Can I even get divorced? In Loving v. Virginia, Chancellor Jeffrey Atherton had to conclude that he lacked jurisdiction since the Supreme Court has now defined marriage.
The conclusion reached by this Court is that Tennesseans have been deemed by the U.S. Supreme Court to be incompetent to define and address such keystone/central institutions such as marriage, and, thereby, at minimum, contested divorces, …
In the decision for Obergefell v. Hodges, Justice Kennedy wrote the majority opinion that ventured into how people feel instead of what they are obligated to do:
No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people be- come something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death.
Since this is now the interpretation of the Constitution, I should have an action for failure to love, failure to be faithful and devoted, and failure to sacrifice. Now that the federal government has created a definition and listed components that create a marriage, there’s a problem. Although I support gay marriage (and civil unions between non-sexual couples, and anyone else who wants to enter into the property contract that I’m now in the middle of contesting), the Supreme Court did the good thing for the wrong reasons. They have no business telling us what to think or feel. Regulating behavior is not a problem, but telling us that we have to love each other to get married is none of their business. Many of my friends didn’t marry for love. Kennedy says they are doing it wrong.
I agree with Justice Roberts:
If you are among the many Americans – of whatever sexual orientation – who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision. Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.
I’d rather that the nine people on the bench, mostly from New York, mostly Catholic, mostly from New York, and mostly Harvard grads, stick to the law and leave social sentiment out of it. The States were mostly moving in the right direction and soon Congress would have to decide it for everyone. Yet, these cases jumped the queue.
People think Scalia is a dick, but he gets it. The Court has five Harvard grads, 3 Yale grads, and 1 Columbia grad. They are six Catholics and three Jews. Six are from either New York or New Jersey. Yet, people are happy that these people are defining our culture from their very narrow perspective:
Take, for example, this Court, which consists of only nine men and women, all of them successful lawyers who studied at Harvard or Yale Law School. Four of the nine are natives of New York City. Eight of them grew up in east- and west-coast States. Only one hails from the vast expanse in-between. Not a single Southwesterner or even, to tell the truth, a genuine Westerner (California does not count). Not a single evangelical Christian (a group that comprises about one quarter of Americans), or even a Protestant of any denomination. The strikingly unrepresentative character of the body voting on today’s social upheaval would be irrelevant if they were functioning as judges, answering the legal question whether the American people had ever ratified a constitutional provision that was understood to proscribe the traditional definition of marriage.
So, if the Supreme Court is going to play this game, judges like Jeffrey Atherton should force their hand to define divorce too. Even though I think that the States are the laboratories of democracy, I hope whatever judge I get doesn’t want to experiment.