MA Judicial activism affects Ocean State

by Sal on October 2, 2006

in Politics

Yet another judicial activism from a Liberal judge in the State of MA. This time, a Massachusetts state judge is interpreting Rhode Island law. A Suffolk County Superior Court judge ruled that RI same-sex couples could have marriages performed in MA, because RI law does not expressly prohibit Same-sex marriage. This opens a flood of same-sex couples from RI to get married in MA.

Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch, however, has stated that these marriages will not be recognized in RI, opening the door for a federal “full faith and credit” lawsuit.

Now, I’m no lawyer, and maybe the more legally-minded readers of this board can add more insight, but if laws involve interstate issues, they need to be settled at the federal level, not at the state level. The ruling oligarchy of the People’s Republic of Massachusetts (a.k.a. the Judiciary) is again trying to impose its will on the American people, and this time, state boundaries are not even a concern of theirs.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

The Iconoclast October 2, 2006 at 11:44 am

I haven’t read the Mass. case concerning same-sex marriage since May or so, but I do remember that an important element of the case was that same-sex couples wouldn’t be able to backdoor (uh oh) their way into marriages in other states that don’t recognize these relationships. I’ll check up on it.

Also, it is highly unlikeley that any full faith and credit argument would hold up here. It’s why the Mass. S.C. messed up so badly. Massachusetts has created an element of uncertainty for same-sex couples when they travel/move other states. It affects everything from wills to rights over medical decision-making. I wrote about this a bit a while ago over the TPB.

I’ll let you know if I find anything interesting in reviewing the Ma. caselaw.


Cannon October 4, 2006 at 6:58 am

From what I remember, the Defense of Marriage Act should keep the Full Faith and Credit argument at bay. That was part of why DOMA was written–so that same-sex unions performed in one state do not require full faith and credit in the others.

As for your Conflicts of Law question, this Mass. judge screwed it up. It is not uncommon for judges of one state to interpret the laws of another, but such judges are SUPPOSED to keep consistant with the the laws and courts of that state. Clearly, this judge didn’t do this.

In the end, it will come down to what the RI judiciary decides to do with this. Most likely, they will ignore it and it will not be too much of a problem


Sal October 4, 2006 at 7:23 am

I have heard opinions by reliable conservative lawyers, however, that DOMA is technically unconstitutional, in that it does indeed violate the FF&C clause of the constitution. With liberal activist judges, who have an agenda, I can see this case being used as a springboard to try to overturn DOMA and legalize gay marriage everywhere.


Ryan October 4, 2006 at 6:38 pm

Typical liberal bilge on this issue. The ruling oligarchy may in fact be trying to do as Sal suggests– get a series of test cases or one particular case to test DOMA’s constitutionality. It doesn’t look good in my opinion.


Cannon October 5, 2006 at 6:14 pm

All right, I went back and checked my notes on this. DOMA has a constitutional basis because FF&C has a clause that allows Congress to prescribe the effect of out-of-state judicial proceedings (e.g., marriages). If it is unconstitutional, it violates Equal Protection. This is a bit liberal stretch for a host of reasons, but as you know–courts will do what they do.

If I had to guess though, DOMA will probably survive. Previous Supreme Court cases which deal with similar issues can be narrowed pretty effectively–they’re all state cases. Homosexuals get rational-basis review on EP cases, and the federal government has never lost on rational-basis. Of course, we’ve all be surprised before.


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