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11/07/2013

The anti-gay movement loves 'activist judges' (*so long as they're conservative activists)

by Jeremy Hooper

Responding to a pair of court cases in which two couples married elsewhere but then filed for divorce in their home state of Texas, Lone Star State activist Jonathan Saenz says the following about the Supreme Court justices who will be deciding the matter:

Saenz, who attended the Tuesday arguments, says "it was very clear that the homosexual advocacy side wants to use the divorce issue as a way to undermine our state law that defines marriage as between one man and one woman."

He believes it should be an "open-and-shut" case, considering the high voter approval of the 2005 constitutional amendment – and the make-up of the court.

"The Texas Supreme Court is nine elected Republicans. Many of them, if not all of them with the exclusion of maybe one, were appointed by the current governor, Rick Perry," he explains. "And so it doesn't take a lot to figure out where they should be on this issue.
"
FULL:Same-sex 'divorce' - Renegade judges ignored TX law, left a mess [ONN]

So essentially he's saying that since an anti-LGBT governor appointed the judges, he should already know where these justices stand on this matter. Without considering any of the arguments or evidence, Saenz believes that he should be able to determine the outcome simply by the nature of the appointment. He knows the viewpoint, he claims, because he knows the mindset that put the judges where they are.

Flip that around and think about what someone like Saenz would be saying if a theoretical Gov. Wendy Davis had appointed a majority of the judges, and those judges proceeded to cast a pro-LGBT ruling. He would be viciously decrying the "activist judges" who used something other than a fair reading of the constitution to determine the outcome. The anti-gay movement would be bending the ear of any media outlet willing to listen, talking about how justice is supposed to be blind and judges are supposed to enter into proceedings without biases. I'm as confident about that as Saenz is about the outcome of this particular case.

The truth, of course, is that justice does bend toward fairness and equality, which is why we so often see even Republican appointees side with us (thanks, Justice Kennedy!). This being the case, it's most always total and utter B.S. when the anti-LGBT movement cries activist, since the ruling is most often guided by constitutionally sound principles, regardless of the judge's personal view. The other side uses the "activist judge" label to take the onus off of their bad cases.

But for Saenz to suggest that a panel of judges might rule against equality (even if, in this case, it's equality at the end rather than the beginning of love) without any consideration or even acknowledgment of merit? Well that truly is an activist thing to say and seek. He just thinks it's okay, since the outcome would match his wishes.

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