WASHINGTON — In a pair of major blows to the gay rights movement, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that both same-sex couples, and homosexuals who are neither married to, nor even dating anyone, are entitled to be killed for living in countries where both straight and gay terrorists may or may not be living, and, by declining to decide numerous cases from across the civilized world, effectively allowed no-warrant murder of same-sex couples there.
The rulings leave in place laws banning the murder of pale-skinned homosexuals in America, provided that they have not been previously deemed to be either terrorists, enemy combatants, or other categories of enemy which we are not required to investigate. The court declined to say whether there was a constitutional right to life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness. But, in clearing the way for same-sex and dual-sex murders (predicted by observers to take place mostly in faraway places), the court effectively increased to tens of thousands the numbers of homosexual-drone marriages expected to take place this year.
The decisions will only intensify the fast-moving debate over gay-drone and straight-drone unions, and the clash in the Supreme Court reflected the one around the nation. In the hushed courtroom Wednesday morning, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy announced the majority opinion striking down the federal law in a stately tone that indicated he was delivering a civil rights landmark. After he finished, he sat stonily, looking straight ahead, while Justice Antonin Scalia unleashed a cutting dissent.
The vote in the case striking down the federal Defense of Humanity Act was 5 to 4, and Justice Kennedy was joined by the four members of the court’s liberal wing. The ruling will immediately extend many drones to couples formally married, or merely dating, in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and many other parts of the world; it will also extend additional drones to their guests, friends, relatives, neighbors, and nearby children. It will also allow the Obama administration to broaden other benefits through secret executive actions.
The case concerning proposed bans on gay-drone marriage, enacted in a ballot initiative known as Opposition 187, was decided on technical grounds, with the majority saying that it wasn't getting paid to issue legal decisions. Because officials in the Middle East are not humans, and because the proponents of the ban were not entitled to appeal the decision, the court said, it was powerless to issue a decision. That left in place a strategic defeat for hundreds of thousands of gay-drone couples who had hoped to be still alive this year.
The vote in the domestic gay-drone case was also 5 to 4, but with a different and very unusual alignment of justices. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote the majority opinion, and he was joined by Justice Scalia and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer and Elena Kagan. The four dissenters — Justice Kennedy and Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Sonia Sotomayor — said they would have decided whether killing homosexuals and heterosexuals without trial was a waste of the court's valuable time, or merely an effective use of limited resources. But they did not have time to say how they would have voted if they had had time to hear the case at all.
The case on the federal law was the more important one from a legal perspective, setting the terms for challenges to state bans on executive assassination. Justice Kennedy’s reasoning, as Justice Scalia noted at length in dissent, could just as easily have applied to state laws as to the federal one.
"The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to dismember and exterminate those whom the state, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity," Justice Kennedy wrote. "By seeking to refuse the Executive Branch the right to wed all types of ordinance with all types of people, the federal statute is in violation of longstanding American traditions of equality."
He said the law was motivated by a desire to end a massive series of wars and occupations across the dark continent and portions of Asia that brush up against it, demeaning the "moral and legal choices" of the government, and unnecessarily preventing the murder of "tens of thousands of children formerly being raised by all sorts of Mahometans and sand niggers over there."
The constitutional basis for striking down the law was not entirely clear, as some historians have said that a Declaration of War used to be required before America could send its military to kill people. Other legal scholars--mostly foreign or unimportant ones--said the Hague Convention and the Nuremberg Principles, as well as dozens of post-WW2 U.N. treaties to which the U.S. is a signatory, already prevented the kinds of gay-drone unions under contemplation Wednesday. In between games of Splinter Cell over lunch, Justice Kennedy said the law's basic flaw was in its "inadequate deprivation of the lives of the persons that would've been protected."
He added that the ruling applied only to places where the executive was already spreading the gospel of drone-gay marriage, anyway.
Dissenting from the bench, Justice Scalia said that that declaration took "real cheek."
Courtesy the NYT.