There was a snowstorm, six inches, but it has not stopped the long lines of people trying to get in to watch oral arguments at the Supreme Court on gay marriage and specifically the constitutionality of Proposition 8 in California. And guess what? The LA Times is reporting today that a lesbian who is the cousin of the chief justice is going to attend oral arguments. "Jean Podrasky, 48, a lesbian who wants to marry her partner, will be at Tuesday's US Supreme Court hearing on Proposition 8 in seating reserved for family members and guests of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.
"'I am so excited,' said Podrasky, an accountant and the first cousin of the chief justice on his mother's side. 'I feel quite honored and overwhelmed.'" Now, the LA times says, "Roberts is a conservative appointed by President George W. Bush in 2005. Podrasky, who is more liberal, said she rooted for his nomination to be approved by the US Senate. 'He is family,' she said. Podrasky lives in San Francisco and usually sees Roberts only on family occasions. His mother is her godmother, whom she adores.
Thus far, we have learned that Justice Roberts will be hosting his cousin as a guest at a Supreme Court hearing, and she will be allowed to sit in a section reserved for his family and guests. Rush, of course, has a problem with this:
"She said Roberts knows she is gay and introduced her along with other relatives during his Senate confirmation hearing. She hopes he will meet her partner of four years ... during their Washington visit. The couple flew to Washington on Sunday. 'He is a smart man,' she said. 'He is a good man. I believe he sees where the tide is going. I do trust him. I absolutely trust that he will go in a good direction.'" So, you see, folks, the pressure is being brought to bear on these justices any way possible.
Yes, being openly gay near family members is certainly applying some pretty extreme pressure. Everyone knows that's inappropriate; the correct way to apply pressure is to invite a Justice on a private hunting trip right before a significant Supreme Court case you're directly involved in, or donate large sums of money to him and his wife without properly disclosing it to the public or acknowledging his influence on your lobby!
Now the chief justice is faced with, "What do I do if I rule against my cousin? What will they think of me if I don't rule in favor of my family?"
I don't know, maybe the exact same thing they'd think of him if he made that decision NOT in front of your cousin? If her presence in the court materially affects his decisions then he is a horrendously bad Supreme Court Justice.
This is what I mean about the blurring of media citizenry and the stage, the Supreme Court.
Yeah, citizens shouldn't be allowed to make their feelings known. Unlike massive financial contributions, emotional pressure can't be properly documented and is therefore clearly wrong.
(New Castrati impression)
This is actually how Rush described his voice for this bit on his own website. Since you have no reason not to wonder what the hell New Castrati means, Rush himself defines it as: "Men Who Are Bullied By Women And The Power Structure And Liberalism." So, remember: the sentiment he's about to share is something that a only a poor bullied man who has been put upon by women and liberalism would say.
Indeed, Rush. Good conservatives know how ridiculous that is! As an aside, it's actually pretty depressing how close to ridiculous that statement is, when you think about it.
Yes, they can. But what happens at the Supreme Court is not democratic. It's the law. It should be insulated analysis, constitutionality, what have you. It should be insulated from all these other things.
But, of course, it isn't and it has been for a long time.
That's actually not a horrible point, but it's pretty unavoidable unless we move the Supreme Court to Antarctica or something. Also, Justice Thomas has likened the public demonstrations outside the Supreme Court to basketball fans trying to distract a free throw shooter. I tend to think it's more the Justices' job to ignore this stuff than it is the public's responsibility to not show up for decisions that might affect the lives of millions.
There's a comparison here between this, gay marriage, and Roe v. Wade in one sense.
Really? I'd love to hear more, Rush.
Oh. Nothing else to say on that? I assume he's suggesting that these are cases where public demonstrations applied pressure to the Supreme Court and swayed some Justices to go against their better judicial thinking. Two problems: one, the Justices themselves don't seem concerned by this. Two, Roe v. Wade was a 7-2 decision, and if a few demonstrations are enough to sway three justices on any given case, then our judicial system is fucked anyway so why even try.
RUSH: You know, we had stories last week. I'm sure you'll recall. There are studies -- there are actually academic, scholarly studies -- being undertaken and the focus of the stories last week was the money being spent on this research, even though we find ourselves in a sequester.
Saying "we find ourselves in a sequester" is an excellent way to avoid actually mentioning why we find ourselves in a sequester.
What was it, there was $2.5 million dollars spent to study why 75% of lesbians are obese and gay males aren't. Homosexual men aren't; lesbians are obese, 75%. Why? That cost two and a half mill.
Well, it was 1.5 million, not 2.5. And it was over the course of two years. And that amount equates to about .08% of the total money spent on obesity studies last year. And the study is not confined to a certain orientation--in fact, the major finding was that both straight males and gay women have higher rates of obesity than gay males or straight women. As the Atlantic put it, it'd be equally valid to say that the study was about any of the following: "Obama administration spends $1.5 million to figure out why straight men are fat." Or: "Obama administration spends $1.5 million to figure out why gay men have rocking bodies." Or perhaps: "America is overweight (except for gay men?) and scientists are trying to determine why."
There's another survey, or another project, spent, I think, $1.5 million to find out why lesbians are alcoholics.
Something something lazy joke about using alcohol to cope with women
Brief interlude here, as Rush chose to post this photo, which I thought was worth sharing, because it's the first photograph I've ever seen of Scalia's bed.
Aaaaand, we're back!
And, of course, the answers to the first case is they don't have to deal with men, so they don't have to worry about their appearance. They're not trying to please men. So they can be obese. It's no big deal.
Um. The only way you could make yourself look worse here is to actually make the lazy joke about drinking and women that I alluded to earlier.
Alcohol, who knows? They're having to deal with women so they're drunk. Who knows?
Right. Probably should have seen that coming.
The bottom line is that if I were to now ask if any of that research is relevant in the case of the cousin of the chief justice, can you imagine the howls of protest I would get from people who do not know of these two studies that I would be bouncing off?
You'd probably get howls of protest because it's not really okay to ask whether one particular lesbian you know of is an obese drunk. Apparently this is unclear, but federal research on a population does not actually entitle all Americans to know specific things about individuals within that population. I'd be remiss if I didn't also mention that it's weird that someone who used to be a pill junkie is this upset about research into substance abuse.
In other words, the context? So I can't ask whether chief justice's lesbian cousin is any of those things, because people would think I'm being mean.
Because you are.
But I'll tell you what, seriously, on this Roe v. Wade versus this gay marriage business: One of the reasons why abortion so roils our culture is that it hasn't been democratically decided. The Supreme Court, nine people in black robes, just decided one day that abortion is in the Constitution, and that has led to constant acrimony.
I really don't understand how you can be so confused about the purpose of the Supreme Court. They exist in no small part because sometimes, when the majority gets to vote, they vote for things that are better for the majority, so we have the Supreme Court to step in when minority groups are treated unfairly. This whole point about abortion is ridiculous anyway, since Roe v. Wade has been supported by a majority of Americans since the decision occurred. It's pretty funny that Rush doesn't say that the Supreme Court's decision is wrong for any, you know, legal reason--he just says it was bad because people argue about it, because obviously if abortion was illegal no one would be upset at all.
If they do the same thing here... You know, if gay marriage in this country were voted on by the people, fine. Okay. That's it.
I suspect that would not, in fact, be it.
But if nine guys in black robes
Try to remain calm here, but they aren't all guys anymore, Rush. I know, that's probably a bit of a shock. I don't really understand why Rush thinks it's so powerful to keep citing how many Justices there are--you could just as easily dismiss Congress by calling them "just a few hundred guys in suits" if you wanted to.
decide that "marriage" can be defined as two people of the same sex, we're gonna have the same kind of roiling of our culture that abortion has given us.
Right, because under the status quo, no one is acrimonious about gay marriage at all. This is just such a terrible argument, even beyond the fact that it makes no sense--Rush really seems to think that it is wrong for a Justice's family member to show up and sit nearby while they make their decision, because that would apply undue pressure. However, it's totally fine for him to argue that the Supreme Court should pick the side he likes, because otherwise...people might be mad. We can't be having that! Sorry, gay people, you can't get married, because people will be upset and that's just the worst, when people have to be upset.