On National Constitution Day, let’s remember that the Supreme Court affirmed, in 1967, that marriage is, indeed, a civil right.
Today is National Constitution Day, marking the dayÂ in 1787 delegates toÂ the U.S. Constitutional Convention in PhiladelphiaÂ Â — including our Founding Fathers — signed the Constitution. It would not be ratified for another two years.
Constitution Day, formally known as â€œConstitution Day and Citizenship Day,â€ was created to recognize the ratification of our Constitution, and to acknowledge all those who have become citizens of our country.
The U.S. Constitution is an elegant, elastic creation (yes, Tea Party, elastic,) that has guided and inspired us since it was signed into being 224 years ago. And no, IÂ donâ€™t agree with it all — like our current interpretation of the Second Amendment — but, like some might say, you donâ€™t run aÂ country with the Constitution you want, you run aÂ country with the Constitution youÂ have.
And yes, aÂ lot has changed since it was written. But the principles in our Declaration of Independenceâ€‰â€”â€‰upon which our country were founded: life, liberty, the pursuit of happinessâ€‰â€”â€‰havenâ€™t.
So, letâ€™s talk about gay marriage.
Gay marriage, same-â€‹sex marriage, marriage equality, whatever we want to call it, bottom line, itâ€™s marriage. Someday, weâ€™ll be able to say â€œmarriageâ€ unequivocally and without qualification.
The Supreme Court affirmed, in 1967, that marriage is, indeed, aÂ civil right. In the unanimously-â€‹decidedÂ Loving v. Virginia, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren delivered the court’s opinion:
â€œMarriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man,’ fundamental to our very existence and survival.â€¦ To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable aÂ basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the Stateâ€™s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, aÂ person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by theÂ State.â€
Make the obvious switch from racial terms to identity and orientation terms — all of which describe immutable characteristics — and the result is, well, obvious.
The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution includes this passage:
â€œâ€¦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 theÂ laws.â€
Surely marriage is both a â€œbasic civil rightâ€ and a â€œprotection of theÂ law?â€
Ted Olson and David Boies’ much-â€‹heraldedÂ Prop 8 someday may make its way to the Supreme Court on two important Constitutional cases:
Romer v. Evans, the Supreme Court case that ruled against aÂ Colorado constitutional amendment that had prohibited state protections for homosexual citizens. AndÂ Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down sodomy laws in Texas, and, therefore, in the United States.
So, where is all this taking us?
The battle for marriage equality has been fought at the state level, for several reasons. Many have said marriage is aÂ statesâ€™ rights issue. Others have been disinclined to bring aÂ case to the U.S. Supreme Court, concerned that aÂ judgment against marriage equality by the conservative court would establish precedent that would be even more difficult to overturn.
Make no mistake — marriage is not aÂ statesâ€™ rights issue. Marriage, as determined inÂ Loving, is aÂ civil right. Civil rights are not statesâ€™ rights, but federal. It is theÂ FBI, for example, that investigates civil rights abuses. Civil rights are, simply, federal.
And weâ€™ve been wrong to fight this battle at the state level. It is, in fact, a federal issue, a Constitutional issue.
Nevertheless, thatâ€™s what weâ€™re stuck with. For now. Because at some point enough states will offer full marriage equality to make Article Fourâ€‰â€”â€‰U.S. Constitutionâ€™s full faith and credit clauseâ€‰â€”â€‰the elephant in theÂ room.
Repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA, will make this more likely, asÂ DOMAÂ allows (unconstitutionally, in the opinion of a federal court judge, 20 U.S. bankruptcy court judges, the DOJ, Attorney General Eric Holder, and the President,) states and the federal government to ignore the legal and judicial proceedings of other states.
Which is all the more reason why it is critical we support, and work very hard to ensure that the â€œRespect for Marriage Act,â€ is passed and signed intoÂ law.
The Constitution is an elastic instrument subject to interpretation. It is not aÂ black and white document without room for interpretation.
We will win marriage equality. It may be via language already in the Constitution. It may be via Congressional legislation. It may be, sadly, one state at aÂ time. The one thing IÂ do know: it will not be via inaction.
Editor’s note: This article is based upon one The New Civil Rights Movement ran in 2009.
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.
NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.
GOP Congresswoman Saying She Would ‘Do Anything’ to Protect Her Grandchildren, Even ‘Shooting Them’ Sets Internet on Fire
U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) in a speech denouncing a House bill on gun safety, appears to inadvertently have declared that to protect her five grandchildren, she would “do anything,” even shoot them.
“I rise in opposition to H.R. 2377,” Congresswoman Lesko says in the video. “I have five grandchildren. I would do anything, anything to protect my five grandchildren, including as a last resort shooting them if I had to, to protect the lives of my grandchildren.”
NCRM has verified the video is accurate. Congresswoman Lesko made the remarks on June 9, according to C-SPAN, while she was opposing a red flag law.
The Congresswoman presumably meant she would as a last resort shoot someone threatening her grandchildren.
One Twitter user, Ryan Shead, posted the previously ignored video to Twitter, where it has gone viral and is trending.
Lesko, who some social media users note is running for re-election unopposed, went on to say: “Democrat bills that we have heard this week want to take away my right, my right to protect my grandchildren. they want to take away the rights of law-abiding citizens to protect their own children and grandchildren. and wives and brothers and sisters,” which is false.
“This bill takes away due process from law-abiding citizens. Can you imagine if you had a disgruntled ex or somebody who hates you because of your political views and they go to a judge and say, ‘oh, this person is dangerous,’ and that judge would take away your guns?”
Lesko’s hypothetical claims are false. Red flag laws are designed to protect both gun owners and those around them.
Allow me to introduce you to Congresswoman Debbie Lesko of Arizona, who is currently running for office unopposed in her district.
She would like America to know she loves her grandchildren so much she would shoot them if necessary. 😳
But liberals are the problem, right? 😏 pic.twitter.com/qk5BT9FDLw
— Ryan Shead (@RyanShead) July 5, 2022
Some social media users noted that Congresswoman Lesko reportedly “attended meetings about overturning the election,” while others are having fun with the Arizona Republican’s remarks:
Anybody check on Debbie Lesko’s grandkids?
— Sam Youngman (@samyoungman) July 6, 2022
Or maybe one of Debbie Lesko’s grandchildren gets rabies and she has to put it down before it attacks the other four! All sorts of things can happen.
— Ron Hogan (@RonHogan) July 6, 2022
The most probable interpretation is that @DebbieLesko meant she would shoot someone to PROTECT her grandchildren and garbled it. However, it’s the GOP, and it’s 2022. So . . . /1 https://t.co/KVWir9t8te
— CyborgSlavesOfPopehat (@Popehat) July 6, 2022
/3 Anyway, bottom line, good luck and best wishes to Debbie Lesko’s (for now) five grandchildren.
— CyborgSlavesOfPopehat (@Popehat) July 6, 2022
/4 But seriously it’s VERY unlikely that a GOP member of Congress was casually advocating shooting her grandchildren. I mean they’re white.
— CyborgSlavesOfPopehat (@Popehat) July 6, 2022
Since Debbie Lesko is trending for threatening to ::checks notes:: shoot her grandkids, now is the perfect time to revisit this recent thread/story on her very shady past. https://t.co/90xkhzrWny
— TrumpsTaxes (@TrumpsTaxes) July 6, 2022
Lauren Boebert is crazy and unqualified
Louie Gohmert is an idiot and unqualified
Marjorie Taylor Greene is dangerous and unqualified
Trump is mentally ill and unqualified
Debbie Lesko = hold my beer
— Jimmy (@JimmyStreich) July 6, 2022
This is the same Debbie Lesko who would shoot her grandchildren to own the libs. 😬
Arizona has better to offer. 💯 https://t.co/oXd9o3ucbo
— Ryan Shead (@RyanShead) July 6, 2022
I don’t think she meant the thing she said. I think she’s just dumb. She was trying to make some overblown dramatic point and she screwed up the script. https://t.co/aKzzocabim
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) July 7, 2022
Watch Congresswoman Lesko’s remarks above or at this link.
Separation of Church and State Is a ‘Fabrication’ Says Far Right Activist Charlie Kirk: They Should Be ‘Mixed Together’
Far-right religious activist, conspiracy theorist, and founder of the right-wing organization Turning Point USA Charlie Kirk has falsely declared that separation of church and state, a bedrock principle on which American society is based, is a “fabrication” not in the Constitution.
Kirk is a member of the secretive theocratic Council for National Policy., a close friend of Donald Trump, Jr., and spent years promoting President Trump – even interviewing him at one point. Turning Point USA has had repeated challenges. The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer in 2017 write a piece about TPUSA titled, “A Conservative Nonprofit That Seeks to Transform College Campuses Faces Allegations of Racial Bias and Illegal Campaign Activity.”
Former TPUSA communications director Candace Owens has praised Hitler, saying “the problem” with him was that he wanted to “globalize.”
On Wednesday Kirk declared, “There is no separation of church and state. It’s a fabrication. It’s a fiction. It’s not in the Constitution. It’s made up by secular humanists.”
The claim separation of church and state is not in the Constitution is a religious right belief that has been debunked by countless legal experts.
“Of course we should have church and state mixed together,” Kirk continued. “Our Founding Fathers believed in that. We can go through the detail of that. They established – literally – a church in Congress.”
That too is false.
“It’s a good thing Charlie Kirk doesn’t go to Wheaton because he would fail my Constitutional Law class,” writes Dr. Miranda Yaver, PhD, a Wheaton College professor.
As most public school students know, Kirk’s claims are belied by the First Amendment to the U.S., Constitution, which states:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
It’s the Establishment Clause, legal experts say, that debunks Kirk’s falsehood.
In reviewing the Supreme Court’s recent rulings, Reuters last month noted: “It was President Thomas Jefferson who famously said in an 1802 letter that the establishment clause should represent a ‘wall of separation’ between church and state. The provision prevents the government from establishing a state religion and prohibits it from favoring one faith over another.”
Jefferson is also considered the principal author of the Declaration of Independence.
Watch Charlie Kirk below or at this link.
Charlie Kirk: “There is no separation of church and state. It’s a fabrication. It’s a fiction. It’s not in the Constitution. It’s made up by secular humanists” pic.twitter.com/R4dkUSxGwI
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) July 6, 2022
Pat Cipollone Is ‘A Greatest Hits Package of Crazy Statements’ by Donald Trump: Legal Expert
Former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone has agreed to speak to the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on Congress on Friday.
Former Assistant Deputy Attorney General Harry Litman told CNN that Cipollone has carefully negotiated the testimony and he will likely “steer around down the middle” of the attorney/client privilege. However, former President Donald Trump is not the client of a White House counsel, the White House is. President Joe Biden has waived executive privilege for anything involving Jan. 6 or the 2020 election.
“He is a greatest hits package of crazy statements by Donald Trump,” Litman said of Cipollone. “He is the one who says to Mark Meadows, ‘You know, if you do this, you’ll have blood on your effing hands.’ He’s the one who says to Mark Meadows about [Mike] Pence, ‘You’ve got to stop it’ and Meadows says, ‘You’ve heard him. He thinks the rioters are right.’ He’s the one who has to go to Cassidy Hutchinson, a 25-year-old, and plead with her because Meadows won’t speak to him. ‘Please try to keep him from going to the Capitol.’ He’s the one who says, ‘if I go to the Capitol, it will be every effing crime imaginable.'”
“Now, they’ve negotiated it up, and probably what he wants is to say he’s not piercing attorney/client privilege. But all these statements I’ve said to you, Trump’s nowhere around. So, attorney/client has to be with the client for the purpose of getting legal advice, so he’s got tons to say without that.”
As Litman explained, Cipollone is in “everything.”
See the discussion below.
Image: Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks via Flickr:
President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump talk with Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett, her husband Jesse Barrett, Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, his wife Virginia Thomas, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, and Deputy White House Counsel Kate Comerford Todd in the Blue Room of the White House Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, after attending Barrett’s swearing-in ceremony as Supreme Court Associate Justice.
- News2 days ago
‘Impeach Justice Clarence Thomas’: More Than One Million Signatures as Petition Goes Viral
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM1 day ago
Putin’s ‘Iron Doll’ Says Russia ‘Will Have to Think Whether to Re-Install’ Trump ‘Again’: Report
- News2 days ago
Trump Celebrates Fourth of July by Attacking His Enemies as Biden Hails the American ‘Idea’ of ‘Hope’
- News3 days ago
‘The American People Are on Our Side’: Democrat Offers Idea to Save Women’s Freedoms
- News1 day ago
‘This Is a Business’: New Footage of Trump Family Emerges From Jan. 6 Investigation
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM2 days ago
GOP Nominee for Illinois Governor Offers Prayers Then Quickly Dismisses July 4 Mass Shooting: ‘Let’s Move On’
- CRIME2 days ago
Who Is the Highland Park July 4th Mass Shooting Person of Interest? ‘Obsession With Mass Death and Nihilism’
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM1 day ago
Trump Endorsed Pro-Gun GOP Nominee Apologizes After Urging People to ‘Move On’ Hours After July 4 Mass Shooting