Thursday, September 23, 2010

"Future Generations Will Honor You For That."



I'm feeling a bit sappy this morning.

I'm proud of the 3d DCA for ruling correctly and quite reasonably yesterday.

In a well-written decision, the boys in the bunker have dramatically improved the lives of Florida children and future parents for generations to come  -- in innumerable, unknowable ways.

Appellate guru Barbara Green put it best, as she often does, in the Herald this morning (article apparently not online):
"It's really judges doing what judges are supposed to do.  They're not ruling from any agenda."
And what a great way for Judge Cope to end a superlative judicial career!

But what is the mystery over whether or not the opinion will be appealed?

Governor Crist, last I checked, is the head of our state government and he said "his administration will immediately cease enforcing the statute."

That seems pretty clear.

The DCF, under Crist's control, has said "the department will no longer enforce the ban."

That also seems pretty clear.

Bill McCollum, who had taxpayers fork over $120k to rentboy Doc Revers, is only counsel to DCF and accordingly has to follow the department's wishes, even if that will result in Big Bill finally doing something good for the state (albeit inadvertently).

So who else would have standing to appeal -- Anita Bryant?

When you think of it, we're in an interesting place regarding gay equality.

Despite public opinion shifting toward tolerance, legislative efforts to repeal DADT have failed miserably and the Defense of Marriage Act and Prop 8 remain on the books.

This has led courts to take up the slack, much as they did decades ago when there was little political will to desegregate schools or repeal anti-miscegenation laws:
The district court judges are reflecting an increasingly obvious shift in public opinion, said Andrew Koppelman, a professor of law at Northwestern University. “The gay rights movement has been a spectacularly successful movement for cultural change,” he said. “A few decades ago these people were cultural pariahs. It was taken for granted that gay people are mentally ill, contaminated and unclean. Now the cultural valence has flipped — it is that view of gay people which is itself stigmatized.”

As life-tenured appointees, judges can look beyond politics to posterity, Professor Koppelman said. “Right now it seems like a good bet that if you are friendly to gay rights claims,” he said, “future generations will honor you for that.”
Regardless of where you stand on this issue, given the history of civil rights movements generally, I would have to say that's a fair bet.

2 comments:

  1. It would be moot and not capable of repetition.

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  2. Thank god for the courts. I feel like the congress and much of America has come down with a giant case of the stupids.

    Or as Jon Stewart asked last night, "are we run by arseholes?"

    Yes, it seems.

    ReplyDelete