Monday, August 9, 2010

Video: Justice Kennedy a "Human Jump Ball"


From yesterday's Face the Nation, a video of Jan Crawford on same-sex marriage and the Fourteenth Amendment is linked here

Crawford discusses why traditional gay rights groups did not want the California case brought; namely, because the case logically will go to the Supreme Court and the Court may not be ready to sanction same-sex marriage.  She refers to Justice Kennedy's role as the swing vote and calls him a "human jump ball." 

Although Justice Kennedy voted in favor of gay rights in a 2003 case (Lawrence v. Texas), that matter dealt with criminalizing homosexual acts between consenting adults at home.  While laws against such acts were on the books, enforcement was sparse.  Sanctioning same-sex marriage would be a far more dramatic ruling, Crawford explains, because it would "set aside essentially the [actively enforced] laws of forty-four states."

Crawford also discusses recent talk of changing the Fourteenth Amendment to prohibit children of illegal immigrants, born in America, from having automatic U.S. citizenship.  This Amendment was, of course, originally intended to provide citizenship to freed slaves.