Tuesday, March 15, 2005

MH - I Wish I'd Listened to What My Mother Told Me When I Was Young

In light of the California ruling that the state's ban on homosexual marriage was unconstitutional, Relapsed Catholic (via Volokh) reminds us that Phyllis Schlafly had predicted such things back when she was fighting the ERA:
"Yet it now looks like the 'hysterical' 'emotional scare tactic' 'canard' may well have been quite reasonable predictions: It looks like courts are indeed treating opposite-sex-only marriage rules as involving sex classifications, and as thus being presumptively unconstitutional. Had the ERA been enacted at the federal level, it would have further raised the bar against sex classifications, and thus made decisions like the California and Massachusetts one more likely."

Although Volokh favored passage of ERA (with some modifications), he admits:
"But the California decision -- and the Massachusetts decision, and a similar Hawaii decision that has since been reversed by the Hawaii voters -- shows us that we shouldn't lightly dismiss plausible, facially valid textual arguments (the text bars discrimination based on sex, and the marriage laws do treat people differently based on their sex) as 'canards,' 'scare tactics,' or 'hysteric[s].' The anti-ERA forces, much as I probably disagree with most of them on many things, have proved prescient."

It proves once again (as if we needed further proof) the truth of the slippery-slope arguement. Which brings me to the title of this post (500 points to anyone who knows where it came from):
Arthur: "You know, it's at times like this, when I'm trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space, that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young."

Ford: "Why, what did she tell you?"

Arthur: "I don't know, I didn't listen."

Substitute "judicial tyranny" for a Vogon airlock, and you have our current situation in a nutshell.

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