It’s not unusual for one court to refer to another court’s rulings in similar cases. But a federal judge seems to be admonishing a higher court’s flawed ruling. Is he?
Today, federal Judge Ortrie D. Smith issued a ruling striking down Missouri’s ban on same-sex marriage. The ruling was not unusualÂ â€“ over 50 rulingsÂ in support of marriage for same-sex couples have been made since last year’s Supreme Court DOMA decision, and only a handful in opposition.
One ruling opposing same-sex marriage, or, more accurately, one ruling supporting the constitutionality of state bans on same-sex marriage came yesterday from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.
That ruling, which many consider flawed, is based in part on the opinion of Judge Jeffrey Sutton.
Judge Sutton yesterday claimed that “the people” know best and their decision on the rights of the minority should be respected.
When the courts do not let the people resolve new social issues like this one, they perpetuate the idea that the heroes in these change events are judges and lawyers. Better in this instance, we think, to allow change through the customary political processes, in which the people, gay and straight alike, become the heroes of their own stories by meeting each other not as adversaries in a court system but asÂ fellow citizens seeking to resolve a new social issue in a fair-minded way.
It’s JudgeÂ Martha Craig Daughtrey‘sÂ 6th Circuit dissent that so aptly frames that majority opinion of Judge Sutton.
She writes, “the majority treats both the issues and the litigants here as mere abstractions. Instead of recognizing the plaintiffs as persons, suffering actual harm as a result of being denied the right to marry where they reside or the right to have their valid marriages recognized there, my colleagues view the plaintiffs as social activists who have somehow stumbled into federal court, inadvisably, when they should be out campaigning to win ‘the hearts and minds’ of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee voters to their cause.”
Judge Daughtrey adds, “the majority sets up a false premiseâ€”that the question before us is â€œwho should decide?â€â€”and leads us through a largely irrelevant discourse on democracy and federalism.”
In short, she says, Judge Sutton is saying the will of the majority should be respected, not the will or rights of the minority.
Today, in what appears to be a rebuke of the higher court’sÂ â€“ of Judge Sutton’s rulingÂ â€“ is the ruling of Judge Ortrie D. Smith.
This is long but whollyÂ worth reading:
“The Court does not take lightly a request to declare that a state law isÂ unconstitutional,” Judge Smith writes. “Statutes are passedÂ by theÂ duly electedÂ representatives of theÂ people.Â Article I,Â section 33Â constitutes theÂ direct expressionÂ of theÂ peopleâ€™s will.”
ItÂ is not on a whim that the Court supplants the will of the voters or the decisions of theÂ legislature.Â But it should not be forgotten that the Constitution is also an expression of theÂ peopleâ€™s will.Â Indeed, it isÂ the paramount expression ofÂ the peopleâ€™s will; it cannotÂ easily be cast aside orÂ circumvented by a vote ofÂ the citizens of a single state.Â
In other words, it seems Judge Smith is telling Judge Sutton, do your job.
Judge Smith continues:
JustÂ as Missouri citizens cannot abridge the First Amendment by amending the MissouriÂ Constitution, they cannot abridgeÂ the Fourteenth Amendment inÂ that manner.Â AsÂ Â Alexander Hamilton explainedÂ in describing the Constitutionâ€™s preeminent placeÂ inÂ the rule of law:Â
There is no position which depends on clearer principles than that everyÂ act of a delegated authority, contrary to the tenor of the commissionÂ under which itÂ is exercised, isÂ void.Â No legislative act,Â therefore,Â contrary to theÂ Constitution, can be valid.Â To deny thisÂ would be toÂ affirm that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant isÂ above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior toÂ the people themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers may do notÂ only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.Â
The Federalist No.Â 78 (AlexanderÂ Hamilton).Â Later, Hamilton describedÂ theÂ importance of the judiciaryâ€™s role in insuring the Constitutionâ€™s role as the preeminentÂ law of the Nation, stating the judiciaryâ€™s role includes:Â
guard[ing] the Constitution and the rights of individuals from the effectsÂ of those ill humors which the arts of designing men, or the influence ofÂ particular conjunctures, sometimes disseminate among the peopleÂ themselves, and which, though they speedily give place to betterÂ information, and more deliberate reflection, have a tendency, in theÂ meantime, to occasion dangerous innovations in the government, andÂ serious oppressions of the minor party in the community.Â Id.Â It is the Courtâ€™s view that the provisions of this statute and this section of theÂ Missouri Constitution contraveneÂ the UnitedÂ States Constitution.Â Having reachedÂ that conclusion, it is the Courtâ€™s obligation to give effect and force to the UnitedÂ States Constitution.
Pretty much a slap down, wouldn’t you say?
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Yes, the GOP Has Repeatedly Said It Wants to Gut Social Security and Medicare Before Calling Biden a ‘Liar’ – Here’s Proof
Many across the nation were likely horrified but not surprised Tuesday night when Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and several other House and Senate Republicans lashed out at President Joe Biden as he delivered the State of the Union Address, falsely branding him a “liar” for telling the truth: The GOP has consistently called to gut, sunset, or otherwise dramatically alter or dismantle the critical, life-saving social safety nets of Social Security and Medicare.
But it’s no secret Republicans for years, including recently, have wanted to take an ax to these programs, and other “entitlements,” despite proof they literally save lives.
Just Monday, Bloomberg reported, “House Republican committee and caucus chairs are pushing to create panels to study extending Social Security and Medicare solvency as part of any debt limit deal.”
“The discussion about creating commissions indicates some policy proposals floated by Republicans on entitlements — such as increasing the eligibility age or adding means-testing measures — are a possibility, even as GOP leaders say they’re not negotiating policy changes directly as part of a debt-limit vote,” Bloomberg added.
Cutting, gutting, altering, or otherwise tampering with “entitlements” (which also include federal and state programs paid for by workers via their paychecks) has been a core policy of the Republican Party for years.
Donald Trump repeatedly called for gutting Social Security and Medicare, a fact that appears to have been conveniently forgotten by some of his staunchest supporters.
Numerous House and Senate Republicans have either attacked or outright called for gutting, “sunsetting,” or otherwise dramatically altering Social Security and Medicare in the past year, including U.S. Senators Rick Scott (FL), Mike Lee (UT), Lindsey Graham (SC), Ted Cruz (TX), Ron Johnson (WI), Ted Budd (NC), and U.S. Reps. Rick Allen (GA), Mike Waltz (NC), Kevin Hern (OK), and others.
Here’s Rep. Greene and most of the Republican caucus Tuesday night heckling the President, with some including Greene calling him a “liar.”
Marjorie Taylor Greene calls Biden a liar as he accurately states that some Republicans want to sunset Social Security and Medicare. Republicans say no, so Biden responds, “So we all agree, Social Security and Medicare are off the books.” pic.twitter.com/N83YSFc7eN
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) February 8, 2023
Proud of her disruption of centuries of decorum, after the State of the Union Greene told reporters, “I don’t clap for liars.”
Manu Raju asked Marge Greene about her behavior yelling at Biden during the SOTU: “He got exactly what he deserved, and I’m not sorry one bit. What am I gonna do, stand up and give golf claps? pic.twitter.com/UL6uMfEPP9
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) February 8, 2023
Greene then recorded video after shouting “You’re lying!” and “Liar!” at President Biden, defending her antics — by lying.
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) February 8, 2023
Greene may have led the charge but she was far from the only culprit lying about the President of the United States in a nationally-televised speech that was seen in several parts of the world.
Here’s U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), once floated as a Trump Supreme Court nominee, “feigning outrage” at President Biden’s truthful claim, and video of him calling to gut Social Security and Medicare. In fact, he says in the video the reason he was running for Senate was to pull up “by the roots” Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
MORE RECEIPTS: @MeidasTouch
shows how fake the Republican outrage during the State of the Union was.
They screamed when Biden said they want to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid BECAUSE IT’S TRUE👇🏽pic.twitter.com/AlPjgylQ4u
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) February 8, 2023
And U.S. Senator Rick Scott, the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), getting called out by Fox News for wanting to “sunset” Social Security and Medicare.
Here is Rick Scott (R) being called out on Fox News for calling to sunset Social Security and Medicare. pic.twitter.com/qfJTVJkLyx
— No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@NoLieWithBTC) February 8, 2023
U.S. Rep. Rick Allen, Republican of Georgia, claiming people are telling him they “want to work longer,” as he says he wants to raise the retirement age, which would dramatically alter Social Security and Medicare.
Here is a top Republican, Rick Allen (R-GA), recorded on camera saying his party is going after Social Security because people “want to work longer.” pic.twitter.com/gQln56a4A2
— No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@NoLieWithBTC) February 8, 2023
Or an apparently younger U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme:
— Will Ragland (@citizenwillis) February 8, 2023
Center for American Progress Action’s research director, Will Ragland, in October pointed out Trump has repeatedly promised to gut Social Security and Medicare:
Reminder… Trump proposed cuts to Medicare and Social Security in every budget and straight up said he will cut entitlements in 2020. Why are folks still acting like his broken promises in 2016 amount to anything now? pic.twitter.com/CiKDyFdphP
— Will Ragland (@citizenwillis) October 24, 2022
“Every single budget Trump proposed would’ve cut hundreds of billions of dollars from Social Security, Medicare, & Medicaid,” Ragland says.
And video of Trump saying it as recently as 2020:
Trump committed to cutting Social Security and Medicare 3 times in 2020 before the pandemic took hold.
1. Davos: Asked in an interview if cuts to entitlements would ever be on his plate, Mr. Trump said yes.
2. Released proposed budget w/ $875 billion in cuts to SS & Medicare. https://t.co/n9AVyyL1Ua
— Will Ragland (@citizenwillis) February 8, 2023
Literally dozens of Republicans back in October called for gutting, sunsetting, or killing Social Security and Medicare. This was the GOP playbook just a few months ago.
And over the last week, Republican leaders have outlined their legislative playbook to get this done… Either Dems make these cuts or they’ll manufacture an economic meltdown and have the country default on its debt. https://t.co/fsUuHmYedy pic.twitter.com/7G8VxM6H2i
— Will Ragland (@citizenwillis) October 25, 2022
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham in June: “entitlement reform is a must.”
WATCH >> Lindsey Graham is promising Republicans are coming for your Medicare and Social Security. pic.twitter.com/WMm9nOaKWU
— Ammar Moussa (@ammarmufasa) June 13, 2022
U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) in August saying he wants to “fix” “broken” Social Security and Medicare by turning them into “discretionary” spending:
NEW: On the The Regular Joe Show, Sen. Ron. Johnson (R-WI) argues for eliminating entitlements: “Social Security and Medicare, if you qualify, you just get it no matter what the cost… We ought to turn everything into discretionary spending so it’s all evaluated.” pic.twitter.com/bE1KUb6uJ5
— Heartland Signal (@HeartlandSignal) August 2, 2022
U.S. Senator Ted Budd (R-NC), as a candidate, agreed with the “major points’ of Sen. Rick Scott’s 11-point plan which included sunsetting all federal programs, which would include Social Security and Medicare. (Sen. Scott just hours ago “doubled down” on his call to die just that.)
#NCSen GOP candidate @TedBuddNC is aligning himself with NRSC Chair @SenRickScott’s policy roadmap that calls for a tax hike on half of Americans and risks “sunsetting” Social Security, Medicare, and coverage protections for people with pre-existing conditions. pic.twitter.com/CA6pPL8RU2
— American Bridge 21st Century (@American_Bridge) April 19, 2022
U.S. Rep. Mike Waltz (R-NC) just one month ago called for “big reforms,” and said: “if we really want to talk about the debt and spending, it’s the entitlements program.”
Rep. Michael Waltz on the possibility of military spending cuts: “I agree with Jim Jordan that we are going to carve out woke policies out of the military … [but] if we really want to talk about the debt and spending, it’s the entitlements program.” pic.twitter.com/5Nhv5fel0i
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 9, 2023
Many of those who have been trying to gut Social Security belong to the far-right Republican Study Committee.
Last summer NBC News reported: “The Republican Study Committee, a large group of House conservatives, proposed a budget in June that would incrementally raise the retirement age to collect Social Security, based on changing life spans, and lower benefits over the long term by using a new formula.”
Republicans ‘Acting Like Jackasses’ Because Biden Nailed Them on Social Security: Morning Joe
The president urged Congress to protect the broadly popular social programs, saying “some Republicans want Medicare and Social Security to sunset,” which prompted literal howls from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and a handful of GOP lawmakers, but the “Morning Joe” host said Biden’s claim was on the mark.
“If you’re at home an you’re not as much of a nerd as me and you don’t follow all this stuff, let me tell you something, they were booing reality, Republicans,” Scarborough said. “Joe Biden said that one administration raised the debt more than first 220 years of president, we can say to you on the show, that’s a truth, the debt went up 25 percent. When he said Republicans raised the debt ceiling three times during the Trump administration — wait, why are they booing? They did it. They’re booing themselves for doing that.”
“Then, this is the one that gets me, talking about sunsetting Social Security and Medicare every five years, nobody dreamed that up — that was the head of the Republican Senate Campaign Committee,” Scarborough added. “He won’t say his name, I will say his name. Say his name: Rick Scott, the most powerful Republican in the United States Senate for running campaigns. So they’re acting like jackasses because they can’t deal with the truth, can’t deal with the truth, and they make themselves look foolish.”
House speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was seen at several points trying in vain to shush the hecklers in his caucus, and Scarborough said the reward structure in GOP politics gave the noisiest lawmakers outsized influence.
“Here is the problem being a leader of Republicans right now is Marjorie Taylor Greene just gave a gift to Joe Biden, gave a gift to the Democratic Party, gave a gift to every Democrat that is running against Republicans who won in Biden districts,” Scarborough said, “and yet the incentive structure is such that Marjorie Taylor Greene will raise a million dollars by calling the president a liar. So you have all of these extremists that are raising a ton of money while damaging their party and they just don’t care. So if you’re Kevin McCarthy, what do you do?”
Former GOP Congressman Calls for Marjorie Taylor Greene to Be Censured After Calling President Biden a ‘Liar’
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) numerous times heckled President Joe Biden as he delivered the State of the Union Address, including repeatedly calling him a “liar.”
Not in modern history has anyone so clearly disturbed the decorum of the nationally-televised event watched live by 40 million Americans. Not even U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), who infamously also called the President a liar – “You lie!” – during another nationally-televised event, that one by President Barack Obama in September of 2009.
Tuesday night Congresswoman Greene repeatedly yelled, “You lie!” and, “Liar!” at President Biden, who, ironically, was sitting one seat back from his current position the last time it happened.
Here is that moment:
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) yells “you lie, you lie” and “liar” after President Biden says Republicans are proposing to sunset Medicare and Social Security. pic.twitter.com/nhRYn5KC7E
— The Recount (@therecount) February 8, 2023
Greene also heckled President Biden at other times throughout his speech – something she and Rep. Lauren Boebert did one year ago, also during the State of the Union.
Rep. Eric Swalwell tore into GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Twitter after she and Rep. Lauren Boebert heckled President Biden while he was speaking about his late son, Beau. https://t.co/krr2pAUvM0 pic.twitter.com/c2zAvV5VAI
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) March 2, 2022
Republican former U.S. Congressman Adam Kinzinger Tuesday night tweeted, “Did @RepMTG just yell ‘liar’?! Awful. Yet she will not be punished in response.”
He then called for Greene’s censure – and called for her fellow Republicans to do it.
“The GOP should lead the censure of @RepMTG for her behavior,” Kinzinger tweeted.
He wasn’t done.
Posting a screenshot of Greene standing during the State of the Union heckling President Biden, with her thumb pointing down, Kinzinger asked, “My fellow Republicans… you really want this as a role model for your kids? Do you really think the next generation will want to be part of this? I don’t.”
Kinzinger went one step further, reposting a tweet likening Congresswoman Greene to the fictional Disney villain Cruella de Vil – a comparison many on social media had been making during the evening’s event.
“Representative Joe Wilson was formally rebuked by the House on Tuesday for his outburst during President Obama’s health care address,” The New York Times reported, less than a week after what was at the time an unthinkable act. “The vote came after a Congressional clash over civility that showcased the deep partisan divisions in the House.”
Congressman Wilson also apologized for calling President Obama a “liar,” barely hours after his outburst.
“This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the President’s remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill,” he said in a statement. “While I disagree with the President’s statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the President for this lack of civility.”
Congresswoman Greene likely will not apologize, and likely will not face any formal rebuke.
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