Opponents of Marriage Equality Resort to Judicial Version of Vote Suppression

marriage equality map

Monte Stewart, the lawyer for the Coalition for the Protection of Marriage claims the panel that ruled against Nevada’s ban on marriage equality was rigged “in order to influence the outcome in favor of the plaintiffs.”

To support the claim, Stewart offers his personal opinion of two judges on the panel in the form of an “affidavit

 Based on my many years of scholarly work on the genderless marriage issue (beginning with my intense studies of the subject at Oxford University in 2003 and 2004), on my work with a large number of appellate courts over the decades, and on my many years of direct involvement with litigation of the genderless marriage issue, I have concluded that: experienced Ninth Circuit practitioners familiar with the genderless marriage issue would uniformly prefer this panel over almost any other possible panel if their client were one of the plaintiffs in the Nevada and Idaho marriage cases, and, if their client were on the man-woman marriage side, would very likely conclude this panel to be among the least favorable possible for their client; and such preferences and conclusions are known and understood by all at the Ninth Circuit involved with the judge-assignment process.

To support his opinions, Stewart relied on the “careful statistics” of James H. Matis to prove a “high likelihood that the number of Judges Reinhardt and Berzon’s assignments to the Relevant Cases, including this and the Hawaii and Idaho marriage cases (which we treat as one for these purposes), did not result from a neutral judge-assignment process.”

In short, Stewart argues that because judges on the panel have ruled differently from what he thinks the law should be, that means the judges are biased. Therefore, he wants an en banc hearing in the name of vindicating “the values and integrity of [the appeals court’s] own judge-assignment process.”

Of course, this is bunk, but then bunk is all opponents of marriage equality have.  It isn’t a question of bias.  It’s a question of law.  Even Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, hardly a liberal, hardly an advocate for marriage equality saw rulings like this one coming when the Supreme Court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.  In his dissent, Scalia wrote:

“The real rationale of today’s opinion, whatever disappearing trail of its legalistic argle-bargle one chooses to follow,” Justice Scalia wrote, “is that DOMA is motivated by ‘bare . . . desire to harm’ couples in same-sex marriages.”

“How easy it is… “indeed how inevitable, to reach the same conclusion with regard to state laws denying same-sex couples marital status.”

In reality, Stewart and the team of lawyers seeking to uphold Nevada’s ban on marriage equality are seeking a judicial form of vote suppression by seeking to invalidate the integrity of opponents to their ideological agenda. The question is how do they invalidate the rulings by other courts that addressed similar laws and how do they invalidate Justice Scalia’s dissent conceding that opponents of marriage equality lost the legal war?

Image: Freedom To Marry

13 Replies to “Opponents of Marriage Equality Resort to Judicial Version of Vote Suppression”

  1. In other words, this whiny ass chump is complaining because the decision didn’t go his way.

    TOUGH! Your side lost. Get. Over. IT!!

  2. Just another way to keep the fight going and enriching the lawyers! “It can’t possibly be the end of the marriage fight. Where will we get our next BIG Dollar case from?”

  3. What I want to now from people who oppose equal rights for people is… What do anyone’s marriage has to do with yours?

  4. Wouldn’t that just make him a Republican seems that if they don’t like the turnout they try to rig the game.

  5. Cheryl…there IS NO debate on women’s rights…women deserve the same rights as men…equal pay…control of their own bodies …period…no debate

  6. i simply don’t even understand why this is dragging out state by state. the federal gov has decided and declared the laws against same sex marriage as unconstitutional. that should be , period! straight across the board and across the whole damn country.

    what a waste of time and money dragging this thru the courts for each damn state!

  7. During the governor’s debate here in Michigan, Synder would not say he supported marriage equality. Dem Schauer of course did say he supported it. Our repub Attorney General is still fighting to deny marriage equality because he said years ago Michigan defined marriage as between a man and a woman. Of course folks here have moved to marriage equality for all, but our RWNJ AG doesn’t care. Both Synder and the AG know that the base will go nuts if they did support it. So we are on hold here even though there are gay couples who married prior to the AG challenge.

  8. Folks against marriage equality believe that their repub Christian religion rules our government no matter how wrong this thinking is. They have been lied to since the late 1970s. That is why repubs are so bitter and angry. They make our country look like hateful idiots to the world. Why don’t they just love God, follow their religion and leave the rest of us alone?

  9. Too bad current repub woman don’t get it. I say current because there was a time when repubs supported women’s rights and abortion rights. When? In the 1970s prior to the repubs selling their souls for votes. I will never understand women who vote repub. They are traitors to their gender. History will not be kind to them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.