C-FAM's Ruse: "On Two Compelling Legal Briefs that Challenge SSM"


Austin Ruse, President of C-FAM, writes in Crisis Magazine:

During his confirmation hearing for the Supreme Court, Judge Robert Bork said one of his attractions to the court was that it would be an “intellectual feast.” There is certainly a feast going over the impending Supreme Court consideration of same-sex marriage. A mountain of friend-of-the-court briefs has landed in the hands of the Supreme Court, some of them utterly fascinating.

Two of the briefs are notably interesting, one from Professor Robert George of Princeton and his talented young collaborators Ryan T. Anderson of the Heritage Foundation and Sherif Girgis who is toiling on a law degree at Yale and a Ph.D in Philosophy at Princeton.

... Bradley and McHugh want to convince the court that homosexuals do not rise to the level of a “suspect class” deserving of “heighted scrutiny” protection. Those in support of traditional marriage believe the people of California in the Proposition 8 case and that Congress in the Defense of Marriage Act all had “rational” reasons for their claims. It is a lower and much easier claim to defend. Prop 8 and DOMA plaintiffs want to claim “suspect class” which would force the defendants to make the much harder case that the state has a “compelling interest” in maintaining man-woman marriage.

In order to become a suspect class, however, homosexuals have to make the case that there is a history of discrimination against them, that they are politically powerless to fight back, and that theirs is a “discrete group” with “immutable characteristics.” This is not easy.

Bradley and McHugh make the case abundantly and perhaps surprisingly that the plaintiffs fail on the questions of both discreteness and immutability.

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