Rulings in two cases, good results but bad logic

Yesterday the Supreme Court rejected an appeal by a few birthers after the 9th circuit court of appeals ruled against them. There are many reasons to reject these crazy birther cases. You have all the instances where birthers have presented fake documents in order to try and discredit President Obama. You have the fact that the onus is on those bringing the case to prove they are right and they have no such proof to do so. You have the existing documents on record proving Obama’s birth in Hawaii (which makes him a natural born citizen because he is a citizen by the nature of his birth).

But what did the 9th circuit hang its ruling on? They ruled that the birthers lacked standing to bring the case. They couldn’t prove that they would suffer harm from the Obama presidency. Now, I do have a problem with that logic. Every single citizen of the USA, at least of voting age, should have legal standing to question the qualifications of the President. Let me be clear, when they do so they need to be able to present some proof to show that their case is valid. It is not enough to say “I don’t believe it because I havn’t seen the hard copy version of his birth certificate”. But if someone were to ever have actual proof of something against any President, that person should be able to have standing to present it.

The other case is the recent ruling against DOMA. DOMA should be ruled unconstitutional. If a couple is married in a state that allows marriage for all and cannot receive the federal benefits that other married couples can get, it should be ruled to be a violation of the equal protection clause of the Constitution. But the court didn’t go that route. The court said it interfered with the right of a state to define marriage as it sees fit.

I have three big problems with that. First of all, states do not have rights. States have powers, people have rights. Second of all, states should not have the power to define marriage if that definition violates any part of the Constitution. This ruling basically affirms the ability of a state to discriminate when it comes to marriage. Finally, as I said before, the equal protection clause should be all that is needed here.

So while it is good that the birther case got thrown out and it is good that DOMA lost again in court, I worry that the way they went down will ultimately be problematic.

3 thoughts on “Rulings in two cases, good results but bad logic

  1. The 9th Circuit’s decision appears to my uneducated mind to be a bit too close to the logic behind Bush V. Gore, which was essentially decided on the basis of the harm a recount would be to what the Supreme Court had already decided was an inevitable Bush presidency. As you say, it’s a good decision not to consider the appeal, and consistent with the Court’s stated plan to not use BVG as precedent, but I’m not conviced that “proof of harm” rationale has anything to do with Constitutionality. I could, however, be convinced by greater legal minds than mine.

  2. I am mystified how the case made it as far as it did. If the 9th Circuit was going to hear it as a way of putting an end to this birther business, then the “without standing” ruling is absurd. The case has no merit whatsoever and should’ve been ruled as such. Meanwhile, the Supremes have managed to not quite shut the door on this ridiculousness. It will be back.

    At a time when we need to be watching our pennies, this is a monumental waste of money.

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