“Lawyers live under a rule called Rule 11, which provides that it is unethical for a lawyer to file a pleading for purposes of delay rather than to achieve a result,” Arizona’s Republican Attorney General Tom Horton said in a statement on Friday explaining why we would not appeal the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision to allow same-sex marriages in the state.
The Supreme Court is currently in the process of legalizing same-sex marriage as slowly as possible, according to Think Progress‘ Ian Millhiser.
We aren’t getting the satisfaction a Loving v. Virginia-style definitive ruling because Justice Anthony Kennedy, the lone voice for LGBQT equality in the Court’s conservative majority, is using the accumulation of states that have marriage equality to reflect “the evolving understanding of the meaning of equality,” according to BuzzFeed‘s Chris Geidner.
So unless a conservative Justice replaces Kennedy or one of the court’s four sane members before equal marriage becomes law in all 50 states, equal marriage will become legal in all 50 states. And if it doesn’t happen through the courts, it will happen through legislation given that the only thing that’s controversial about same-sex marriage to about 70 percent of people under 40 is whether or not you should take a selfie during the ceremony.
Some states will linger as long as they possibly can and that’s just sad, as the people who oppose same-sex marriage most tend to be the people who’d really like to be in one.
Nationwide same-sex marriage is coming. Republicans fighting to keep bans in place — like Michigan’s Attorney General Bill Schuette — are already violating Rule 11 and wasting taxpayers money to do it. Since Windsor, Federal Courts have ruled again and again that equality is the only path forward and a majority on the Supreme Court has tacitly agreed.
Any delay is about pandering to a political base that is sorely behind the times — not any actual result.
The political analogy to what’s going in same-sex marriage is happening with Medicaid expansion. Republicans are leading the charge to deny 4 million Americans coverage, knowing that getting rid of expansion is a political impossibility. Mitch McConnell is living proof of this. He promises to repeal Obamacare, which is extremely unpopular in his state for some reason ;), while giving mild assurances that this wouldn’t take coverage from some 400,000 Kentuckians who have coverage through the ACA-funded expansion of Medicaid.
When Republicans like Joni Ernst denounce government dependency then tout dependency on churches and private charitable organizations, they’re admitting that dependency isn’t the problem, the New Republic‘s Brian Beutler points out. What they don’t like about government help is that it helps “certain people” who they think may not be deserving of help.
It’s no coincidence that the last state to accept the original Medicaid program was one of the last states to accept the holiday for Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. But Arizona won’t be the last state to accept same-sex marriage
Medicaid expansion helps people who earn too much for basic Medicaid but not enough to afford insurance — the exact people who deserve help most, even if they aren’t the kind of people who typically vote Republican.
This is why expansion may be the most popular aspect of health care reform. Republicans hoping to delay until we have a president and Congress willing to run for re-election after canceling tens of millions of people’s insurance without any alternative coverage are only delaying for a political effect, not an actual result.
Full repeal cannot happen and we know this because Republicans can’t even settle on a plan to replace the law.
A Federal Court in Cincinnati will rule on Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage and adoption soon. And like nearly all of its peers, the decision will be in favor of equality.
Given that Bill Schuette is already violating the spirit of Rule 11, we should expect him to appeal again.
Voters in Michigan should end this nonsense and elect Mark Totten as our attorney general — just as voters in Florida and 23 other states could throw out the Republicans who are rejecting the Medicaid expansion their states are paying for anyway.
Justice delayed is justice denied. And until voters demand justice, Republicans will keep violating Rule 11.
[Image by Tim Evanson | Flickr]