Columbia JReubs

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Question for Upperclasswomyn/men II.

I don't want to go back to NY any earlier than I have to. I'd just as soon not do EIP and spend that time wandering the globe or trying to find a lifemate.

Can someone just tell me that I don't have to? Too bad my firm doesn't tell us about offers until some time after EIP ends.

The real question: How many of you are going to do EIP again? If your firm tells you ahead of time, then go ahead and assume you get that offer. Or if you know you're clerking, will you summer again like lucre-loving Nate?

(Oh, and Blaine and Nancy are right. This is Matt S.)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

New York Court of Appeals rejects Gay Marriage Claims

The New York high court rejected an appeal by gay couples who had attempted to get marriage licenses in the state. A NYC Supreme Court judge had ruled that the state constitution required granting them marriage licenses, while other trial courts (there were 4 separate cases) had rejected the claim. The appellate courts rejected the gay couples' claims in all 4 cases and the Court of Appeals affirmed.

Decision: http://www.courts.state.ny.us/ctapps/decisions/jul06/jul06.htm (Select nos. 86-89)

NYTimes article: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/06/nyregion/06cnd-marriage.html?ex=1152849600&en=f3916a36c23a7f5b&ei=5070&emc=eta1

In rejecting the claims the plurality opinion (3 of 6 judges, with a fourth concurring) made several interesting arguments:

1) Scientific studies detecting no difference in children raised by a gay couple compared with those raised by a heterosexual couple do not prove that there is no difference:

"Plaintiffs seem to assume that they have demonstrated
the irrationality of the view that opposite-sex marriages offer
advantages to children by showing there is no scientific evidence
to support it. Even assuming no such evidence exists, this
reasoning is flawed. In the absence of conclusive scientific
evidence, the Legislature could rationally proceed on the common-
sense premise that children will do best with a mother and father
in the home."

2) The Court draws a fairly forceful distinction between restrictions on gay marriage and restrictions on interracial marriage.

"Until a few decades ago, it was an accepted
truth for almost everyone who ever lived, in any society in which
marriage existed, that there could be marriages only between
participants of different sex. A court should not lightly
conclude that everyone who held this belief was irrational,
ignorant or bigoted. We do not so conclude."

3) It is rational to assume that a primary purpose of marriage is to have children, and it is also rational to limit the benefits of marriage to those persons most likely to have children--heterosexual couples--even though homosexual couples may have children and some heterosexual couples choose not to.

4) The concurrence emphasizes that many court decisions according special status or protection to marriage have done so because of the relationship between marriage & procreation.

The plurality concludes with this: "The dissenters assert confidently that 'future generations' will agree with their view of this case.... We do not predict what people will think generations from now, but we believe the present generation should have a chance to decide the issue through its elected representatives. We therefore express our hope that the participants in the controversy over same-sex marriage will address their arguments to the Legislature; that the Legislature will listen and decide as wisely as it can; and that those unhappy with the result -- as many undoubtedly will be -- will respect it as people in a democratic state should respect choices democratically made."