Shifting Sands - Fun & Games

Friday, June 02, 2006
On Monday the Senate is going to take up the Marriage Amendment, the substantive language of which states:
`SECTION 2. Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.'
The Democrat response is as predictable as sunrise. It will be interesting to watch media coverage of this proposal. The Democrats are primed to run with Haditha = MyLai (with film footage thoughtfully provided by their al Queada or Sunni insurgent allies) and it is very difficult to say which story is going to dominate with regard to public opinion.

New media will be focused on the Marriage Amendment as an example of the Republican Senate keeping a promise. I believe that the House is going to reject the 'amnesty' language in the Senate immigration bill but I also think that a compromise will be proposed that is going to square the circle and allow passage of an immigration bill of some sort prior to the election recess. The Marriage Amendment is going to get immigration off the table for a bit while the House works on the sausage.

The Marriage Amendment passage is going to affect Senate races in PA, OH, MN and MD favorably for Republicans. It's going to be very entertaining to watch Ford dance on this one in TN but I don't rate his chances very highly no matter what he does. There may also be some minor impact on Cantwell's campaign in WA if she votes no. It will help Santorum a bit in PA but Casey is going to wax enthusiastic (truthfully) as well. Casey's problem is that his enthusiasm will not be well received by the Emily's List contingent of the Democrat base. DeWine will be clubbing Sherrod Brown with this right up 'til the election. Brown is a knee jerk lib of the first water and Ohioans are not at all fond of redefining marriage.

A couple of Minneapolis Star-Tribune articles highlight the reason that the Marriage Amendment may impact the Senate race there. The Strib's polling has been notorious both for its sloppiness and for its favoritism towards the Dems. If they can't jigger the numbers to make the Dems appear ascendant then the Dems have a larger problem than the article implies. The probable Dem candidate is Klobuchar, who has solid gold Emily's List credentials. Her probable opponent, Mark Kennedy, will be pressing her on this in the same manner that DeWine will press Brown.

Watch the dearth of stories about this in the presse ancien. It's going to be a hoot.


Knucklehead said...

Democratic National Committee spokesman Damien LaVera on Thursday said marriage was being used as a wedge issue to appease conservative extremists and distract Americans from the Bush administration's failed leadership...

...President Bush and (Senate Majority Leader) Bill Frist are once again pushing a hate-filled constitutional amendment that attacks LGBT Americans,..."
(emphasis added)

So pretty much anything the president does is just an attempt to distract. The Dems have declared his leadership "failed" so he should sit on his hands from here on out.

Whether one agrees or disagrees with the idea of a "Marriage Amendment" it seems a big freakin' stretch to call the rather simple words of the proposed amendment "hate filled" and an "attack on LGBT Americans".

The only motive anyone can have for anything that disagrees with the idiot Dems is "hate" and a desire to "attack" someone. They are so infernally tedious.

Oh, BTW, a Marriage Amendment blitz on the airwaves will drown out Haditha or any other atrocity the seditionists can find or conjur. Heck, it might even drown out immigration "debate".

David Thomson said...

Is the Marriage Amendment a bigoted attack on gays? No, it is not. Gays can do whatever they like in the privacy of their own bedroom. The amendment simply protects the voters from having an imperial judiciary jamming gay marriage down their throats.

“Casey's problem is that his enthusiasm will not be well received by the Emily's List contingent of the Democrat base.”

Will the Emily’s list remain “pragmatic” on election day? Nope, I doubt this very much. Santorum has a decent chance of retaining his seat.

Fresh Air said...

I'm still not sure why Congress hasn't passed the Hostettler Act, which was bottled up by Arlen Specter's Judiciary Committee. It would prevent review of DOMA (signed by Bill Clinton) and thus obviate the need for a federal marriage amendment.

It would be a good solution for two reasons: (1) It would allow the states to do their own thing, while preserving the ability of other states to not recognize gay marriages; and (2) It would serve as a highly visible and instructional way for the Congress to prevent judicial activism.

Still, I think no matter what route is chosen, it's a benefit to Republicans.

Knucklehead said...


Yuppers. The wording of the proposed Marriage Amendment does not prevent any or all state legislatures from passing whatever civil union laws they wish to pass. It doesn't prevent any or all states from abolishing marriage and moving the whole shooting match into "civil unions".

What it does, as you already said, is prevent judges from redefining what marriage has long been understood to be in these United States.

Those who wish to advocate for "marriage" to be abolished in favor of "contracts" are still free to do so. Those who wish to advocate for all the legal benefits of "marriage" available to LGTB Americans are free to do so.

Rick Ballard said...


The huge problem in PA is crooked election officials in Philly and Pittsburg. Rendell is a cheap hustler who will be working very hard to make sure that Philly churns out another 103% turnout.

Knucklehead said...


The reason congress hasn't passed it could be that its still "bottled up" in committee. That's the standard way to prevent stuff from coming to vote, isnt' it?

David Thomson said...

“Rendell is a cheap hustler who will be working very hard to make sure that Philly churns out another 103% turnout.”

But this can’t be true? This is election fraud---and we know that the New York Times, CBS, and the leftist news media outlets find such behavior deplorable.

Rick Ballard said...


An act is subject to review by the Supremes while an Amendment is not. I have no idea if the Amendment will pull 2/3's support in Congress (well, actually I think it will) and getting to 3/4's in the states may be a bit tough but it sure provides a handy political club. A good counter to the My Lai redux move by the seditionists.

And it's not subject to discovery of an emanation from a penumbra by 5 of the Supremes.

terrye said...


I hope you are right. And since you often are, I am keeping my fingers crossed.

I can not really get into the whole marriage debate. But I know people who are very much in favor of banning gay marriage.

As for immigration, I am keeping my fingers crossed for compromise.

Fresh Air said...


Nope. It's possible to insert a "no review" clause in an act forestalling that very possibility.

Article I, Section 8 states: "The Congress shall have power ... to constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court."

This means that all federal courts except the Supreme Court were created by Congress, and what Congress created it can uncreate, abolish, limit, or regulate. This allows Congress to stop the federal courts from review. Doesn't stop the Supremes though, so we go to...

Article III, Section 2: "The Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make."

This means Congress can make exceptions to the types of cases that the Supreme Court can decide.


See this for the underpinnings.

loner said...

They're not sure they'll get fifty votes for the amendment in the Senate and the vote will have negligible impact anywhere and everywhere this Fall.

Pennsylvania is trending Democratic and unless Rendell does something really stupid, which knowing him (easily the saviest politician in the commonwealth) is highly unlikely, he'll keep his job. I'm not going to totally count Santorum out at this point, but he's really going to have to get all the breaks to survive and right now he's not getting many.

Rick Ballard said...


Has the 'no review' bit ever been tested? The argument made by Quirk sounds reasonable and the Article you cite seems appropriate but the fellows who found an emanation in a penumbra don't get high marks on trust from me.

He's right about Amendments though - it takes a great deal of effort to get them passed, and rightfully so. That doesn't change the politics involved and blockage of the proposed amendment will have a cost - whether it's Dems or RINOs.

Fresh Air said...


I don't know if the method has ever been tried. It's certainly worth a go, though, given the vast potential for ending extra-judicial shenanigans in so many areas and restoring the notion of federalism.

You know, there are these things called "states," sometimes they make their own laws...

Rick Ballard said...


My faith in non-interference by the Federal judiciary in state matters has suffered greatly since 1964. A casual study of the abuse of the commerce clause leads away from the concept that states rights can easily be reclaimed.

If the amendment is killed in the Senate perhaps the Hostettler Act can be pried out of judiciary.

CF said...

Rick, there IS a lot of vote fraud in Pennsylvania, but I hear Rendell hates Casey and will not help him.

Rick Ballard said...

Rendell is on the ticket, too. If Swann gets anywhere near him in the polls then I would anticipate that Rendell would call Street for help. Maybe the DoJ will sideline Street prior to the election - or maybe Street will be a bit more cautious in getting out 103% of the vote.

Fraud can be a bigger problem in mid-terms than in Presidential years and it's tough to say now what Street will do.