Sunday, December 05, 2021

Supreme Court Opinion does not apply to Private Parties

Salon article:
I was one of the lawyers who helped win marriage equality. And yes, the GOP can take it away
And they might not even need another landmark legal battle to do it

Knowing that the courts will demur, could the GOP launch a similarly successful offensive on marriage equality? You bet. It's already happening.

A couple of weeks ago, a letter from a Texas state representative calling on the Attorney General to declare that private citizens can ignore federal law was making the rounds on social media. ...

The Republican Party Platform, a 66-page conniption fit, mentions the word "marriage" 19 times and the phrase "one man and one woman" five times under three separate headings ("Religious Liberty," "Marriage, Family, and Society," and "Defending Marriage Against an Activist Judiciary"). If the GOP can get the gun to the head of marriage equality, you'd better believe they'll squeeze the trigger. The question is: How will they go about it?

The letter says:
The State of Texas has not amended or repealed its marriage laws in response to Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. 644 (2015). And the Supreme Court has no power to amend formally or revoke a state statute or constitutional provision — even after opining that the state law violates the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Constitution. See Pidgeon v. Turner, 538 S.W.3d 73, 88 n.21 (Tex. 2017) (“[N]either the Supreme Court in Obergefell nor the Fifth Circuit in De Leon ‘struck down’ any Texas law. When a court declares a law unconstitutional, the law remains in place unless and until the body that enacted it repeals it”); Texas v. United States, 945 F.3d 355, 396 (5th Cir. 2019) (“The federal courts have no authority to erase a duly enacted law from the statute books, [but can only] decline to enforce a statute in a particular case or controversy.” (citations and internal quotation marks omitted)). The federal judicial power extends only to the resolution of cases and controversies between litigants. The fact that a federal district court has enjoined state officials from enforcing the Texas marriage laws1 in no way affects the existence or validity of those laws with regard to private parties, who are not even bound by the Fourteenth Amendment — let alone the Supreme Court’s purported interpretations of it. See Civil Rights Cases, 109 U.S. 3 (1883).
California is the most leftist state, and its constitution says that marriage is between a man and a woman. The gay lobby has made no serious attempt to remove this clause.

This is not a loophole. The gay lobby probably could have legalized same-sex marriage in some states, but they decided to bet everything on everyone going along with a majority opinion on the Supreme Court regarding death certificates and estate taxes.

It hasn't happened. I would not be surprised for the courts to say that they have no authority to force private parties to recognize a marriage that is not a marriage under statutory law or religious tradition.

The recent Supreme Court abortion arguments had the liberals mostly arguing in favor of authoritarianism:

[Justice Sotomayor] Will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the Constitution and its reading are just political acts?
To ask the question is to admit the stench.

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