Supreme Decisions

There’s been a lot going on this week in the political world.

First, the bad. The Supreme Court struck down part of the Voting Rights Act. There have been some pretty draconian efforts of late to suppress the vote across the country. Texas wasted no time in declaring they would implement their voter ID requirement. I don’t want to get into that particular debate but it shows what kind of impact this is going to have in the future. Those states that had to prove their election law changes weren’t going to suppress minority votes, are going to immediately implement all of those voting suppressing efforts they’ve been held back on.

Texas again shows up again in a mix good/bad. During the special legislative session a serious effort was made to effectively ban abortions in Texas. ¬†Thanks to the heroic efforts of Wendy Davis, the efforts failed but only just barely. Again, without getting into the actual abortion debate, this bill was very sleazy. Lawmakers can’t outright ban abortions so they were going to place such heavy restrictions that it would have effectively done that. And what’s amazing about the whole thing, as conservative as Texas is, the majority of us didn’t even want this bill they fought so hard to implement.

In a dose of good news, the Supreme Court ruled DOMA unconstitutional.

“The principal purpose and the necessary effect of this law are to demean those persons who are in a lawful same-sex marriage,” Justice¬†Anthony M. Kennedy

It’s nice to see that said in such plain language. Because that’s what DOMA was. A law entirely written to demean people and deny them rights. That’s just not fitting for a country based on the idea of freedom and equal rights.

While this doesn’t spread the right for gay marriage across the whole country, now that the Federal government recognizes that right, it opens the door for another case down the line. It will still be a long fight, but with the Prop 8 case being dismissed for lack of standing, that will likely reimplement it in California.

This will bring the number of states to 13. A long way to go to get to 50, but not bad considering less than a decade ago it was 0 and every state was rushing to implement outright bans. I’d call that progress.

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