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Conservative activist confused by inability to obtain a stay just because he wants one

by Jeremy Hooper

Whether its because they are being willfully obtuse in order to sell their agenda or because they really have been swayed by years upon years of misinformation, the root problem with many conservative activists remains their deeply flawed framework. For instance, this tweet from Catholic activist and former National Organization For Marriage personality Thomas Peters:

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In both cases, Thomas is talking about voter-enacted measures. And in both cases, his objections lie in courts that determine these voter-initiated efforts to be constitutionally troubled, at best, and just plain unconstitutional, more likely.

Judges sometimes step in against the "pro-life laws" that Thomas clearly favors because these kinds of laws often go against basic freedoms and/or prior court precedent. Just because voters approve a measure doesn't mean that measure in constitutionally sound, as we've found time and time again (in rulings that favor both progressive and conservative views). So yes, sometimes judges step in while the constitutionality of certain "pro-life laws" are debated. That makes sense; there is a strong burden of proof on those who are attempting to shutter legally operating clinics.

But now to marriage. No judge has "redefined," obviously. What judge after judge (with assistance from the high court) has done is determine that these voter-initiated marriage bans (and congressionally-initiated bans in the case of DOMA) do indeed fly in the face of the constitution and its protections. There is near-consensus among judges since the year 2013, and even this conservative Supreme Court has refused to step in. The burden of proof is yet against on those who championed these unconstitutional marriage bans when they should've known better. But while they attempt to make that case—feebly, against the tide, and with little success—it would be downright unjust to make qualified couples wait to secure their legal rights. A stay would be a freedom-stifling concession to a team that has stifled freedoms for far too long already!

If the conservative movement wants to enact laws the withstand scrutiny and succeed at their mission, then I suggest they come up with better ideas and learn how to more ably defend these ideas in fora where the factual standards are higher than that of their echo chambers. Rather than concern himself with stays, Thomas should help his team come up with policy that can actually go forward.

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