Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Proposition 8 And Animal Judges

Defenders of Proposition 8 (the California gay marriage ban) are arguing that the ban should be reinstated because the judge who overturned it is a gay man in a long-term relationship. Their argument is that his relationship gave him an interest in the outcome.

I've gone from seeing this as an offensive argument grounded in thinly disguised antigay prejudice to appreciating the awesome consequences it would have for jurisprudence. The US Supreme Court regularly decides cases that address the rights that all Americans have. So in order to make sure that those decisions were made by impartial justices, we'd have to put foreigners whose rights wouldn't be affected on the Supreme Court. But that might not be enough. Since some Supreme Court decisions address the human rights of both Americans and foreigners, impartiality requires that we assign those decisions to animal judges.
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