 2008 at 8:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      I don’t assume that most people are stupid, but you are, akaison. Stupid, because only an ahistorical oaf like you would’ve thought you were proving me wrong when you were proving me right.

      One, I said we can help create the political circumstances that can force them to grant concessions.

      Two, that’s exactly what happened in the case of Brown vs. Board of Education.

      Shortly after the Civil War, in a typically sleazy compromise between Democrats and Republicans, they allowed slaveholders to reinstitute limited slavery (by imposing decades long prison sentences for breaches of the Jim Crow laws) and a whole host of racist and segregationist laws and court rulings that created an apartheid-like system called Jim Crow.

      Akaison’s heroic antiracist courts didn’t get around to meaningfully addressing Jim Crow for 80 long years, and then only under unremitting international pressure because the US was seen, and rightly so, as a cesspool of racism. That didn’t set well with the newly independent nations of Asia and Africa and the Soviets made the most of it. Brown v. Board of Education had more to do with international embarrassment by Eisenhower and Dulles than some mythical sea change in the courts. And even that limited effort was 80 years too late and way too little.

      The civil rights movement of the 1960’s and 70’s changed more law in a decade than the Supreme Court did in a century. That’s because the courts reflect the basic underpinnings of a society run by and for the rich; racism, homophobia, misogyny, union busting and wars of aggression.

      Oct 17, 2008 at 10:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      Robert, your concept of doing away with the superstitious (religious) aspect of partnering via marriage and subject everyone to civil partnerships is widely held and a very good idea. However, that’s precisely why people driven by superstition like Barak “gods in the mix” Obama and the vast majority of Democratic (sic) leaders who pander to the cults will never agree to it.

      We can only win it by building a massive effort that makes it clear that we won’t take no for an answer. Our enemies in that effort will be the Republican and Democratic parties just as they were with DOMA, DADT, ENDA and hate crimes.

      Oct 17, 2008 at 11:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • crazylove
      crazylove

      I have both a law degree from a top 20 law school and undergrad degree in Goverment and American History. I would be happy to put my knowledge of the subject matter up against yours.

      Oct 18, 2008 at 12:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      Don’t just stand there pissing and moaning. Go for it. This isn’t school and you don’t have to raise your to speak.

      What do you want to say?

      Oct 18, 2008 at 12:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • REBELComx
      REBELComx

      I think the headline was misleading. I thought it meant Diana Ross’ Supremes…

      Oct 18, 2008 at 11:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • akaison
      akaison

      Bill- you do realize you are also posting online right?

      Oct 18, 2008 at 1:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      akaison – Well of course I do. If I jut wanted fantasy aimed at ninnies like you I’d go to the Obama-Biden site.

      Oct 18, 2008 at 1:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      You are correct in a simplistic sense Bill, that justices don’t just make new laws, however, the form and substance of interprtation will always vary.

      If there was just one way of interpreting the Constitution, there would not be opinions, Bill.
      A computer could do it.

      Oct 18, 2008 at 6:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Qjersey
      Qjersey

      These assholes who want to argue should just set up their own blogs and be done with it. Ugh, repeated postings trying to prove your point, of course while insulting others, which is the conservative way.

      Oct 18, 2008 at 7:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark
      Mark

      My two main reasons for voting for Obama…well, 3.

      1. He’ll nominate 2 if not 3 Supremes – which will be to OUR advantage.
      2. He’s the only viable candidate who’s openly talking about alternative energy issues.
      3. He’s my home state Senator, whom I voted for long before he became a national candidate.

      Oct 18, 2008 at 8:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Connor.
      Connor.

      Dream Big. I really hope Obama does win, he seems to support gay marriages ect. and not that there’s anything wrong with it, but Mcain is just a hair to conservative for my taste.

      Oct 19, 2008 at 2:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • My View
      My View

      What about Obama’s birth certificate? Why is he hiding it? I think Obama is a fraud, BIG TIME! By June next year you’ll all know I was right and want to kill yourself if you voted for this fake (sic)!

      An Examination of Obama’s Hidden Use Of Hypnotic Techniques In His Speeches

      ‘This document contains over 60 pages of evidence and analysis proving Barack Obama’s use of a little-known and highly deceptive and manipulative form of “hack” hypnosis on millions of unaware Americans, and reveals what only a few psychologists and hypnosis/NLP experts know.’

      http://www.davidicke.com/content/blogcategory/30/82/

      WAKE UP!!!!

      Oct 19, 2008 at 1:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777
      fredo777

      That is such a reach. Really.

      http://fightthesmears.com/articles/5/birthcertificate

      Wake up, indeed.

      Oct 19, 2008 at 1:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mark
      mark

      off topic….sorry
      AIDS hatred and phobia sh*t being tossed at me (0.00 / 0)
      I post as mark, my given name at Breibert, and other sites including Qweerty.com:
      “Mark, remember, its TWO of your prescription pills in the morning! Not just one!

      And remember that your AIDS test is scheduled for this friday. M’kay?”
      …..
      from william Blake poster

      Well there you have it folks. Mark is half n half. Half gay, half human, and delights in his daily trolling activities against those who have morals..Conservatives!

      Maybe if you had thought about morals 10 years ago (or even 10 days ago), you’d actually be going to Heaven instead of HELL.”
      …….
      from Mac-101
      “Mark, you need help. You made life choices, not us, why are you angry with us? Who pays for your MEds and do you get SSI? If so it’s your fellow citizens that are supporting you due to your poor life decisions.”
      ……
      from Wanker Limbaugh
      “Mark, your suffering in this life will be nothing compared to the next one. Too bad, so sad.”
      http://www.breitbart.tv/?p=200853&comments=1#comments
      I’d appreciate seeing some of this spread to Progressive sites, and seeing some friends answering this garbage,
      I’m fairly tough and been through enough to not let them beat me, but a friend or two on my side wouldn’t HURT.

      Oct 19, 2008 at 3:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • My View
      My View

      @ Fredo 777 – The certificate shown is a fake! Hence the certification number is ‘blacked out’.

      My late partner (Scottish) was born in Kenya and I know many people there (Nairobi, Nakuru, Rift Valley, Mombasa etc. They all say Obama was born in Kenya. Many people in Kenya remember the white women who gave birth to a coloured baby. It’s not the norm in Kenya for a black man to have a baby with a white women, so they remember well.

      So, we want to see Obama’s birth certificate, without the certificate number being ‘blacked out’, as well as the place of birth stated on various applications (university etc). He is not able to produce proof, that’s why we don’t get any. Obama is a fraught and mass-murderer Brzezinski is his handler, IMHO! Palin’s handler is mass-murderer Kissinger btw.

      @ Mark – I’m almost certain that all the people who take delight in torturing you are (fake)Christians and closet queens! Ignore them!

      Oct 19, 2008 at 11:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777
      fredo777

      Uh, yeah…right.

      Oct 20, 2008 at 1:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      My Veiw : you are a certified nut case!

      Oct 20, 2008 at 8:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • My View
      My View

      @ M Shane who said ‘My Veiw : you are a certified nut case!’

      In this case I take that as a compliment!

      Hell of an argument by the way, gee. Where is Obama’s birth certificate???

      “The men the American public admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.”

      — H. L. Mencken

      Oct 20, 2008 at 10:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777
      fredo777

      http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2008/10/palin-differs-w.html

      Palin wants a federal marriage amendment.

      Oct 20, 2008 at 11:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • My View
      My View

      Dr James David Manning on Obama:

      http://www.queerty.com/lawrence-lawyer-obama-best-for-supremes-gays-20081017/#comments

      Oct 20, 2008 at 12:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • My View
      My View

      Sorry about the wrong link in my previous comment.

      Dr James David Manning on Obama:

      http://www.pyrabang.com/contenteditor.php?pd=4057&ps=4121&org=3955&target=http://www.atlah.org/broadcast/ndnr10-17-08.html

      Oct 20, 2008 at 12:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777
      fredo777

      Since you’re so concerned with spreading the “truth”, where are Palin’s medical records + why don’t you enlighten us about the depth of McCain’s relationship with characters like G. Gordon Liddy?

      Oct 20, 2008 at 1:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • My View
      My View

      @ fredo777 – Right after I have seen Obama’s BIRTH CERTIFICATE and university enrollment documents!

      Obama is a fraught, and we will all know it in a few months time should he be elected.

      How can the US electorate employ (vote for) a president without knowing where he was born, what his citizenship status is or why he is so touchy about his university activities and documentation?

      This man is a 100% psychopath in my opinion. He will be worse than Hitler was because he is controlled by mass-murderer Brzezinski and, like him, he has no conscience and is not capable of empathy! He will feel nothing to destroy the US and the world if told to do it.

      Obama is a deeply disturbed man who was abandoned by his father and mother and grew up with spooky grandparents whom he detested for being white.

      He is a machine, not a person!

      I want to see his BIRTH CERTIFICATE!!!

      Oct 20, 2008 at 1:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fredo777
      fredo777

      You are a joke.

      Oct 20, 2008 at 2:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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