|PM Note: The People vs. The Court, Recalling Gay Marriage in '04, Senate Stampede|
|Z. Byron Wolf||Mar 26, 2013, 6:18 PM|
First Woman to Head Secret Service - And she used to wear a costume at Disney World - http://abcn.ws/10LZOoP (Mary Bruce)
Dowd: Gay Marriage Didn't Swing 2004 Election - "On this day when a momentous series of cases related to gay marriage are being heard before the Supreme Court, I thought it time to reflect on a broader topic of leadership and motivation." http://abcn.ws/ZVcAA2 (Matthew Dowd)
Same Sex Marriage at SCOTUS - Catch up on the day in same sex marriage at our live blog, which isn't technically live any more, but includes some of the better pictures from in front of the court, video of people on both sides, some prognosticating, some tea leaf reading, and a heavy dose of couching - http://abcn.ws/16eVG1Y
Or you can read a more traditional form of news story from our court watchers here - http://abcn.ws/YFZrIB
The headline and lede:
Court Struggles With Federal Right to Gay Marriage
Supreme Court justices seemed to struggle with the notion of extending marriage rights to same-sex couples as they grilled lawyers this morning in a potentially landmark case over California's ban on gay marriages.
As the politics change by the day, the court heard a case - Proposition 8 - that could drastically change how states and the federal government approach one of the touchiest social issues of the past decade.
The justices today challenged lawyers on both sides on common points of contention that arise whenever gay marriage is debated. http://abcn.ws/10M8Kuo (Good, Moran, de Vogue)
Boy are those politics changing. Rick Klein called it a "Senate Stampede." - http://abcn.ws/16VYT7W
5 Democratic Senators (Rob Portman is still the only sitting Republican) have come out for gay marriage in the past 48 hours or so.
Yesterday we told you about the conversions of retiring Sen. Jay Rockefeller, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner and recently re-elected Sen. Claire McCaskill. Today Alaska Sen. Mark Begich and Sen. Jon Tester joined the club. Tester even made the HRC logo his Facebook profile pic.
But not every Democrat wants to take the leap. The left-leaning Huffington Post has a banner headline "Shame on Dem" with pictures of the ten Democratic Senators who don't support gay marriage.
Their reactions range from continued opposition - Arkansas Democrat Mark Pryor - to maintaining it should be a state issue - North Dakotan Heidi Heitkamp.
Other responses were more nuanced.
A spokesman for Sen. Bob Casey, the conservative Pennsylvania Democrat, told Sunlen Miller that Casey is closely following the debate and will review any legislation he sees.
A spokesperson for Sen. Tom Carper, the Delaware Democrat, said he is evolving.
"Sen. Carper was proud to support Delaware's efforts to enact Civil Union legislation and earlier this month he joined 211 of his Congressional colleagues in co-signing the Amicus brief that urges the Supreme Court to invalidate Section 3 of DOMA. He has also said that he would vote to repeal DOMA. He also opposed President Bush's attempt to enact a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Like many Americans including Presidents Obama and Clinton, Sen. Carper's views on this issue have evolved, and continue to evolve. He continues to give this issue a great deal of consideration."
Bookmark Ariane's "Standing" Explainer - Who knows what Supreme Court Justices will decide in June on same-sex marriage.
They could go in a lot of different directions - from recognizing a fundamental right to gay marriage to dismissing the Prop case because supporters of California's same sex marriage ban aren't the right people to be arguing the case. That'd be a way around the whole issue and could lead to gay marriages in California.
Ariane de Vogue was all over this potential back door before arguments got under way today - http://abcn.ws/16g0ELO
'DIG' It - Another note from Ariane on a potential way justices could rule - She reports: While most people are taking in the momentous occasion of the gay rights arguments, some lawyers and journalists who cover the court are wondering what Kennedy meant when he said :" I just wonder if this case was properly granted. "
The proper term for that is "dismissed as improvidently granted" or DIG.
He would need 4 other Justices to join him, and the opinion released would never explain exactly WHY the Justices dismissed.
If the Court doesn't reach the merits, we knew there was a possibility that the Court could rule the proponents don't have standing ….but "dismiss as improvidently granted" wasn't really on the radar before today.
If they DIG, it is as if the court never granted cert and the 9 th circuit opinion (which was narrow) would hold.
Dale Carpenter of the University of Minnesota law school thinks that while Kennedy could have been referring to a DIG, "he might simply have been saying we should dismiss this on standing grounds. It's hard to know, he may not have even been sure how he is going to rule."
SCOTUS Playbill: Meet the cast of characters taking part in the SCOTUS drama. They include a daughter, a widow, a two couples, a GOP operative and traditional marriage activists http://abcn.ws/WU4O9z (Sarah Parnass)
Janet Napolitano Says Border-Security Trigger Unworkable-The U.S. border is as "secure as it's ever been," which is evidence enough that comprehensive immigration overhaul should start immediately, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said today. http://abcn.ws/13tEGaw (Serena Marshall)
GOP Senators Threaten Filibuster on Guns-In the latest roadblock to passing gun legislation, three Republican senators have threatened to filibuster next month's proceedings on the gun debate. http://abcn.ws/14lHs0V (Arlette Saenz)