Monday, August 9, 2010

Chris Wallace vs. Conservative Attorney Ted Olson on Gay Marriage


Part 2
August 8, 2010 on Fox News Sunday

39 comments:

  1. Chris keeps harping on the same issues from the stupid-right and Ted repeatedly (and calmly!) slaps him down.

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  2. Ted got owned.  I'm for gay  marriage, but using the courts to push it through is an insult to our constitution

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  3. Though to be fair our constitution has already been ripped to pieces by thew court, so maybe for once they'll do it in a way that actually helps people.  Will it be right?  No.  But I can't say I'll be all too upset with the result.  i felt the need to clarrify, as my original post on it's own makes it sound like I'm a homophobe looking for a way to justify my bigotry.

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  4. like Ted was saying, the bill of rights is not up for a vote

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  5. Pushing things through the courts isn't an insult to our constitution. The insult lies in the fact that Americans are too ignorant/bigoted/misinformed to vote to uphold the very principles the constitution grants.
    The sad fact is that most religious people hold their beliefs over the very fabric that binds the United States together. If given the opportunity to vote, they would gladly limit the bill of rights to their specific view of morality. The courts help prevent that from happening.
    Thank "god" we don't live in a democracy!

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  6. How is it an insult to the constitution to have a court decision that determines a statute, which explicitly denies a subset of American citizens equality under law, to be unconstitutional? It is the opposite of that; it is a strong reaffirmation of the validity, power and importance of the constitution as one of the most moral and honorable documents that humans have ever penned.

    <span>Fourteenth amendment:</span>
    Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

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  7. Andrew, your ignorance of the constitution and the role of the independent judiciary is what is insulting.  The constitution does not allow for fundamental human rights to be put up for a popular vote - this is exactly what Ted Olson's argument

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  8. Things don't get pushed through the courts.  The courts are used to correct wrongs.  

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  9. OMFG.  Andrew keeps looking for candidates to join him in opposite world. It's his own little fantasy place where nothing makes any sense unless it makes no sense.

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  10. No, it just makes you look like someone who doesn't understand the argument that Olsen articulated so clearly.

    If you want to deny gays the right to marry, the only constitutionally sanctioned method of doing that is by amending it. That takes 2/3 of Senate and House and then 3/4 of the state legislatures. Don't harp about the will of the people being overturned when there is nowhere near the level of support required for amending the constitution.

    Any law which contradicts the constitution is null and void. It doesn't matter if congress enacts the law or if voters pass a ballot initiative. A ballot initiative is no way to ram through a social agenda which contravenes the constitution.

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  11. Lol no. It makes you look like you're immune to Olsen's clear articulation of his arguments.

    The only proper way to change the US constitution is by amendment. This takes 2/3 of of the of both houses of congress and 3/4 of the state legislatures. You can't amend the US constitution by a California ballot initiative that barely passed. The people who wish to ram their social agenda of denying gay people access to marriage do not (and will never) have nearly the level of support to amend the constitution legally. The will of the people is to leave the constitution as it is.

    And, as it is, the constitution says that everyone has equal protection of the laws, and no one shall be deprived of life or liberty without due process. Any law which contradicts the constitution, whether enacted by a legislature or a ballot initiative is null and void. This is the category to which Prop 8 belongs.

    You've got it entirely backwards about who is trying to ram what down whose throats.

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  12. Andrew... I think your original post on it's own makes it sound like you are a homophone looking for a way to justify your  bigotry.
    And,  your additional explanation just deepened that sour feeling of mine. :-D

    Peace

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  13. It's obvious that Chris doesn't care what the answer to his questions are, since he could have stopped asking them after the first answer.  He either doesn't listen to the answer at all, or he can't think period; probably the latter.

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  14. Of course everyone is afforded equal rights under the many arguments that you all pointed out.  Unfortunately not ONE of you showed where gay marriage was one of those rights (because it's not).  Marriage is, but it's not defined by the federal government and has always been defined by the states.

    I'd liek there to be a constitutional ammendment defining marriage so that gay marriage is included OR saying that neither state nor the federal government has the right to define the term marriage.  However, any right granted by the courts on non-existant ground can be easilly overturned.  Look at how we're constantly having to fight to keep abortion rights because some jackass thought that getting a woman to lie about being raped and then protect abortion under "a doctor's right to privacy" was a good idea.

    I want equality for gays, but I know that trying to quick-shot it with the courts is a horrible idea.  The anti-gay rights people have no good arguments, so let's take them to task and get the votes.  but by sercumventing the legal process and attempting to cheat with the courts, we give them a means to claim the moral highground.

    But of course I'm not surprised that so many of you assume that because I disagree with you I must be motivated by bigotry and hate because some of your are just as bad as the religious right that you so smugly insist that you're superior to.  And the "in group out group" mob mentality of some atheists here is making me sick, because I can't even hold or discuss an opposing view without being called every sort of hateful thing.

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  15. Don't agree with your constitutional interpretation, but I've certainly noticed the bandwagon inclination of some atheists. 

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  16. "<span>Of course everyone is afforded equal rights under the many arguments that you all pointed out.  Unfortunately not ONE of you showed where gay marriage was one of those rights (because it's not).  Marriage is, but it's not defined by the federal government and has always been defined by the states."</span>

    Show where interracial marriage is one of those rights. Until then, you're using a double standard.

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  17. There is no legal justification for why states shouldn't be allowed to ban inter-racial marriage, which is why we should pass an amendment to the constitution banning the federal government and state governments from passing any laws that make reference to or destinctions based on the race of any individual.  Throw in gender while your at it and you've legalized gay marriage and outlawed racial and gender descrimination at a constitutional level all in one swoop.

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  18. The founders of the US were either freemasons, deists, agnostics, or atheists. The consitution is clearly meant to protect the liberty of the individual.

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  19. I take back the accusation of double standard. You're consistent, you simply have an extremely unusual view of constitutional jurisprudence, according to which Loving v. Virginia was (despite the unanimity of the justices) wrongly decided.

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  20. Yes.  Though it's not because I'm racist or anything.  It's a sad fact that slavery was written into our constitution and rather than expunge any form of racism from our laws with constitutional amendments we have relied on judicial activism, which may have been quicker, but which allowed for institutionalized racism to linger on (by simply sidestepping the individual court cases) for far too long.

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  21. I simply want to avoid the same type of situation here.

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  22. Looking at this from the other side of the planet and having a very rudimentary understanding of U.S. law, I want to know if I got you right, Andrew.
    Are you saying that a law, unconstitutional (unlawful?) at its core, that was voted into enactment, should stay until it was voted away?

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  23. I'm saying that it's not unconstitutional, and therefore, even though I disagree with it, the judiciary should not overturn it as they have no proper authority to do so.  And also that the potential loss of placing the safety of our rights at the subjective whims of the supreme court is likely much more costly than delaying the national adoption of legalized gay marriage.

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  24. FANTASTIC! Just one more vid on this site that has nothing to do with atheism. Why don't the proprietors of this site just admit it and rename it the liberalatheistsmedia.com?

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  25. King Asa for PresidentAugust 10, 2010 at 9:30 PM

    <span>"Of course everyone is afforded equal rights under the many arguments that you all pointed out.  Unfortunately not ONE of you showed where gay marriage was one of those rights (because it's not).  Marriage is, but it's not defined by the federal government and has always been defined by the states."</span>

    <span> "...nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."  Equal protection of the law is equal protection of the law.  I see no good reason not to include marriage here - neither did Judge Vaughn.  States have always handled marriage law because it hasn't been a serious federal issue until the last fifteen years - now it is.  Just because states have always defined it doesn't mean those definitions are constitutional (see Loving v. Virginia).  The 14th Amendment supercedes state law meaning the traditional definition of marriage by states is, in fact, unconstitutional regardless of how long states have defined it for themselves.  
    </span>

    <span>"I'd liek there to be a constitutional ammendment defining marriage so that gay marriage is included OR saying that neither state nor the federal government has the right to define the term marriage."</span>

    An amendment defining marriage would be most likely premature.  As social structures change and family units evolve, there is no way to account for what marriage will be in five hundred years; much less one hundred.

    Your second option is an amendment I might support.

    <span>"...the potential loss of placing the safety of our rights at the subjective whims of the supreme court is likely much more costly than delaying the national adoption of legalized gay marriage."</span>

    Placing the safety of our rights at the subjecive whims of a mass of bigotted populations inundated with scare tactics and fear mongering (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wp76ly2_NoI) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8j2y9WtTPw&feature=related) is costly enough as it is - hence Prop 8 in the first place.  I feel much safer with a judiciary hearing arguments and making decisions based on constitutional law than my aunt seeing a religiously-funded lie on television that got her worked up enough to deprive my best friend of her equally protected right to marry. 

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  26. But see gay people do technically have equal rights as they are allowed to marry people of the opposite sex, just like heterosecual people.  You rentire point requires that the term 'equality' be subjectively defined not by actual technical equality under the law, but by recursive logic where equality is defined as meeting certain standards because that's what equality is.  All people have equal rights to marry, where the state defines what marriage is.

    I'm not saying it's what I want, but it is technically true, and when the judicial branch in California declared this to be a breach of equality it implies that California dafines gay marriage as part of marriage, despite the fact that the legislation being rejected was an amendment to the state constitution defining marriage otherwise.  If judges are supposed to uphold the and interpret the law, then this is clearly a bad decision where the judge has put their own views above the duty they are sworn to.  How or why are (some of) you unable / unfilling to see that?

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  27. sorry, Johanna, but none of the founders were atheists. Paine, the 'closest', was a deist, and said this :

    How different is [Christianity] to the pure and simple profession of Deism! The true Deist has but one Deity, and his religion consists in contemplating the power, wisdom, and benignity of the Deity in his works, and in endeavoring to imitate him in everything moral, scientifical, and mechanical.

    Even Madison, the '2nd closest' was a deist, originally from Anglican church.

    Although your sample set of applicable viewpoints is technically correct , it's unnecessarily long.

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  28. Andrew, I think I figured it out: Voting is the 'due process of law'.
    That's how Clifornia is legally allowed to "deprive persons of liberty" without conflicting with the federal constitution.
    Right?

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  29. Go reread the federal constitution.  Also, define the term liberty.  because under your definition restricting siblings from marriage and polygamy are affronts to freedom.

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  30. I tried reading, found it difficult to follow, and apparently I can't trust a "reader's digest version" bacuase you can simply say it was "digested" wrong, and that's the same as disagreeing about the actual text.

    So voting is not 'due process'? Then how is prop 8 constitutional, when it's core purpose is to illegalize same-sex marriage?
    With it being legal for months prior, how is passing a law that says: "you guys who were allowed to marry your loved ones are not allowed to do so anymore", under any not nonsensical definition of 'liberty', can be anything other than depriving of it?

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  31. They were not permitted to marry until a court case.  So then nn amendment to the consitution was made, Now another courst case is being used to overturn that.  Why are we even pretending that our votes even matter any more?  I'm for gay marriage, but I care about protecting our right to self-governance more!  And go read the federal constitution, even if it's a readers digest version, not so you can argue with me, but so you can be informed about what you're rights are and what the limitations of government were supposed to be.

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  32. Andrew, do you think an amendment to the Constitution could ever pass, in the present and future political climates? 

    The strength of the constitution, as I understand it, is that it is ageless, or nearly ageless, and hence needs only rare amendment. But this means that it must be sparse, and hence necessarily continuously interpreted according to the spirit of the law, not the letter. On the other hand, legislating through the constitution is not an answer either, is it?

    It seems to me that there's no ultimate single interpretation of the document, because the meaning of the English language is both finite and fluctuating.

    The same way there's no truly free market. ;)

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  33. I think my favorite part of the interview is when Olson explicates something that was also in Judge Vaughn's ruling:

    <span>CONCLUSIONS OF LAW 
    Plaintiffs challenge Proposition 8 under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. Each challenge is independently meritorious, as Proposition 8 both unconstitutionally burdens the exercise of the fundamental right to marry and creates an irrational classification on the basis of sexual orientation.</span>

    I think to all thinking people, this final phrase must be a perfect reason unto itself.  For conservatives and progressives alike, it speaks to a parsimonious government which has no place introducing "irrational" (excellent choice of words there) classifications (and hence stigma) on the basis of sexual orientation.  Perfect.

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  34. Jefferson was hardly a cheerleader for any church... So that would make him an atheist of all, except the secret one he is not telling us about? (His own?)

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  35. Yes, it was allowed by a court case, but wasn't that a: "Hey! California! You're not allowed to sexually discriminate" decision?

    I'm quite sure preventing you from voting away your neighbour's rights, doesn't take one iota of your combined right to self-governance.

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  36. Of course some interpretation must happen.  But the more power we give to legislators to interpret law into effect, the same power they have to remove them (such as was recently the case with eminent domain).  Here I wrote a blog post expressing my views on this in more detail:

    http://omgobama.wordpress.com/2010/08/09/proposition8/

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  37. <span>Of course some interpretation must happen.  But the more power we give to judges to interpret law into effect, the same power they have to remove them (such as was recently the case with eminent domain).  Here I wrote a blog post expressing my views on this in more detail: 
     
    http://omgobama.wordpress.com/2010/08/09/proposition8/</span>

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  38. To my mind this is all simple stuff.

    When there is a conflict between the rights granted to people and the constiution, the constiutuion wins. We do not value democracy for democracies sake in the West, we value 'liberal' democracy - ie, a democracy that recognises and protects the rights of the individual when they are opposed by their fellow citizens.

    State law has been allowed to define marriage until that defination was challenged. So for example the banning of interracial marragies was always against the constiution, but for all kinds of reasons some states were allowed to ignore the constitution and only when the state(s) definition of marriage was challenged did the supreme court then enforce the constiution on those states.

    This is the way it should be, and despite Andrew's pleas that this is judicial activism, it is the opposite. If it was judicial activism then the supreme court would be spending all its time telling the states how to interpret the constiution, however, they only do this when a subject comes into dispute.

    There was no need until recently for some states (such as California) to define marriage as being between a man and a woman. However, because of the rise of gay rights, some americans now which to use the state legislature to deny gay people their rights - that is real political 'activism' just ask the mormon church.

    Now that the issue has arisen, it is proper for gay people to seek the protection of the constiution, if the consiutuin does not deny gay people the right to marry (which it clearly does not), then state rulings are opposed to the US constitution and are illegal.

    As for Andrrew's idea that this is best done through a vote. Personlly, I think that is poppycock. Let us look at interracial marriage (Nothing explicity for it in the constitution) yet the supreme court ruled that the constitution upholds the right for any American to marry any other American, regardless of race.

    Is Andrew really saying that the right for black and white people to marry is something that should depend upon their neighbours approval? Such a view is outrageous.

    Democracy on its own can be as illiberal, intolerant and hateful as any tyranny. No our individual rights do not depend upon our neighbours granting them in a vote.

    The constiution says "We hold these truths to be self-evident...

    Article I. All men are born free and equal, and have certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights; among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; that of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property; in fine, that of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness."

    It does not read "We hold these truths to be self-evident but only if our neighbours approve in a vote."

    Andrew, your position is the one oppposed to the constitution, not Ted Olsen's.

    Your argument that you want to protect state government and keep government local, is fine - but it has its limits is what the constitution is saying.

    Have you any idea how insulting it is to say that the right for an American to marry who they choose, is depending upon a vote by their neighbours. Your complaint completely misses the whole point. It does not depend upon a vote. In fact it is the belief that the rights and freedoms of individual Amercians depend upon a vote which is unamaerican because it is unconstiutional!

    Olsen is right!

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  39. To anyone who cares, after having some (much more open and in depth) discussions elsewhere, I've changed my mind.  I was wrong.  Proposition 8 should be overturned.

    http://omgobama.wordpress.com/2010/08/12/admitting-i-was-wrong/

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