Patterico's Pontifications

1/31/2006

Sheehan Respectfully Gets Herself Arrested Again (UPDATED: Police Apologize for Arrest)

Filed under: Morons,Sheehan — Patterico @ 7:16 pm

On his radio show tonight, Hugh Hewitt was talking about the fact that a Democrat Congresswoman from Northern California had given a pass to Cindy Sheehan to hear the State of the Union speech. He said that, despite her promises to be respectful, the White House needed to be prepared in case she decided to try to disrupt the speech.

They needn’t have worried. She got herself arrested for unfurling a banner in the gallery. [But see UPDATES below!]

UPDATE: Nope, it was for wearing a T-shirt with an anti-war slogan:

Peace activist Cindy Sheehan was arrested Tuesday in the House gallery after refusing to cover up a T-shirt bearing an anti-war slogan before President Bush’s State of the Union address.

“She was asked to cover it up. She did not,” said Sgt. Kimberly Schneider, U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman, adding that Sheehan was arrested for unlawful conduct, a misdemeanor.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail, Schneider said.

Schneider said shortly after the State of the Union speech that Sheehan was still being held but should be “out sometime tonight.”

An early report from a senior House official indicated that Sheehan was arrested for unfurling an anti-war banner, but that was later found not to be the case. Schneider said she didn’t know what Sheehan’s T-shirt said.

I am looking forward to hearing more about this. Is the law under which she was arrested content-neutral? Are there First Amendment implications here? If the T-shirt said: “Bush rocks!” would she have been arrested?

UPDATE x2: This woman was ejected for wearing a T-shirt that supported the troops. Apparently the enforcement of the law is not content-based. That’s reassuring. (Link via Drudge via commenter Shoes.)

UPDATE x3 2-1-06: Police have dropped the charges against Sheehan and apologized.

161 Responses to “Sheehan Respectfully Gets Herself Arrested Again (UPDATED: Police Apologize for Arrest)”

  1. And the Dems there didn’t protest the arrest? Definitely, this woman should run as a Dem for Senate to set that party straight.

    ras (f9de13)

  2. No banners in the gallery. Somewhere in the US code.

    actus (85218a)

  3. actus, you can help run Cindy’s campaign. Slogan: Oh, the humanity!

    ras (f9de13)

  4. It coulda been worse. Cindy could have pulled a BnB stunt…

    …and blinded the room.

    Darleen (f20213)

  5. Nothing says “accuracy in reporting” like the National Review Online….

    http://www.abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=1563388

    I’m sure Patterico will find that banner just as soon as he finds those Iraqi WMD. And Osama.

    m.croche (8e3bfc)

  6. Why is this woman still in the news? If the media were as pro-democrat as you think they would have stopped covering her by now. She’s a massive embarasshment! :-)

    Adam (1a1d06)

  7. What is it with lefty protesters and banners? I mean, the banner phenomenon is almost as bad as the post Seattle WTO riots papier mache puppet fad.

    Angry Clam (137b42)

  8. Nothing says “accuracy in reporting” like the National Review Online….

    That must be why I was barking up the wrong tree. Its tee shirts that are in the US code. Not banners.

    actus (85218a)

  9. actus

    That’s one of the major problems with the Left. They substitute Law for morals, ethics and simple good manners.

    Just cuz something is LEGAL don’t make it right.

    Lynne Woosley’s district covers Sonoma and Marin (home of Johnny Walker Lindh..what a surprise)

    Darleen (f20213)

  10. m.croche:

    Post is updated. Wolf Blitzer reported it too — the incorrect report traces back to a senior White House official. Save your sarcasm for him.

    Hey . . . I have a great comment thread you should check out, here. Come and be counted! I think I know how you’ll respond . . .

    Patterico (929da9)

  11. I am sure the Secret Service was looking for any excuse to arrest her. Cindy is a hate filled anti-semite who was photgraphed just last week talking to socialist politicians. She has made dozens of unfounded accusations against American politicians of all stripes (do the Deomcrats really believe her rants critical of Sen. Clinton and Feinstein were well founded?). In short, they can’t take a chance on her, and they shouldn’t. If one of those loose wheels comes off when she is near the President, many people could get hurt. Even if she was acting in a completely innocent way, the Secret Service needs to do things from time to time to keep from being too predictable. That is why Marine One spends so much time just taking off and landing around the White House. You can’t let the terrorists know that every time it flies, the President is onboard. Reducing the distraction to the Secret Service is more than enough reason to keep her as far way from the President as possible. When you have groups like the KOS kids, 60% of whom believe that the Presdient is more dangerous that Osama Bin Laden, out walking the streets, you have to wonder how long before one of them get really unhinged. Look at how many assassination attempts have been made on Republican Presidents since Ford. The left contains some very, very dangerous people. Heck, Osama reads and recommends their books.

    tyree (2070c3)

  12. That’s one of the major problems with the Left. They substitute Law for morals, ethics and simple good manners. Just cuz something is LEGAL don’t make it right.

    And just cuz something is wrong don’t make it something you get arrested for. But there’s no need to turn this little lesson into something that is wrong with, and emblematic of, the right.

    actus (85218a)

  13. actus

    It’s a misdemeanor to demonstrate within the capital.

    Think “campaigning within 100 ft of the polling place”

    She flaunted the law and good manners.

    Hey, but lack of character and morals is emblematic of Mommy Sheehan and her fellow travelers.

    Darleen (f20213)

  14. hey actus,

    Can I pee on your birthday cake? I mean, it’s a political statement (which makes it noble), and since it’s just a misdemeanor ….

    No? Fascist!

    ras (f9de13)

  15. The Congress has strict rules that the public must follow at all times in the visitor’s galleries. They have these rules to preserve the decorum of the floor and prevent outsiders from disrupting business. Talking is not permitted, and this includes banners and other printed statements (like a T-shirt). You are not even allowed to take notes or write anything down. These rules are prominently posted and vigorously enforced all the time. Sheehan is a dolt.

    Bill Schumm (33ab73)

  16. I think Bill has it right – this is a long standing rule; I remember all the warnings we got as kids in the early 70’s when we took our field trip to the Capitol – they read us the riot act before letting us into the gallery.

    Funny, the only other thing I actually remember about the floor of Congress is that the place looked pretty beat up. There’s a difference between “antique desk” and “beat-to-death-junk”…

    Michael Heinz (de4335)

  17. No lawyer, moi, but I think this is the right citation:

    +++++++++++++
    TITLE 40 – PUBLIC BUILDINGS, PROPERTY, AND WORKS
    SUBTITLE II – PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND WORKS
    PART B – UNITED STATES CAPITOL
    CHAPTER 51 – UNITED STATES CAPITOL BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS

    Sec. 5104. Unlawful activities

    (2) Violent entry and disorderly conduct. – An individual or group of individuals may not willfully and knowingly –

    (C) with the intent to disrupt the orderly conduct of official business, enter or remain in a room in any of the Capitol Buildings set aside or designated for the use of either House of Congress or a Member, committee, officer, or employee of Congress or either House of Congress;

    (D) utter loud, threatening, or abusive language, or engage in disorderly or disruptive conduct, at any place in the Grounds or in any of the Capitol Buildings with the intent to impede, disrupt, or disturb the orderly conduct of a session of Congress or either House of Congress, or the orderly conduct in that building of a hearing before, or any deliberations of, a committee of Congress or either House of Congress;

    (G) parade, demonstrate, or picket in any of the Capitol Buildings.
    +++++++++++

    Source url:

    http://uscode.house.gov/download/pls/40C51.txt

    Note also, that displays are covered in some more detail with this language later:

    ++++++++++
    (2) display in the Grounds a flag, banner, or device designed or adapted to bring into public notice a party, organization, or movement.
    ++++++++++

    Seems pretty clear cut to me. In any case, I think I’ve got the USC url right for any who are better versed than I in looking at such.

    jim (6482d8)

  18. Patterico, I would guess that even a “Bush Rocks” t-shirt would have brought a warning. Once you start selectively enforcing a law such as the one that prohibits demonstrations in the gallery, then it does become content-based enforcement and therefore a violation of the First Amendment. But of course, we all know that the display by Mama Moonbat is a sort of juvenile behavior that is found on the left of the political spectrum, not the right (not all of the left of course). Anyway, for the sake of preserving the law from a constitutional challenge, Mama Moonbat’s arrest was inevitable. If partisan politics were the only concern, she wouldn’t have been arrested at all, but rather would have been allowed to continue to embarrass herself and her left-fringe Democrat and Workers’ Party sponsors. Even though the arrest was necessary, I still would have wanted to the President to have stopped his speech for a rather extended period of time and called attention to Mama Moonbat, merely by looking up into the gallery — perhaps someone could have instructed the police and the security detail to pause for a few moments. The only thing required to ensure the left’s demise is to give them all the rope they request.

    TNugent (6128b4)

  19. Drudge links to a Republican congressman’s wife being asked to leave the gallery for wearing a t-shirt with a slogan in support of the troops. The congressman is outraged. Outraged.
    But I think the question is answered. No matter who, no matter what it says, you just can’t do that.

    shoes (b905c2)

  20. I’m wondering when the ‘A’CLU will weigh in on the t-shirt issue

    They have lots of experience in forcing high schools to abandon dress codes and, heaven knows, that sometimes Congress acts like a bunch of adolescents.

    Darleen (f20213)

  21. Did anyone else notice that in the Democrats’ response to the STOTU Address, Gov. Kaine said something like the following (I am quoting from memory, since the DNC has not seen fit to post the response on its website, even though they have Howard Dean’s reaction prominently placed): “All Americans want us to be successful in Iraq.” Governor, meet Cindy Sheehan, Michael Moore, Noam Chomksy, Ward Churchill, Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, need I go on?

    JVW (2eeb6e)

  22. Can I pee on your birthday cake? I mean, it’s a political statement (which makes it noble), and since it’s just a misdemeanor …

    You know, I wear tee shirts every day. But not piss. Your parties sound really weird.

    Interesting:

    display in the Grounds a flag, banner, or device designed or adapted to bring into public notice a party, organization, or movement.”

    Must be why nobody wears american flag pins, or those lance armstrong bracelets.

    actus (85218a)

  23. About Cindy’s arrest and the law she broke (UPDATED)

    The liberal blogs are abuzz this morning, screaming as loud as their keyboards will let them over the fact that – according to them – Cindy Sheehan was arrested last night for merely “dissenting.” First, a recap of the arrest from the A…

    Sister Toldjah (3e6668)

  24. One wonders how Cindy got into the chamber with that shirt. Gotta believe the Secret Service gave her special attention. Why didn’t they refuse to admit her with the t-shirt on?

    But then I’m just glad she wasn’t wearing a bomb, unless they could have exploded her harmlessly outisde.

    Kevin Murphy (6a7945)

  25. Actus,

    I had no idea that American flags were associated with a particular party. Which one?

    285exp (47ad59)

  26. Kevin – the SF Chronicle article on the subject claims that she wore a sweatshirt over it, then took the sweatshirt off.

    aphrael (6b0647)

  27. I had no idea that American flags were associated with a particular party. Which one?

    You can’t think of a ‘movement’ it represents?

    UPDATE x2: This woman was ejected for wearing a T-shirt that supported the troops. Apparently the enforcement of the law is not content-based.

    Ejected or arrested?

    actus (ebc508)

  28. Shoes – the SF Chronicle talks about how Congresswoman Woolsey, who gave Sheehan the gallery pass in the first place, is upset by the arrest.

    Is it possible that the members of the House don’t even know what the gallery rules are? Shouldn’t they be ashamed to admit it?

    aphrael (6b0647)

  29. Is it possible that the members of the House don’t even know what the gallery rules are? Shouldn’t they be ashamed to admit it?

    Why would they know what the gallery rules are? They don’t go there. The republican whose wife got ejected said it was unacceptable. Maybe they’ll change the law to allow t-shirts and purple fingers in the gallery.

    actus (ebc508)

  30. Actus – because the gallery rules are created by the House and Senate, respectively.

    aphrael (6b0647)

  31. I certainly hope the rule isn’t abolished. If it were abolished, some politician would get the bright idea to stack the gallery with people wearing shirts supporting whatever bill, etc, they were currently talking about, so that when the cameras pan the gallery, the shirts would show up. The gallery would become nothing more than a staging ground for political theatre.

    aphrael (6b0647)

  32. Actus – because the gallery rules are created by the House and Senate, respectively.

    The entire US code is created by teh house and senate. You think they read even the laws they pass?

    The gallery would become nothing more than a staging ground for political theatre.

    What an awful thing to happen to Congress.

    actus (ebc508)

  33. Actus,

    You can’t think of a ‘movement’ it represents?

    Enlighten me. I thought it represented pride in and support for your country. If you read something else into it, I think it says more about you than the person wearing it.

    285exp (47ad59)

  34. Enlighten me. I thought it represented pride in and support for your country. If you read something else into it, I think it says more about you than the person wearing it.

    Doesn’t it represent a movement for freedom throughout the world? Does a statement of ‘support our troops’ reflect a ‘movement’? About as much as a flag does.

    actus (ebc508)

  35. Actus – no, I don’t expect every Congressman to be familiar with the entire US Code (although it would be nice, it’s not a reasonable expectation). However, the rules governing the gallery are part of the rules of the House; surely the members should be familiar with their own House rules.

    I would prefer for the gallery to be a place for citizens to go and watch the proceedings, not to be a part of the proceedings themselves. That would no longer be true if the gallery were turned into a place for political theatre orchestrated by the Congressmen themselves.

    aphrael (6b0647)

  36. Cindy Sheehan’s weighty problem

    Cindy Sheehan’s statement to all of her “friends” after she was arrested in the gallery before President Bush’s State of the Union speech last night. The security guard who hauled her out of the gallery was Mike Weight.

    Mark in Mexico (59ce3a)

  37. That would no longer be true if the gallery were turned into a place for political theatre orchestrated by the Congressmen themselves.

    then lets ban orchestration.

    actus (ebc508)

  38. There, there, actus. There’s just no “there,” there, no matter how much you wish it were so.

    ras (f9de13)

  39. Boil it down to one factor. She was a guest and she was rude. Enough in and of itself to get asked to leave. That the rudeness also broke long-standing rules led to her arrest.

    Gaius Arbo (7d3894)

  40. The 33rd word is “peaceably.”
    There is no right to disrupt or to forcibly compel someone to listen to you or read your sign.
    Cindy already has had more opportunities to get her message across than most of us will have in our lifetime.

    Walter E. Wallis (8a1177)

  41. aphrael,

    As they say, from their actions shall ye know them.

    I compare your contributions and actus’ in the last several threads, and suffice to say, I hope to exchange more with you in this forum.

    Lurking Observer (ea88e8)

  42. Actus – that seems to me to be politically impractical.

    What we have now is a clear bright-line rule that can be enforced by the capitol police against people in the gallery.

    What you are proposing would be a fuzzy rule (what precisely constitutes orchestration) that would have to be enforced by the House against members of the House.

    The stunning success the House has had enforcing its own ethics rules does not give me much faith in the House’s ability to enforce a no-orchestration rule.

    aphrael (3bacf3)

  43. What we have now is a clear bright-line rule that can be enforced by the capitol police against people in the gallery

    It doesn’t seem so bright line to me. Can I have purple finger? A military uniform? A cops badge? A cop’s badge with the number covered in black for a fallen hero? A cross on a necklace?

    actus (ebc508)

  44. actus–maybe you just can’t wear a t-shirt with a slogan. It’s not so hard really.
    aphrael–a house member ashamed? pa-leeze

    shoes (b905c2)

  45. actus–maybe you just can’t wear a t-shirt with a slogan. It’s not so hard really.

    Can someone clap? What if its not an applause line, but the minority side is clapping?

    actus (ebc508)

  46. actus,

    Once upon a time, you actually used to make interesting arguments, often backed by serious analysis, links, etc.

    Is it the Alito thing, the Sheehan thing, or the prospect of Bush not being impeached before January 21, 2009 that has apparently driven you into such a tizzy?

    Your “arguments” and stance do you no credit.

    Lurking Observer (ea88e8)

  47. Gawd won’t she just go away?!?!

    Geek, Esq. (5dd2be)

  48. Doesn’t it represent a movement for freedom throughout the world?

    I think it represents the United States. Whether you believe the United States represents a movement for freedom throughout the world or the Great Satan depends on your prejudices.

    Does a statement of ’support our troops’ reflect a ‘movement’?

    Yes.

    About as much as a flag does.

    You know, sometimes it’s just best to acknowledge that you chose a poor example and move on.

    285exp (47ad59)

  49. Is it the Alito thing, the Sheehan thing, or the prospect of Bush not being impeached before January 21, 2009 that has apparently driven you into such a tizzy?

    The thing that angers me the most in the right wing agenda are the bigoted ‘marriage amendments’ that they’re trying to put into place around where I live.

    actus (ebc508)

  50. No Sheehan won’t go away, any more than actus can bring himself to get off the dime.

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  51. Geek, blame Lynne Woosley (Moonbat-CA) in particular and the Dems in general, unless you think Cindy’s really a Rovian plant. Apparently, the Dems are willing to have one of their members do the Republicans the very large favor of keeping Mother Moonbat in the spotlight.

    TNugent (6128b4)

  52. No Sheehan won’t go away, any more than actus can bring himself to get off the dime.

    Dime?

    actus (ebc508)

  53. Lurking Observer – thank you for that compliment. :)

    At the risk of being disagreeable, however, I must point out that what you have seen are my words and not my actions; and if actions are the standard by which you wish to judge me, I must ask that you refrain from judgement at this time. :)

    aphrael (6b0647)

  54. Actus – (in re #44) yes, yes, yes, probably not, yes. Applause was specifically forbidden the last time I was in the gallery, although I imagine that there are circumstances in which that isn’t enforced.

    aphrael (6b0647)

  55. OK, actus, a penny for your thoughts, you don’t like bans on homosexual “marriage.” Got that, now, dimes to donuts, you got more. What else in the GOP agenda seems to rub you the wrong way?

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  56. aphrael:

    Well, in a forum such as this, the tenor, tone, and logic of one’s arguments might constitute actions (I could be pedantic and say that it’s the typing, but I won’t! :-) ).

    Suffice to say, however, that, while I suspect I don’t necessarily agree w/ many of your positions, that you are civil, courteous, research your points, and generally adhere to the topic at hand. I don’t think one can ask for better in a forum such as this, and, for myself, I very much appreciate it.

    Frankly, I suspect that your side of the aisle would make life harder for the more conservative side of the aisle if more followed your path.

    Lurking Observer (ea88e8)

  57. Aside from the fact that it’s an absolute nuisance to live next door to the house with 15 people living there.

    Bans on marriage aren’t so bad. Its more of the frustration and destruction of all sorts of relationships and families, gay or straight, that don’t conform to the definition of marriage. In the proposed federal DOMA, its the second sentence that ticks me off, not the first. That sort of bigotry makes me mad.

    The next thing that ticks me off about the republican agenda is the poor policy-making. Like Medicare. Its expensive, and crappy, and ignores good policy on how to deliver government services. I suspect its got to do with republican views that government is incompetent. So therefore when government fails, they see their philosophy as being proven right. Meanwhile we all lose by having this Medicare mess. We all except the PhARMA and insurance lobby, and the republicans that get to strenghten their philosophy by pointing to a failed government program.

    Tied to that is the fiscal mess. He’s not a tax cutter. Just a tax delayer. When I cut taxes and increase spending, I’m not really cutting taxes. Just delaying when they get paid. Its bad policy, irresponsible, and really just plain old shameless electioneering.

    actus (ebc508)

  58. Black Jack,

    Alito was confirmed. I’ve noticed a lot more general lashing-out by Dems in general as a result. Actus is just part of that trend; he so desperately wants to get even with a good j’accuse that he’s grasping at pretty much anything.

    Man, did that confirmation do a number on Dems/Libs. Not so much that they lost – everyone wins & loses – but cuz it made it clear that they are powerless and really will have to win elections to change that.

    Obvious intellectual points, perhaps, but emotionally heart-wrenching to those who had so fervently wanted to believe otherwise, and almost did.

    ras (f9de13)

  59. Ras, George Bush already peed on Actus’ birthday cake, on November 2, 2004. :)

    Dana (3e4784)

  60. Ras – I don’t agree that the Democrats are entirely powerless. The Democrats in the Senate are numerous enough to be able to do things if their arguments are good enough to persuade a few Republicans. They have the technical capability to put together a cross-party coalition behind their ideas.

    The problem with the Alito nomination is that they utterly failed to put together a convincing argument.

    aphrael (6b0647)

  61. Actus – for a long time there have been those on the small-government right who allege that government social programs, and in particular things like earmarking, are de facto bribes to voters to vote for the politician supporting them. This is a respectable argument.

    I think the same argument could be made on the other side, that the Bush-era tax cuts are de facto bribes to voters. I have been surprised to see so little rhetoric making this point.

    While I see some validity in both of these arguments, I also see a problem with them: any government action can be interpreted as a bribe to buy votes. But it does not follow from that that all government actions are bad. Or even that everything which can be intrepreted as a bribe for votes is intended as a bribe for votes.

    So the question I have is this: how can one distinguish between policy proposals which are actual attempts to bribe voters, and policy proposals which appear to be attempts to bribe voters but are in fact meant earnestly?

    aphrael (6b0647)

  62. aphrael,

    Well said. Yes, I agree completely.

    My point was addressed more re the Dem rank-and-file tho, esp the Harder Left, and I think they do feel powerless. Their elected critters can’t seem to fashion the kinds of args you describe, nor will those same critters do the rank-and-file’s bidding (e.g. by fb’ing) either.

    ras (f9de13)

  63. I’m still trying to figure out why the wife of a congressman wouldn’t understand that wearing a t-shirt to a function like that is just plain déclassé. No one really expects class from the lovely Mrs Sheehan, and Congresswench Woolsey should have known that Mrs Sheehan would act like, well, herself.

    We have freedom of speech in this country, but freedom of speech does not require that the government provide you a place to speak where you will get the most attention. Nor is it required that the House of Representatives must open its chambers to someone who would probably have been shouting vile crap during the President’s speech; that was what I had expected from Mrs Sheehan.

    Dana (3e4784)

  64. aphrael:

    Yes, the Dems can win on some issues by doing that. As you note, this requires persuasion.

    But Teddy Kennedy’s antics on the floor of the Senate was not the means of doing so.

    Hauling out Alito’s membership in a college group when he was an undergraduate was not the way of doing so.

    Failing to highlight anything in over a decade of sitting on the bench was not the way of doing so.

    Worst of all, believing that their arguments were so transparent, so self-evident that only fools and knaves could fail to agree with them was not the way of doing so.

    And it is this last aspect, the breathtaking arrogance wherein those who disagree are summarily dismissed as somehow oblivious, callous, or stupid is exactly the kind of tack that is regularly undertaken, it seems, by more and more of the top Dem leadership.

    And we’re seeing it again. Take the topic of this thread: Cindy Sheehan’s arrest. The number of liberal commentors at various blogs who have already concluded that this is a sign of jack-booted thuggery is startling. As though, with any other President, protests were countenanced during the SOTU.

    Does the Left think that those who are undecided, given the existence of laws long on the books prohibiting such behavior, are going to cotton to their claims of impending fascism?!?

    If the key is persuasion, both in Congress and among the public writ large, the Dems appear to be giving up that fight, in favor of simply rallying their own on ever more lurid claims.

    Lurking Observer (ea88e8)

  65. At some pt, maybe we should all just concede that the Dems are a sinking ship and they know it and that the current antics are just partying in the bunker.

    ras (f9de13)

  66. So the question I have is this: how can one distinguish between policy proposals which are actual attempts to bribe voters, and policy proposals which appear to be attempts to bribe voters but are in fact meant earnestly?

    Ooo, ooo, actus, let me answer this one!

    Silly person, Democrats are always doing it for our own good, while Republicans are fascist racist crooks.

    285exp (47ad59)

  67. Compare and contrast (UPDATED)

    From the SF Chronicle:Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan of Vacaville, given a ticket by Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma, to attend President Bush's State of the Union address Tuesday evening, was arrested by Capitol police in the front row of …

    protein wisdom (c0db44)

  68. Well, let’s assume for a moment actus’ contention that anyone that even harbors the thought that maybe redefining ‘marriage’ out from the one man/one woman parameter is a “bigot” is true

    Bigots are disallowed to participate in democracy?

    Wow. No wonder the Left has hissy fits over non-Leftists on SCOTUS — SCOTUS isn’t a judicial branch for them…just an institution, unanswerable to the great unwashed, to dictate what is Correct and Proper thought in all manners — without the Left ever EVER having to do the ground work of convincing their fellow citizens on the actual merits of their case.

    SCOTUS as Leftist Mullahs is their goal.

    Darleen (f20213)

  69. Ras – I sincerely hope that is not true; one-party states tend towards severe corruption and the suppression of political debate. I would very much not like to see that happen in this country.

    aphrael (6b0647)

  70. Aphrael wrote:

    The problem with the Alito nomination is that they utterly failed to put together a convincing argument.

    And what would that convincing argument be? Justice Alito was extremely well qualified, with more prior judicial experience than most prior nominees.

    Well, the problem is that we know what the argument would be: Justice Alito isn’t expected to produce liberal legislation out of whole cloth from the bench. He apparently has some very strange ideas, such as the laws are supposed to be passed by legislatures.

    Our legislatures, that is, not ones in Denmark or France.

    Dana (3e4784)

  71. Darleen — there’s actually a conservative argument with a long pedigree that says, in politer language, that the judicial branch is supposed to be an institution unanswerable to the great unwashed masses. The idea is that a court which is directly answerable to public opinion would be less likely to interpret law faithfully and more likely to interpret law based upon whatever the current political policy preferences were.

    To some extent this argument relies on the notion that the “great unwashed masses” would vote for or against judges based upon whether or not they liked the judges decisions as a matter of policy, not whether or not they agreed with the judges’ interpretation of law – and to some extent that is inevitable unless the majority of voters are well versed in the law, which (due to rational ignorance if nothing else) is not likely to be the case.

    I find it ironic, and somewhat troubling, that many conservatives appear in recent years to have taken to denouncing liberals for embracing this relatively conservative notion, and (worse yet) that some conservatives appear in recent years to have taken up the banner of making the courts more responsible to political currents. That road leads to making the Supreme Court a third branch of the legislature.

    aphrael (6b0647)

  72. aphrael

    So the question I have is this: how can one distinguish between policy proposals which are actual attempts to bribe voters, and policy proposals which appear to be attempts to bribe voters but are in fact meant earnestly?

    By whether they’re good policy or not. By whether we are paying the price of the bribe. With tax cuts we’re not. With tax cuts with spending cuts we are. Generally, of course. Different people could benefit from tax cuts as are hurt by spending cuts, but you see a political price being paid at least.

    Darleen

    Bigots are disallowed to participate in democracy?

    Who said that? Also its not the people who want to define marriage that are bigots, but the ones that want to destroy and frustrate non-marriage relationships — gay or straight.

    actus (ebc508)

  73. Dana – I think it is possible that a compelling argument could have been made along the lines of “Judge Alito’s position on the inherent powers of the presidency, and whether or not the Executive is allowed to disregard explicit Congressional intent, are threatening to the balance of powers established by the Constitution.” Doing so would have required more careful use of the hearings to tease out what Alito’s position on such issues is. If they’d devoted half of the time they devoted to abortion and to the Concerned Alumni of Princeton to asking detailed questions about the President’s inherent powers during time of war, including – say – explicitly asking Judge Alito what he thought was meant by the decisions in ex parte Milligan and Youngstown Sheet & Tube v. Sawyer (and whether or not he agreed with the analysis), then they might have been able to build such a case credibly.

    I must admit, though, that i’m not the best person to ask this. I listened to as much of the confirmation hearing as I could, and while Judge Alito failed to impress me the way Judge Roberts did, neither could I find a compelling reason to vote against him; the worst that I could say was that I was concerned with some of his responses (as opposed to being, say, horrified by them), and were I a Senator I would probably have abstained.

    aphrael (6b0647)

  74. Actus – I would submit that using “whether they’re good policy or not” to distinguish between “actual attempts to bribe voters” and “proposals which appear to be attempts to bribe voters but are in fact meant earnestly” is a terrible idea: whether or not something is good policy is a matter for debate, and using that as your dividing rubric is a recipe for eternally suspecting that the other party is corrupt.

    There must be a better way than that.

    aphrael (6b0647)

  75. actus

    the ones that want to destroy and frustrate non-marriage relationships

    HUH?

    Darleen (f20213)

  76. aphrael

    Since the judiciary does NOT have to stand for election, it is constrained from stepping into the legislature’s role. When the Left looks to SCOTUS as a Super Legislature, without the inconvenience of being answerable.

    If you want SCOTUS making law and inventing “rights”, have them stand for election.

    Darleen (f20213)

  77. aphrael

    whether or not something is good policy is a matter for debate, and using that as your dividing rubric is a recipe for eternally suspecting that the other party is corrupt.

    Sure its up for debate. And so is whether something is a bribe or is earnest.

    Darleen:

    the ones that want to destroy and frustrate non-marriage relationships

    Read the defense of marriage amendment. It has two sentences. The first sentence defines marriage. The second sentence destroys and frustrates non-marriage relationships. I said that in my post.

    actus (ebc508)

  78. Actus: perhaps I failed in making my point. I’m saying that if you use “is this a good policy” as a test for “is this meant in earnest”, you can easily find yourself in the position of believing that anyone who disagrees with you on policy is being disingenuous.

    I suspect that it is much more productive to assume that someone means their policy proposals earnestly, absent some reason to doubt that; certainly it is easier to locate the hallowed ground of compromise that way.

    aphrael (6b0647)

  79. I’m saying that if you use “is this a good policy” as a test for “is this meant in earnest”, you can easily find yourself in the position of believing that anyone who disagrees with you on policy is being disingenuous.

    Take the medicare example. Good policy or not? I think only Insurance and PhARMA think its good policy. I think we have enough to discuss whether something is good policy — or even good at what its trying to do — without havign to agree on whether that should be done.

    actus (ebc508)

  80. Lurking Observer – I’m particularly baffled by the rhetoric which claims that the President, or the administration, are responsible.

    These people were removed by the Capitol Police for violation of House rules. What does the President have to do with it?

    I mean, it would be one thing if angry activists wanted to denounce Denny Hastert or David Dreier, who are the two people most responsible for the content of the House rules; or, alternately if they wanted to denounce whoever the Speaker and Rules Committee chair were when the rules were adopted; or if they wanted to denounce the Capitol Police for being overzealous in their interpretation of the House rules. You could at least construct a coherent, rational argument for any such denunciation.

    But the administration? the President? How are they responsible?

    aphrael (6b0647)

  81. As the priceless Glenn Greenwald points out, there is a court precedent (Bynum v. U.S. Capitol Police Bd. (Dist. D.C. 1997)) establishing that mere t-shirts, buttons and other such paraphernalia do not make a demonstration for the purposes of this law. What Cindy Sheehan did was not in violation of any law.

    http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/2006/02/learning-from-dear-leader.html

    Njorl (ede043)

  82. aphrael:

    I’m afraid I have no good answer for you. Perhaps asinistra or someone like that can answer it.

    I would suggest that it is further evidence that there really is such a thing as Bush Derangement Syndrome, which is somewhat impervious to logic, the law as written, or past precedent.

    And whereas there are some who refer to Democratic Underground (which is quite hard-over to the Left), I’d venture that other places are at least as disturbing, simply b/c they’re ostensibly less partisan, and are certainly more listened-to.

    See, for example, Glenn Greenwald, who is often referred to regarding a liberal view of laws.

    Says Greenwald:

    This is nothing more than a naked attempt to stifle dissent and to create a criticism-free bubble around George Bush. Presidents routinely use all sorts of propagandistic imagery at the State of the Union to decorate their speeches with an aura of regal patriotism.

    He goes on from there….

    Here’s kos himself, rated one of the most influential bloggers of either political stripe:

    This is no longer a partisan affair. Bush will restrict the free speech rights of anyone that might upstage his carefully constructed propaganda efforts.

    Here’s one from a journalist’s blog. In this case, it’s Samuel Alito’s fault:

    Did you know that in 1971, the Supreme Court said it was unconstitutional to arrest a man who wore a “F— the Draft” T-shirt into the courthouse? (Cohen v. California, you can look it up.) So now Alito’s on the court for 45 minutes and your civil liberties are already going down the toilet. You were warned.

    As I said, I’m at a loss on how this thought process works.

    Lurking Observer (ea88e8)

  83. Njorl – The opinion in that case appears to say:

    (a) the Capitol is not a public forum (see pages 6-9), and the law is reasonable and viewpoint neutral.
    (b) the Capitol Police Board regulation implementing the law is viewpoint neutral but not reasonable and is unconstitutionally overbroad.
    (c) the CPB regulation goes beyond what Congress intended and allows the Police to block activity that is not proscribed.
    (d) the CPB regulation in question was unconstitutionally vague in that it allowed Police too much discretionary power to determine what was or was not “expressive conduct”.

    The accompanying order prohibits the Capitol Police from:
    “enforcing any restrictions on First Amendment conduct within the United States Capitol on the basis that such conduct is ‘expressive conduct that conveys a message supporting or opposing a point of view or has the …propensity to attract a crowd of onlookers'”.

    It seems to me that the Capitol Police could very well enforce a restriction on First Amendment conduct within the Gallery on the grounds that it is “expressive conduct which would disrupt the orderly operation of the House of Representatives” and not be in violation of the court order.

    Perhaps someone who is actually a lawyer could chime in on this; i’ve done what I can to analyze the opinion with the tools I have.

    aphrael (6b0647)

  84. I’d note, in addition, that the 1997 decision did not interfere with the 1999 removal of a right-wing protestor who wore a T-shirt (w/ an obscenity on it) to a Bill Clinton SOTU.

    Suggesting that it has been standing policy, under both Republican and Democratic presidents, to not allow T-shirts bearing at least written messages.

    Exactly how Mr. Greenwald nonetheless concludes from this incident:

    But we apparently now have a country where the only ideas allowed to be expressed in our Nation’s Capitol while the President is speaking are ones which glorify the Government and its Leader and where dissenting views are prohibited and will subject someone to arrest. Message cleansing of that sort belongs at a political rally in North Korea, not in Washington, DC.

    must be part of that great mystery that is life.

    One must wonder, however, whether Mr. Greenwald is still in his home, or perhaps now resides in a North Korean-style gulag, perhaps with wires piercing his nose and ears to allow guards greater facility to lead him around?

    Lurking Observer (ea88e8)

  85. Lurking Observer – there have been a sizable number of reports, whose veracity I have not independantly confirmed, of people being removed from Bush campaign rallies and/or non-campaign speeches for wearing t-shirts with political messages. The use of First Amendment Zones to redirect protestors to specific places which are usually (a) away from the cameras and (b) away from where the President will actually be is widely derided on the left.

    I think that much of Greenwald’s emotional energy on the subject comes from these two things. I can understand that; I think removing people with unoffensive political t-shirts from the audience for speeches is a bad idea, and I disliked the “First Amendment Zone” concept as much when Clinton did it as I do now.

    But that doesn’t justify conflating action by the President and his staff with action by the Capitol Police.

    aphrael (6b0647)

  86. aphrael,

    The q w/the Dems is whether the Moonbats drive out the Moderates, or vice-versa, cuz it’s clear they can;t share the same roof much longer. I’m betting on the Moonbats winning, myself.

    But either way, I think eventually a 3rd party will form, the Moonbat’s party will fade, and you’ll get back to having a true 2-party choice. And I certainly agree that that’s a good thing.

    ras (f9de13)

  87. Jeeze.

    If it were anyone other than Cindy Sheehan, I’d have to wonder how many of her “obligatory” supporters would be complaining about this house rule. As was said elsewhere, how would you expect the pro-Cindy crowd to respond to a sufferer of Clinton Derangement Syndrome sporting a shirt about getting “serviced” or Mena Arkansas.

    Heck, I couldn’t even lean on the front wooden rail to help get me to my seat in the gallery once, they had BETTER have booted her out for doing something far worse.

    Bill (39d8fb)

  88. Michelle Malking: Radical rightwinger and freedom hating nutjob.

    If there are House rules governing such ticket privileges for members of Congress, they ought to be enforced and Rep. Woolsey’s privileges should be revoked.

    Don’t believe me. Believe the Capitol Police.

    Police Apologize, Drop Charge Vs. Sheehan

    WASHINGTON – Capitol Police dropped a charge of unlawful conduct against anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan on Wednesday and apologized for ejecting her and a congressman’s wife from President Bush’s State of the Union address for wearing T-shirts with war messages.

    “The officers made a good faith, but mistaken effort to enforce an old unwritten interpretation of the prohibitions about demonstrating in the Capitol,” Capitol Police Chief Terrance Gainer said in a statement late Wednesday.

    “The policy and procedures were too vague,” he added. “The failure to adequately prepare the officers is mine.”

    The extraordinary statement came a day after police removed Sheehan and Beverly Young, wife of Rep. C.W. “Bill” Young, R-Fla., from the visitors gallery Tuesday night. Sheehan was taken away in handcuffs before Bush’s arrival at the Capitol and charged with a misdemeanor, while Young left the gallery and therefore was not arrested, Gainer said.

    “Neither guest should have been confronted about the expressive T-shirts,” Gainer’s statement said.

    I didn’t buy the Bush-as-Big-Brother hyperventilating. But I do buy the notion that Michelle Malkin hates freedom.

    Geek, Esq. (5dd2be)

  89. Geek, esq: thank you! I was unaware that the no-politicking-in-the-gallery rule was an old unwritten interpretation of the rule.

    It is nice to see the Capitol Police admit to error like this.

    aphrael (e7c761)

  90. I think the police should keep cards with just that apology on them and use them at every SOTU when they arrest those who won’t behave. It’s very well written.

    Poor Cindy. A congressman’s wife gets arrested at the same time for expressing an opposite sentiment to hers (thereby defusing any args about partisanship being behind the arrests) and now this lovely apology to defuse the rest.

    ras (f9de13)

  91. Actus wrote (#77):

    Read the defense of marriage amendment. It has two sentences. The first sentence defines marriage. The second sentence destroys and frustrates non-marriage relationships. I said that in my post.

    The Federal Marriage Amendment, as proposed (but never passed):

    Marriage in the United States of America shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman.

    Neither this constitution or the constitution of any state, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.

    Unfortunately, Actus, what you wrote (“The second sentence destroys and frustrates non-marriage relationships.”) is not what the Federal Marriage Amendment does. It states that neither the federal nor state constitutions may be used by the courts to confer marital rights upon same-sex couples or threesomes or moresomes. That does not mean that a state legislature cannot create some sort of civil unions law within its jurisdiction.

    Nor does it somehow “destroy non-marriage relationships.” The proposed amendment does not require that anyone dissolve a relationship, or prevent people from living together or anything of the sort; it simply states that such things are not legal marriages in the United States, and that the courts have no power to (mis)interpret the federal or state constitutions in such a way to call such relationships marriages.

    Dana (71415b)

  92. For the record, I think Cindy Sheehan is about the most annoying person on the planet, and a liability to the cause.

    However, the wingnuts who were calling for the Representative whose guest she was to be punished should make those who value liberty a little leery of getting in bed with the rightwing.

    Geek, Esq. (5dd2be)

  93. Dana – unfortunately it says more than that; it also says that a state law wihch explicitly authorizes that “legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples” may not be construed to do so.

    Out the window with the domestic partnership law in California, which was enacted by the legislature.

    aphrael (e7c761)

  94. It states that neither the federal nor state constitutions may be used by the courts to confer marital rights upon same-sex couples or threesomes or moresomes. That does not mean that a state legislature cannot create some sort of civil unions law within its jurisdiction.

    It says that state or federal law may not be used to give any marriage-like right. That means not just civil unions. That means domestic violence laws. That means contracts for marriage-like rights. That means partnership benefits.

    Nor does it somehow “destroy non-marriage relationships.”

    It does this by making any part of those relationship that relies on any law to give any ‘legal incident of marriage’ null. This destroys such things like unmarried partner benefits. Helping to destroy those relationships.

    This is about hate. About frustrating and destroying loving families and relationships that you don’t agree with. And its being disgustingly sold as ‘defending marriage.’ If you want marriage defined, do it. No need to also stop people from using the laws to defend their lives and relations.

    actus (85218a)

  95. There is no law against gay marriage in the United States. If two people want to get married, they must be:
    1) of age
    2) not currently married
    3) one man and one woman
    Since these are the only rules, there is nothing stopping gay people from getting married.

    Justice Frankfurter (2dcd84)

  96. Since these are the only rules, there is nothing stopping gay people from getting married.

    I wonder why nobody has thought of your brilliant solution.

    actus (85218a)

  97. I’m still trying to figure out what a comment of mine on a diff topic on a diff thread on a diff board has to do with either DOMAs or free speech restrictions.

    Aphrael, I like the way you think. While I may disagree from time to time with your conclusions, you are thoughtful and could, in time, persuade me. 😉 Unlike more argumentative types around here.

    sharon (fecb65)

  98. #82 Lurking

    Looks like Glenn Greenwald has taken a page out of “Screw ’em” Markos’ playbook…

    his post about “dear leader” has been disappeared.

    Darleen (f20213)

  99. Darleen – i’m still able to access the dear leader post.

    aphrael (6b0647)

  100. actus said, “If you want marriage defined, do it.”

    OK, here goes: Marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman, to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad times, so long as they both shall live, or till they shall break the bonds that bind them.

    I do wish to assert my amateur standing here. Others with more relevant experience are invited to modify my poor efforts.

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  101. Two Women

    Once there was a woman who was married to a man. Alongside her husband, this woman protested the injustices which were inflicted upon a segment of American society to which she and her husband belonged. The woman and her

    baldilocks (72c8fd)

  102. aphrael

    The link now goes to Greenwald’s “about me” page and the list of recent posts under the blurb does NOT have the “dear leader” post.

    ::Poof::: disappearing an embarrassing post means never having to update and apologize.

    Darleen (f20213)

  103. Black Jack, do you ever say or think anything that isn’t out of the riht-wing play book. Absolutely everything you say is so predictable.

    Does “liberty and justice for ALL” mean anything. Maybe it only means justice for the people that the Republicans like, huh?

    Kind of like, you get freedom of expression, only if the Republicans like it.

    blubonnet (86405d)

  104. The same Capitol Police that ‘apologized’ to Sheehan after-the-fact would arrest her all over again – same T-shirt, same excuse – to pre-empt a vocal SOTU disruption.

    steve (539a32)

  105. Darleen – I’m puzzled. The link still works for me, even after I clear the cache, and the post in question is visible in his archive at
    http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/2006_02_01_glenngreenwald_archive.html, which was never in my cache.

    aphrael (6b0647)

  106. blu,

    I said what I said, and I hold by the blood of my clan.

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  107. actus

    “Domestic violence” laws have never been limited to current marriages. Even ex-dating couples can fall under the jurisdiction.

    and, BTW, IMO you are reaching to find that conclusion in the language. As I read — Neither this constitution or the constitution of any state, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups — only precludes reading MARRIAGE statutes MUST cover all comers but doesn’t prohibit additional legislation.

    While I personally support domestic partnerships and same-sex marriage, I am adamently anti-polygamy. But when people frame their pro-same-sex marriage argument with “marriage is a right” they cannot then stop with just same-sex marriage.

    Darleen (f20213)

  108. aphrael

    I see the problem. Your link uses underscores_ while the link in #82 uses hyphens (maybe Glenn changed the post naming during the updates?)

    Still, reading his post is a scream. He very grudgingly at near the end acknowledges that the Congressman’s wife was also ejected…but it was JUST A CONSPIRACY TO GET MOMMY SHEEHAN! After ejecting Mommy they had to troll around for a someone else.

    Gawd, what a tool.

    Darleen (f20213)

  109. It says that state or federal law may not be used to give any marriage-like right. That means not just civil unions. That means domestic violence laws. That means contracts for marriage-like rights. That means partnership benefits.

    Actually, actus, it says that the granting of that right is not required. In other words, if one state chooses to grant marriage-like rights to some group, other states are not forced to recognize it.

    Steverino (d11021)

  110. Darleen, I believe you have connected several dots (#106). I certainly see no indication in the language that suggests that this language is based on “hate”. It appears to this non-lawyer that the language is designed solely to restrict judges from reading their own construct into state and federal laws and constitutions as they have done in MA and CA, not to restrict state legislatures from democratically establishing “rights”.

    I believe you are also correct in your assertion that once we remove, as has the MA Supreme Court, restrictions on marriage, then there IS NO definition of marriage. I have heard the pro-same-sex advocates argue that this only applies to them, but I see no way, once we’ve decided that this is a right and that there is no commonly agreed upon “definition” of marriage, that polygamy, or other relationships won’t be recognized.

    Nor do I think that it would be unreasonable to remove all other limitations on marriage. After all, who are you to say one can’t marry their sister or their pet? Silly? Maybe, or … not.

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  111. Darleen:

    “Domestic violence” laws have never been limited to current marriages. Even ex-dating couples can fall under the jurisdiction.

    Domestic violence charges cannot be filed against unmarried people because of Ohio’s recently enacted definition of marriage, a judge ruled Wednesday.”

    Steverino:

    Actually, actus, it says that the granting of that right is not required.

    It says no law can be construed to give that right. So a law that gave that right can’t be construed to give that right. It bans the right from being given.

    In other words, if one state chooses to grant marriage-like rights to some group, other states are not forced to recognize it.

    If one state chooses to grant marriage-like rights, that state’s court’s cant construe that law as giving the marriage-like right.

    Its very simple. No law can give any right which is an incident of marriage.

    actus (85218a)

  112. actus

    CA PC273.5

    273.5. (a) Any person who willfully inflicts upon a person who is his or her spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, orfthe mother or father of his or her child, corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition, is guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of up to six thousand dollars ($6,000) or by both that fine and imprisonment.
    (b) Holding oneself out to be the husband or wife of the person with whom one is cohabiting is not necessary to constitute cohabitation as the term is used in this section.

    CA defines marriage as ONE MAN/ONE WOMAN. It also passed by almost 2/3 vote Prop 22 in 2000 making that definition part of the family law code and it didn’t change the domestic violence statutes. You will excuse my suspicion of the judge (a moby move?) in the OH case since opponents of the one man/one woman definition of marriage actually LIKE his decision since they hope such a ruling will go toward rescinding the definition of marriage.

    We prosecute under 273.5 and 243(e)(1) all manner of couples – gay, straight, married, separated, divorced, dating, former dating, etc. We did before Prop 22 and after Prop 22 and nothing in the family law defining MARRIAGE means the law cannot recognize dating or cohabitation relationships in the Penal Code.

    Marriage is not a “right”, it is a contractual institution. Society has as much right to define that contractual relationship as it does landlord/tenant, parent/child relationships.

    Darleen (f20213)

  113. Harry, if some one eats cake, what’s to stop them from eating….huh….plastic?

    blubonnet (86405d)

  114. Or, what if someone marries a member of the same sex, maybe…..huh……they will marry a piece of plastic. SO WHAT. The real question is always, will it hurt anyone? Another thing….Nature…in all species has samesex sexuality going on. It’s Nature’s decision. Not an individual’s if they are gay. The suicide rate among gays is extraordinarily high. It’s not their choice. Why shouldn’t they be allowed the same rights as anyone else? Why impose innecessary cruelty upon people that have already had a very difficult life? Love is precious and should be honored, by marriage. EVEN if it makes us a little uncomfortable because it is not familiar to us. Give peace to all.

    blubonnet (86405d)

  115. “The real question is always, will it hurt anyone?”

    No, the real question is, “does society have a right to define marriage”? The answer is yes.

    “in all species has samesex sexuality going on. It’s Nature’s decision. Not an individual’s if they are gay.”

    First of all, there is a dispute about whether homosexuality is “nature’s decision” or not, but even if it is, this doesn’t preclude society from limiting marriage to one man and one woman. Pedophiles and practitioners of bestiality would certainly tell you that nature made them this way, yet society proscribes them, as well.

    “Why shouldn’t they be allowed the same rights as anyone else?”

    They have the same right as everyone else. They can marry one person of the opposite sex at a time.

    “Why impose innecessary cruelty upon people that have already had a very difficult life?”

    Everybody has a difficult life. It’s called living. But you have to live with it.

    “Love is precious and should be honored, by marriage.”

    As has been stated above, marriage is not merely about “love.” It’s a contractual relationship imposed by the state which can then define the terms. The idea that “love is precious and should be honored by marriage” could be used by any number of the groups banned from marriage. Surely you can see that.

    “EVEN if it makes us a little uncomfortable because it is not familiar to us.”

    I don’t think most of the arguments here against gay marriage have anything to do with being uncomfortable. It has to do with the destruction of marriage as an institution.

    sharon (fecb65)

  116. Neither this constitution or the constitution of any state, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.

    It says no law can be construed to give that right

    Actus, look at the text again. It clearly says “require”, not “give”.

    Steverino (d11021)

  117. Steverino is absolutely right: the second sentence is written to prevent courts from interpreting a state stautute or constitution in a manner that is inconsistent with what the legislature intended, as Massachusetts’ Supreme Court did.

    Dana (3e4784)

  118. I went to that Greenwald post and just had to shake my head at that screed. One insightful bit that caught my eye:

    “The Capitol Police officers who removed and arrested Sheehan had to have known that.”

    Conspiracy theory:

    – so comforting to those who screech it
    – so revealing to the rest of us

    jim (a9ab88)

  119. “…A congressman’s wife gets arrested at the same time …”

    No. The congressman’s wife was not arrested. She lacked the courage to stand up for her right to wear that t-shirt and sheepishly left. Like most good right-wingers, her only sin was overenthusiastic sycophancy. She is the perfect symbol of the right in America today – avidly abandoning all rights and principles to more perfectly serve dear leader.

    Njorl (ede043)

  120. Yep, screed.

    jim (a9ab88)

  121. Njorl wrote:

    No. The congressman’s wife was not arrested. She lacked the courage to stand up for her right to wear that t-shirt and sheepishly left. Like most good right-wingers, her only sin was overenthusiastic sycophancy. She is the perfect symbol of the right in America today – avidly abandoning all rights and principles to more perfectly serve dear leader.

    Well, N, maybe she realized that she was supposed to obey the instructions of the Capitol police; that’s what we good right-wingers understand.

    It’s only a shame that the wife of a congressman didn’t have enough sense to know that you don’t wear a t-shirt to an event like that.

    Dana (3e4784)

  122. You will excuse my suspicion of the judge (a moby move?) in the OH case since opponents of the one man/one woman definition of marriage actually LIKE his decision since they hope such a ruling will go toward rescinding the definition of marriage.

    You still don’t get it. It wasn’t the definition of marriage he was using. It was the second sentence — the one banning any recognition of non-marriage relationshisps. That’s the problematic bigoted part of these amendments.

    Actus, look at the text again. It clearly says “require”, not “give”.

    Right. And so when the right is challenged, we say that that law requires the right. So when a court looks at the law, they can’t say that it requires the right, even if explicitly says that.

    actus (85218a)

  123. avidly abandoning all rights and principles to more perfectly serve dear leader.

    N, quick! Look under your bed! Jackbooted Bu$HitlerZionistXtianFacists!! It’s day 2 of Sammy’s installation and I’m SURE by the end of the day uteri around the country will be declared property of the ReichWingers, rape will be legal (Cameron Diaz told us so), and spotted owl and harp seal will be featured entrees in restaurants catering exclusively to the Patriarchy!!

    Darleen (f20213)

  124. Njorl,

    Why not go answer the question posed at this post? Some of the leftists here, like m.croche, are studiously ignoring the question. But I’m sure you want to stand up and be counted!

    Patterico (929da9)

  125. Darleen – as I read the language, a statute intended to confer on an unmarried couple a legal incident of marriage cannot be construed by a court to do just that. A court would have to construe such a statute in an unnatural way.

    The California case is not apposite because Proposition 22, while defining marriage as being between one man and one woman, did NOT contain the additional language about judicial construal of laws. Ohio’s did.

    California has a domestic partnership system established by the legislature (without court interference). It has three times now been the subject of attempts to gather signatures for a ballot initiative to repeal it; each attempt has failed to get enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. The Federal Marriage Amendment, as I understand it, would make that system judicially unenforceable because the courts would not be allowed to construe the domestic partnership law to do what the domestic partnership law does.

    aphrael (e7c761)

  126. Aphrael is right. The proposed FMA does not just prohibit state courts from “discovering” a right to gay marriage among the emanations and penumbras of their constitutions, it also prohibits legislatures and/or voters from creating gay marriage expressly.

    Xrlq (5ffe06)

  127. Or, for that matter, creating other statutory programs which are not marriage but which confer some of the legal incidents of marriage.

    That’s the real sticker for me.

    aphrael (e7c761)

  128. Or, for that matter, creating other statutory programs which are not marriage but which confer some of the legal incidents of marriage.

    I’d go even further and say that things like contract can’t be used to enforce contracts that create the legal incidents of marriage. This prevents private employers from making enforceable contracts for things like domestic partner benefits.

    Just awful.

    actus (ebc508)

  129. So, now that we know Cindy Sheehan was falsely arrested, when is Patterico going to change the headline of the post? After all, she did nothing illegal and therefore it could not have been her intention to be arrested. Wasn’t Patterico’s principle supposed to be that corrections in the LA Times, especially ones that undercut the premise of the piece, are supposed to match in prominence the errors they are seeking to correct?

    I guess the same rules don’t apply to Patterico.

    (As to Patterico’s silly “challenge”: If he wants me to write something, he should pay me. Otherwise, I am not at his beck and call. And how is it that Patterico can muster boldface shouting for “leftists” and none for Ann Coulter’s “joking” exhortations to political violence?)

    m.croche (8e3bfc)

  130. M. croche: I take it you haven’t seen this?

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  131. Or, for that matter, creating other statutory programs which are not marriage but which confer some of the legal incidents of marriage.

    That one’s a bit dicier. I could see courts taking a narrow view of “incidents” of marriage, as opposed to incidents of something else that happens to parallelmarriage in certain ways but not others. And Acthole’s theory that it would invade private contracts is, to borrow his/her/its own words, “just awful.”

    Xrlq (e2795d)

  132. I think croche has a good point on the headline. I’ll update that too.

    aphrael: he has seen my post. He just wants boldface in it.

    croche: as to your reason for not answering the question posed to leftists: to quote Syndrome in the Incredibles: lame, lame, lame, lame, LAME!

    Patterico (4d4be8)

  133. And Acthole’s theory that it would invade private contracts is, to borrow his/her/its own words, “just awful.”

    Whats your problem with it? whats your analysis? Suppose a party challenges the contract. The court cannot construe any law to require the conferring of the legal incidents of marriage. The amendment makes no distinction between private or public law. It says nothing about who is construing or who is requiring. It simply says it cannot be done.

    The strongest argument against is that the contract could be for an incident of marriage. Alone. Singular, and thus this is allowed.

    The other is in “construe.” Thus if a contract or a civil union law explicitly states that it is giving a legal incident of marriage, the court is not ‘construing’ it, just reading the plain text. I think this is a weak one, but something that a judge can hang on to.

    A weaker one is “require.” Is the enforcement of a contract a court ‘requiring’ that that the law be followed? or is it ‘enforcing’?

    Gay and unmarried people have plenty to worry about. And the holier than thou do-gooders won’t rest till they follow all these ambiguities down. They won’t be satisfied to just define marriage. They want to ruin families they do not like, that do not fit the mold they have created.

    actus (ebc508)

  134. ‘rico, a reference to a far right-wing flick like the Incredibles in a post to a lefty? The Incredibles didn’t really hit the left’s radar screen, did it? Maybe if Pixar had swapped the Elastigirl character for Mr. Fabulous, for instance . . . might have even won Best Picture . . .

    TNugent (6128b4)

  135. The Incredibles didn’t really hit the left’s radar screen, did it?

    Not as politics no. But as cute, if infantile, movie.

    actus (ebc508)

  136. Actus wrote:

    Gay and unmarried people have plenty to worry about. And the holier than thou do-gooders won’t rest till they follow all these ambiguities down. They won’t be satisfied to just define marriage. They want to ruin families they do not like, that do not fit the mold they have created.

    Assuming that the proposed FMA does exactly what you said it does, that it prohibits any legal recognition whatsoever of any relationships other than monogamous heterosexual marriage, how does that translate into “ruin(ing) families they do not like?”

    Are you suggesting that the true purpose of the FMA is to make cohabitation (whether heterosexual or homosexual or multisexual) illegal?

    Dana (3e4784)

  137. Assuming that the proposed FMA does exactly what you said it does, that it prohibits any legal recognition whatsoever of any relationships other than monogamous heterosexual marriage, how does that translate into “ruin(ing) families they do not like?”

    Think about how hard it is to run a family that is not recognized by law in any way. No visitation in hospitals, no benefits, etc…

    Are you suggesting that the true purpose of the FMA is to make cohabitation (whether heterosexual or homosexual or multisexual) illegal?

    I don’t think cohabitation will be banned. But its legal recognition as a coupling will.

    actus (ebc508)

  138. Dana — let me give you an example of the real-world circumstances gay couples find infuriating in this regard.

    For a period of time last year, I was fully employed at a job with benefits, while my boyfriend was a full-time contractor at a job without benefits. (I use the term boyfriend because there isn’t a better one; we’ve been together five years, lived together two, will get “married” in a non-legally-binding way this summer, and have our lives and finances completely intertwined). I was able to get him health insurance through my employer.

    The cost of his health insurance counts as taxable income on my federal taxes. Were we a married straight couple, it would not.

    So there’s a cost imposed on me, directly, because the federal government does not recognize my relationship.

    (In addition, under actus’ interpretation of the clause, were I a state employee, the state would be prohibited from allowing me to get health care for my non-married partner.)

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  139. Actus, I’m not sure what huge “analysis” is needed for you to understand the state action doctrine. As you noted, the first sentence of FMA merely defines marriage, and prohibits nothing. The second sentence says “[n]either this constitution or the constitution of any state, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require [stuff].” While reasonable minds can debate as to what is or isn’t stuff, there is no nonfrivolous argument that a private contract is a federal constitution, a state constitution, a federal law or a state law. Therefore, by its terms the FMA does not apply.

    Xrlq (e2795d)

  140. “Well, N, maybe she realized that she was supposed to obey the instructions of the Capitol police; that’s what we good right-wingers understand.”-Dana

    Usually there are very good reasons for obeying police. Sometimes, such as when you are driving a car, you have implicitly agreed to do so. However, in general, a nation where you are supposed to always obey the police is called a “police state”. In a free society, when the police exceed their authority a good citizen will at least question their right to do so.

    Njorl (ede043)

  141. njorl,

    Now let’s see. The history of the capitol police brings forth another story of when Dave Delp was arrested for wearing a “protest” t-shirt during…when in time was it?….Ta-Da – the Clinton administration. Those dang police state gestapo types….

    Specter (466680)

  142. Actus wrote:

    Assuming that the proposed FMA does exactly what you said it does, that it prohibits any legal recognition whatsoever of any relationships other than monogamous heterosexual marriage, how does that translate into “ruin(ing) families they do not like?”

    Think about how hard it is to run a family that is not recognized by law in any way. No visitation in hospitals, no benefits, etc…

    Sorry, but this is a complete red herring. I’ve had the misfortune of being hospitalized thrice, and I’ve had visits, in the hospitals, from people who were just plain friends, no relation to me in any way. My wife is a registered nurse, who works on a pediatric wing of a hospital. While she occasionally sees visitation restrictions (usually, in the cases with which she is familiar, an abusive parent), visitation does not require family relationship.

    Naturally, a conscious adult patient could specify that his significant other could visit. It would be the extremely rare case (such as an unconscious patient, whose parents don’t like his significant other), who would be effected.

    Are you suggesting that the true purpose of the FMA is to make cohabitation (whether heterosexual or homosexual or multisexual) illegal?

    I don’t think cohabitation will be banned. But its legal recognition as a coupling will.

    Yup, you are exactly right! And guess what: that is exactly what those who support defining marriage as a monogamous heterosexual legalized relationship want! We (and I include myself in that “we”) don’t want to throw honmosexuals in jail or prevent them from living together. But we do say that religiously, societally and culturally, legalized monogamous heterosexual marriages are to be the societally and legally preferred arrangement, period.

    Dana (9f37aa)

  143. Aphrael wrote:

    Dana — let me give you an example of the real-world circumstances gay couples find infuriating in this regard.

    For a period of time last year, I was fully employed at a job with benefits, while my boyfriend was a full-time contractor at a job without benefits. (I use the term boyfriend because there isn’t a better one; we’ve been together five years, lived together two, will get “married” in a non-legally-binding way this summer, and have our lives and finances completely intertwined). I was able to get him health insurance through my employer.

    The cost of his health insurance counts as taxable income on my federal taxes. Were we a married straight couple, it would not.

    So there’s a cost imposed on me, directly, because the federal government does not recognize my relationship.

    I’d define it not as a cost, but the lack of a benefit, Regardless, you and your paramour (would that work better for you?) are in precisely the same situation as an unmarried heterosexual couple.

    You are in a relationship that is not legally recognized or rewarded by our society. I understand that you find that unfair, but our society does have the right to decide that something is to be legally and socially preferred.

    It is always difficult when discussing these issues with the people who are directly involved, because I want to make it clear that I am not stating or implying any disrespect; whether you infer such is beyond my control. But I tend to speak very directly, as well. I would never punish your relationship, but I would also say that it is not and ought not to be societally preferred.

    Dana (9f37aa)

  144. The second sentence says “[n]either this constitution or the constitution of any state, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require [stuff].” While reasonable minds can debate as to what is or isn’t stuff, there is no nonfrivolous argument that a private contract is a federal constitution, a state constitution, a federal law or a state law.

    Of course not. But they are enforced by state common law.

    But we do say that religiously, societally and culturally, legalized monogamous heterosexual marriages are to be the societally and legally preferred arrangement, period.

    More than preferred, but the only thing. The only thing that other people can do. Because the FMA will regulate much more than marriage. It will regulate anything that is a legal incident of it.

    actus (85218a)

  145. Of course not. But they are enforced by state common law.

    Your point? Mine is simple: FMA won’t regulate contracts. At all.

    Xrlq (6c76c4)

  146. Your point? Mine is simple: FMA won’t regulate contracts. At all.

    Oh we’re free to make contracts. But as soon as they try to have courts enforce them, that’s when they’ll fail. Because that’s when we’ll be asking the law to require a legal incident of marriage.

    Or do you think that post FMA a couple a gay couple and all sorts of interested parties can make a marriage contract, and that can be enforced by a court?

    actus (85218a)

  147. Of course it can, as between the parties. To argue otherwise is to suggest no contract can ever be enforced if it requires anything the law does not (or, at a bare minimum, cannot) already require. A rule like that would turn contract law on its head.

    Xrlq (428dfd)

  148. To argue otherwise is to suggest no contract can ever be enforced if it requires anything the law does not (or, at a bare minimum, cannot) already require.

    Not does not. More like cannot. I read the FMA as the law cannot be used to achieve these ends. Its worded differently than other prohibitions on the law that we have in the bill of rights. Its not ‘congress shall make no law.’ Its not ‘the equal protection of law.’

    actus (85218a)

  149. actus

    You seem to argue that domestic violence statutes are a “legal incidence” of marriage. How? Would you propose that the minute a divorce becomes final a former spouse can beat the crap out of the other because suddenly s/he is covered merely by assault and battery statutes?

    I’m old enough to remember the histrionic arguments over the ERA — it will prohibit separate bathrooms! it will require the military draft of girls!

    Pffffft!

    Hospital visitation is NOT contingent upon marrital status. Inheritance is not contingent upon marrital status. Neither is an “incident of marriage.” Not unless you consider Eccentric Auntie Velma who leaves half a million dollars to her five cats married to them.

    Darleen (f20213)

  150. Can’t Sheehan be prosecuted for a hate crime? Certainly she hates Bush and the war. Here is an equally assinine application of the hate crime law. Even without hate crime laws, in most states wounding others in a hatchet and gun rampage is illegal.

    Gay-bar attack stuns town – A young man dressed all in black goes on a rampage at a Massachusetts gay bar with a hatchet and a gun, wounding three patrons in what police said appears to be a hate crime.

    Wesson (c20d28)

  151. You seem to argue that domestic violence statutes are a “legal incidence” of marriage.

    Not just me. But a judge. However, the Ohio amendment is phrased differently than the federal one. It doesn’t say ‘incidents of marriage.’ It says:

    This state and its political subdivisions
    shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that
    intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage.

    The idea is that domestic violence laws recognize a legal status for an unmarried couple. Ie, the law punishes greater a domestic assault than a regular assault.

    actus (85218a)

  152. Actus wrote:

    This state and its political subdivisions
    shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that
    intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage.

    The idea is that domestic violence laws recognize a legal status for an unmarried couple. Ie, the law punishes greater a domestic assault than a regular assault.

    While I don’t see the argument that an unmarried couple living together wouldn’t constitute a domestic assault if an assault occurred, I also don’t see why a domestic assault ought to be treated differently from any other assault.

    Dana (3e4784)

  153. While I don’t see the argument that an unmarried couple living together wouldn’t constitute a domestic assault if an assault occurred, I also don’t see why a domestic assault ought to be treated differently from any other assault.

    Domestic assaults are punished more. I think there are also issues with making it easier to get a restraining order. In terms of why they are more odious, I would imagine it is because they violate the home: the victim has to live with the attacker, has nowhere to go, etc…

    The idea is that the legislature has figured that this is a worst crime than a random assault. In that way it has given legal some legal recognition or status to the unmarried couple.

    actus (85218a)

  154. “The history of the capitol police brings forth another story of when Dave Delp was arrested for wearing a “protest” t-shirt during…when in time was it?….Ta-Da – the Clinton administration. ”

    Incorrect.

    He was arrested for wearing an obscene t-shirt.

    Njorl (ede043)

  155. Njorl wrote:

    “The history of the capitol police brings forth another story of when Dave Delp was arrested for wearing a “protest” t-shirt during…when in time was it?….Ta-Da – the Clinton administration. ”

    Incorrect.

    He was arrested for wearing an obscene t-shirt.

    Given that another lady was escorted out for wearing a t-shirt with a slogan on it, but one that was supportive of our policies, it’s kind of difficult to make the case that this was censorship of a political message hostile to the President. It’s simply a matter of message t-shirts not being allowed.

    The lovely Mrs Sheehan has had plenty of platforms, including the drainage ditch around the President’s ranch, to express her opinion. The government is not required to give her a particular stage.

    Dana (3e4784)

  156. actus

    the law punishes greater a domestic assault than a regular assault.

    Sure it does. And a DOMESTIC relationship is NOT an “incident of marriage.”

    For crissakes, go back to my post about California’s domestic violence penal code section 273.5 which clearly defines DOMESTIC relationships for the purpose of the statute AND includes lots of relationships that are not CURRENT marriages…. FORMER spouses, dating and FORMER dating, couples who co-habitate, gay or straight.

    CA’s prop 22 does not affect those statutes.

    DOMESTIC RELATIONSHIP does not equal “an incident of marriage.” Otherwise, are you trying to say that all wills that leave property to people other than a spouse are engaging in an “incident of marriage?”

    Darleen (f20213)

  157. Dana

    I also don’t see why a domestic assault ought to be treated differently from any other assault.

    For the same reason we punish assault committed under the color of authority more than “regular” assault. Or why we add special allegations to first degree murder when it is done while laying in wait.

    Because it is different.

    Darleen (f20213)

  158. “Given that another lady was escorted out for wearing a t-shirt with a slogan on it, but one that was supportive of our policies, it’s kind of difficult to make the case that this was censorship of a political message hostile to the President. It’s simply a matter of message t-shirts not being allowed.”

    That woman was informed (erroneously, note court cite above, t-shirts are allowed) that her t-shirt was not acceptable and asked to leave. She did so. Cindy Sheehan was asked to stand. She was not asked to remove her shirt or cover it. She was not asked to leave. When she stood, her arms were seized and pinned behind her back. She was pushed out of the gallery, handcuffed and arrested. She was charged with a succession of crimes she did not commit, and held in jail.

    Notice any difference?

    “The lovely Mrs Sheehan has had plenty of platforms, including the drainage ditch around the President’s ranch, to express her opinion. The government is not required to give her a particular stage. ”

    No, all that is required of the government in this matter is to give its citizens equal protection under the law regardless of their beliefs.

    It failed.

    Njorl (ede043)

  159. Njorl–

    “That woman was informed (erroneously, note court cite above, t-shirts are allowed) that her t-shirt was not acceptable and asked to leave. She did so. Cindy Sheehan was asked to stand. She was not asked to remove her shirt or cover it. She was not asked to leave. When she stood, her arms were seized and pinned behind her back. She was pushed out of the gallery, handcuffed and arrested. She was charged with a succession of crimes she did not commit, and held in jail.

    Notice any difference?”

    How do we know all this? I know that Sheehan and her handlers have made an awful lot of claims about people persecuting her, but do we have any reliable evidence in this regard?

    Federal Dog (43c7eb)

  160. Darleen – as I said before, the situation in California is not informative regarding what the effect of language banning “incidents of marriage” from being granted to non-married couples, as neither Proposition 22 nor any other provision of California law contains that language. California law is thus incapable of providing a demonstration of what the effect of “incidents of marriage” language is.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

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