The Moderate Washingtonian

Outlook on politics and elections in the state of Washington from an overall centrist viewpoint. My views tend to be libertarian in nature, but at the same time are largely nonpartisan.

19 July 2006

Gay rights on ballot after all

Well, sorta. Justice Susan Owens says the Supreme Court will rule on its long-overdue challenge to the state "Defense of Marriage Act" in the face of rumours that the Court would further delay the ruling until after the general election. Not only that, but it will supposedly be before September's primary, which could further politicize this year's Supreme Court races by using each justice's position as a wedge issue (I'm looking at you, John Groen and Steve Johnson). I just hope any perceived fence-sitters like Chief Justice Alexander will not go with the supposedly "popular" view for electoral reasons.

The way I see this decision, there are two justices naturally inclined to uphold DOMA (Sanders and J. Johnson) and three naturally inclined to throw it out (Owens, Fairhurst, Bridge). Needing five votes for a majority, either side is still in this game, though given how long this is taking I have a feeling they will chicken-out and punt to the legislature. At least Justices Madsen and Chambers seem liberal-leaning on social issues even if they are fairly moderate jurists.


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