Professor Wagner at Ninomania archly observes:
Well, Rick Santorum may as well save that little list of his. It's going to be the syllabus of much of the Court's agenda over the next few years. Assuming, that is, that the Court views what it says today as binding in the future. "You can't assume a g__d___ thing in this Navy," said Capt. Queeg, or in the Court, say I.
Meanwhile, Dale Price is sponsoring a game called "just try and articulate a principled reason for distinguishing between a Homosexual's constitutionally protected privacy interest and a polygamist's constitutionally unprotected privacy interest." The early favorite offered by G. Thomas Fitzpatrick seems to boil down to "two's company and three's a crowd."
On the other hand, Arthur Silber offers this reasoning in support of the decision:
I know it's probably not a very attractive quality to admit (although on the other hand, perhaps it's simply a matter of justice), but now that the Supreme Court has struck down the Texas sodomy law 6-3, I just keep thinking how absolutely miserable and apoplectic people like Santorum and Stanley Kurtz must be. "Oh, no, everything is permissible now! The sky is falling! The sky is falling!"
I hope they're having one of the most miserable days of their lives. It would serve them right.
More after I have a chance to look at the opinions, and see what the Court said and what its reasoning was.
(A lot about Santorum and his disgusting, theocratic beliefs here...)
Elsewhere, he neatly proves Scalia's point that the Court is flushing legal principles whenever convenient for elite cultural opinion with this telling observation:
"The court has taken sides in the culture war," Scalia said, adding that he has "nothing against homosexuals."
What an unmitigated bastard. I don't suppose the invalidation of this law could have anything to do with individual rights, could it? No, of course not: it's "the culture war." Much more later.
Get it? Anyone who opposes the Lawrence decsion is a theocrat opposed to individual rights. Of course, what Scalia really said was he had no objection to homosexuals using the mechanisms of democracy to achieve their policy objectives. (The crazy, theocratic, "unmitigated bastard!!!") But, then, who needs democracy when you know the right answer?!? Oddly, that is exactly Scalia's point - if you have the right answer, you can always cut legal principles like statutory construction, stare decisis and historical exegesis to suit. It's only lesser mortals who don't think they have the final answer to social questions who presume to leave questions concerning the "ultimate mysteries of life" to the democratic system. But, hey, let's leave it to 5 out of 9 lifetime tenured civil servants. After all they will never be out of touch with Eastern Seaboard Elite Values, will they?
Now the truth is that sky will not fall. For absolutely no principled reason at all, the Supreme Court will not extend the Lawrence holding to any other private consensual relationship. Certain categories are given sui generis treatment by the Supreme Court. Abortion, AIDS and Homosexuality, oddly enough. For example, could you imagine the Supreme Court upholding a rule that prevents education about the evils of racism within 5 feet of a segregated lunch counter? Probably not, but abortion clinics are just different. Likewise, can you imagine the Court's reaction to the police moving into an anti-war protest to arrest only the Stalinists? But protests against abortion are different.
Likewise, with respect to any other medical condition before you could obtain protection under the Americans with Disability Act, you would have to show a "substantial impairment" of a "major life activity." But in Bragdon v. Abbott the Supreme Court held that a person with "asymptomatic AIDS" - in other words, no symptoms - was covered by the ADA because of her voluntary decision not to reproduce resulting from her fear of the 20% chance of passing the virus. You can therefore imagine my surprise on learning that the ADA did not cover people with, say, diabetes because they were controlling their condition through treatment and thus, oddly, had no symptoms. Further, their possible choice not to control their condition would not have been a factor in the ADA analysis of their case. Their ADA status must be considered after "mitigation." [Sort of like determining the question of whether Abbott was "disabled" after assuming that she had decided to have children.]
Like it or not, there is simply no principled basis for these decision. They exist sui generis by Supreme Court fiat. And if you don't get that, then you don't live among the elites.
Nonetheless, the Lawrence decision will be a sui generis decision. The next case for pedophiles or incest or necrophilia or polygamy will be turned down without effort, and everyone will breathe a sigh of relief.
But it's not like the Supreme Court is taking sides in the Culture Wars or anything. It's all about individual rights.