Mindy Newell: Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Bob Ingersoll!


But this Court is not a legislature. Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us. Under the Constitution, judges have power to say what the law is, not what it should be.” • Chief Justice Roberts

“I join The Chief Justice’s opinion in full. I write separately to call attention to this Court’s threat to American democracy. • Justice Scalia, with whom Justice Thomas joins, dissenting

“The Court’s decision today is at odds not only with the Constitution, but with the principles upon which our Nation was built. Since well before 1787, liberty has been understood as freedom from government action, not entitlement to government benefits.”  • Justice Thomas, with whom Justice Scalia joins, dissenting

“For today’s majority, it does not matter that the right to same-sex marriage lacks deep roots or even that it is contrary to long-established tradition. The Justices in the majority claim the authority to confer constitutional protection upon that right simply because they believe that it is fundamental.” • Justice Alito, with whom Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas join, dissenting.

I have a question for Bob Ingersoll.

I don’t understand the dissenting opinions of Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Scalia, Justice Thomas, and Justice Alito. From my reading of their dissents – of which only excerpts are shown above – it seems to me that these men would also, given the chance, vote down the May 17, 1954 Warren Court’s decision on Brown vs. Board of Education Topeka, which:

“…declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional [because]’separate educational facilities are inherently unequal’ [and] as a result,de jure racial segregation was ruled a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution

Hmm, there’s that damn Fourteenth Amendment again.

Bob, I was taught way back when that our Constitution is a “living document,” which is defined by David Strauss of the University of Chicago Law School as: “…one that evolves, changes over time, and adapts to new circumstances, without being formally amended.” But apparently the four dissenting opinions are based on “constitutional originalism,” which Straus defines as “…the antithesis of…a living Constitution…It is the view that constitutional provisions mean what the people who adopted them – in the 1790s or 1860s or whenever – understand them to mean…[and] the Constitution requires today what it required when it was adopted…there is no need for the Constitution to adapt or change, other than by means of formal amendments.”

So, Bob, does that mean that Justice Clarence Thomas, a black man, believes that he belongs in a segregated society, that he thinks it’s okay for black children to go their schools and white kids go to their schools and never the twain shall meet?

So, Bob, does that mean that Roberts, Scalia, Alito, and Thomas also believe that women should not be allowed the right to vote, much less sit on SCOTUS? (Yes, I know we women gained the right to vote through the Nineteenth Amendment, which is the formality referred to by Straus, but women not having the right to vote was not one of the original “constitutional provisions” back in 1790 when Rhode Island became the final state to ratify the document.)

Bob, why do so many conservative pundits on radio and TV accuse SCOTUS of “enacting laws, not judging them?” I mean, if it weren’t for SCOTUS, half of them wouldn’t even be able to be on radio or TV, right?

And what’s with the accusations of “playing politics?” I seem to remember that a certain Texan became President of the United States because of SCOTUS “playing politics.” Where was all the shouting then?

Personally, I think it’s very hard for a Justice, or a radio or TV pundit, or anyone to really separate him or herself from their personal biases and life experiences when balancing the wheels of justice –

But that’s why they have law schools, right?

Like I said, damn that Fourteenth Amendment!