While I can agree that this is, as many people are saying, this generation's landmark ruling (much like Brown v Board of Education, which is the one I've heard invoked the most), I'm actually sitting in the camp that Chief Justice Roberts occupies - worrying that certain parties or persons might see this as an avenue of judicial overreach and, like Jindal, attempt to remove/abolish/whatever the SCOTUS in order to try and prevent similar circumstances that happen in the future.
Is this a day of great celebration, from sea to shining sea? Yes. Absolutely, people everywhere are.
I just worry about the price this victory may cost.
Oh, and Inki? SCOTUS can actually be overruled. The Dred Scott decision - which affirmed slavery - was eventually overruled by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which to me is Lincoln's truest legacy. So it is possible to overrule SCOTUS - but it takes a big move in order to do so. So expect to start hearing noises from the right-wing fundie nutjobs about adding another Amendment to the Constitution.
Back to my main line of inquiry: was this the right path to victory?
I recently watched an excellent program from Canada, called the Murdoch Mysteries (which broadcast here in the US as The Artful Detective). For those of you not in the know, the show takes place in turn of the century Canada, Toronto to be specific, and deals with the strange cases investigated there by the titular Murdoch (the in-house Detective at the Fourth Precinct), his assistance Constable Crabtree, and his superior Inspector Brackenreid.
Being the period of history that it is, lots of things are happening in the West, and both situations that were going on at the time (one episode I watched dealt with the Irish Republican Brotherhood and an assassination attempt on the life of a visiting British royal), as well as famous people (such as Arthur Conan Doyle).
The pilot episode dealt with the electrocution of a young woman. For those of you familiar with this period in history, this was when the War of the Currents was ongoing. Naturally, the episode's guest star was the master of lightning, Nikola Tesla. At one point, Tesla and Murdoch are talking, after evidence is discovered that some of Tesla's staff might have bribed someone to vote their way about the debate for Toronto to adopt AC or DC. Tesla's response, while certainly controlled, is epic fury:
"I don't NEED to bribe ANYONE to convince them to adopt AC. The forces of LOGIC and REASON will eventually COMPEL EVERYONE to, if they wish to remain competitive."
Now, that's a paraphrase, but the idea is basic - AC will triumph because people will eventually see the rightness of it.
As stated previously, the Supreme Court decision I've seen invoked most frequently as parallel to this one is Brown v Board of Education. I agree...but only in the sense that it was instrumental in bringing equality to a new level. But there is a key difference between the two decisions, from where I stand. This one ends the debate. For all time. Gay marriage is legal. There needs to be no more work done. Brown, in comparison, required another decade of work, the decision being made in 1954, with the Civil Rights Act happening with LBJ in the 60s.
When the CRA was signed into law, it had to go through the whole process of becoming a law. It had to pass the House. The Senate. Then be signed and granted the power of law by the Executive Branch. And even then, Johnson knew that this would be world-turning for a lot of people - most notably the Deep South, and the 'Dixiecrats,' who were single-issue voters: segregation in this case. Johnson told people that signing the CRA would cost the Democrats the South for a generation. And it has - the Dixiecrats (who I personally believe should be separated from the mass of Republicans they claim to belong to) switched sides. Despite the Republicans being, up to that point in history, the hated Party of Lincoln. (Personally I think old AL would be tornado-spinning in his grave if he saw today's party.)
Even so! It was law. The elected representatives of two-thirds of the states, plus the elected executive of the US (and Johnson flattened his opponent, Barry Goldwater, in the election that put him in office for signing the CRA) all agreed that this should become law. Brown made the way for it, but the eventual victory belonged to the states, who saw the rightness of the CRA.
Here, I fear there's very little of that. I'm already hearing - "Five people can decide the course of an entire nation? That ain't right!!" (Add in your varying degrees of thick accent)
Yes, I can agree, if we had done things the way that Brown/the CRA had gone, it would have been more time. But from where I was sitting, the tide was already going this way. An animated map of the US from the website VOX.com showed that out of the 50 US states, 37 of them already have laws on their books allowing same-sex marriage. That's almost 75% of states in the US. And frankly, even though Texas is one of the states that is still holding out, there's enough voting power in the country that a law could have been passed through Congress (I think) that would have been the CRA for this issue.
If it had gone that way, voters and haters all around would have had to have blamed the government - though from my chair, that seems to be the grand strategy of those naysayers today; make sure government doesn't do anything and then say government is ineffective, which is like putting water in a freezer and then saying the water is now ice.
But it would have been a few hundred people, of varying ages and backgrounds, rather than "five against four."
We already know that though this fight is won - to use an analogy, though Richmond has fallen - the opposition refuses to see that it is so. This fight has not had its Appomattox yet, for some. They foolishly believe that victory is still possible, and that only if they hold to our conviction, can they resist the tide of 'immorality' that threatens to consume them.
Maybe it's just the cynic in me saying all this. Maybe it is over and within a year all of this idiot talk will cease. But I can't help but wonder until then: what price victory?