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Matt, Tony: To be a 'victory', you two would've actually had to win something/done something to earn it

by Jeremy Hooper

It is hysterical hearing the far-right attempt to spin the Supreme Court’s Denial of Cert into a victory for upholding Don't Ask Don't Tell. The reliably jovial Matt Barber weighed in with the following:

6A00D8341C503453Ef01156F5524Bc970C.Jpg-3This is a military victory of a different sort,” said Barber. “Today our armed forces triumphed over the enemy of moral relativism; an enemy that seeks to replace military wisdom with San Francisco vice. This is a victory for our fighting young men and women and for the nation.
“In an age of rampant judicial activism it’s refreshing to witness some commonsense judicial restraint. This decision by the Supreme Court should once again remind everyone that, contrary to the propaganda fomented by the organized homosexual lobby, homosexual temptation and the destructive but changeable homosexual lifestyle must not be confused with neutral and immutable characteristics such as race or gender for purposes of assigning special government minority status or protections.

“It is properly illegal, for instance, to ban African-Americans from serving in the armed forces. It is neither illegal nor discriminatory, however, to disallow an African-American who ‘loudly and proudly’ chooses to engage in distractive, destructive and deviant sexual behaviors. Today’s decision hammers home that reality.

FRC's Tony Perkins said this:

6A00D8341C503453Ef0115703D8A8C970B.Jpg"Today's decision is the triumph of solid evidence and simple common sense over politically-driven extremism," said Perkins. "As Congress recognized in the early 1990s, homosexuality is incompatible with military service. Nothing has changed since then."

But what do both men fail to realize/admit? That yesterday's SCOTUS decision was not at all about the merits of DADT. Not even a little bit. What the court instead determined was that this case -- this particular case -- would not be heard. Which is hardly surprising, considering that the Obama administration, most of the original twelve plaintiffs involved in the case, and the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network were all on record as being opposed to SCOTUS reviewing this case. From WaPo:

The case, Pietrangelo v. Gates, was filed by James E. Pietrangelo II, a former Army captain who was discharged from the military for being gay. He was originally part of a group of 12 plaintiffs who were dismissed under the policy because of their sexual orientation. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit in Boston rejected their suit last year.

Pietrangelo appealed to the Supreme Court on his own, while most of the other plaintiffs asked the court to not to review the case, preferring to allow the administration to deal with the issue.

Their position was supported by the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), a nonprofit group that helps military personnel affected by "don't ask, don't tell." It said another case that reached the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco was a better vehicle to bring the issue before the Supreme Court.
Supreme Court Turns Down 'Don't Ask' Challenge [WaPo]

So the only realities that yesterday's decision really "hammers home" are the ones that say:

- certain legal cases may not be ready for prime time, regardless of their underlying merits

- certain policies might just be better handled by the legislative and executive branches rather than the judicial


- certain politically-motivated anti-gays would celebrate the collapse of oxygen as a viable commodity, just as long as they can get out one more "militant homosexual agenda" before taking their last breaths

Everything else is pretty much spin.


**For more on this, be sure to check out Chris Geidner's assessment of the situation: DADT SCOTUS ‘Rejection’: What’s It Mean? [Law Dork]

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Your thoughts

I'm more concerned about the Obama administration's statement that this is related to a rational government interest. At least they haven't jumped on that yet.

Posted by: RainbowPhoenix | Jun 9, 2009 10:28:56 AM


These people will try to spin anything to fit into their warped world view.

This type of thing is Law 101. The Supreme Court denying a cert is *not* a ruling on the substance of the case. At all. It is only a decision that the Supreme Court doesn't find it necessary or appropriate to hear the case at this time . It does not mean that the Supreme Court agrees with the lower court ruling. In fact, the Supreme Court may later grant a cert and make a decision contrary to the lower court decision which they previously denied cert.

Generally the Supreme Court will deny cert for a couple of reasons:

- if they feel that the case doesn't raise an important enough issue to warrant review at this time; or
- if they think the case is premature (see below regarding Circuits).

One reason for granting a cert is to resolve differences among the Circuits. In that kind of case, the Supreme Court may wish to wait until there are several Appeals Court decisions on an issue to see if there will be conflicts or not. If there is consensus in the Circuit Courts then a Supreme Court hearing isn't necessary. If there is conflict then the Supreme Court may grant cert to resolve the issue.

So there are several reasons why the SCOTUS may deny a cert but agreeing or disagreeing with the substance of the case or with the lower court decisions have nothing to do with it.

Posted by: Kzoo | Jun 9, 2009 11:27:08 AM

There's an old saying that goes something like, "if you can't say something good about someone, then say something bad." So . . . . .

One of the most consistent characteristics of Authoritarian Christianists, such as Barber and Perkins, is that they are lying liars. But it's okay because when you are lying for Jesus, then it's called a moral value.

It's not surprising. When your entire belief system is built upon a foundation of ignorance, fantasy and superstition that produces magic truth, then it's no surprise when facts and evidence surrounding current events are easily dismissed in order to produce more magic truth.

So, a question is, are they really lying liars or just delusional? I think the answer is some of both. But the delusion part doesn't just happen, they desperately need it and seek to maintain it by distorting or dismissing all facts and evidence to the contrary.

Posted by: Richard Rush | Jun 9, 2009 12:29:59 PM

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