"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Friday, December 09, 2016

Idiots du Jour

Which would be the majority of the Arkansas Supreme Court who came up with this decision:

Arkansas' highest court on Thursday threw out a judge's ruling that could have allowed all married same-sex couples to get the names of both spouses on their children's birth certificates without a court order, saying it doesn't violate equal protection "to acknowledge basic biological truths."

The state Supreme Court also issued a rare admonishment to Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox, saying he made "inappropriate remarks" in his ruling that struck down the birth certificate law. Fox had cited the U.S. Supreme Court's decision legalizing gay marriage in his ruling last year that said married same-sex couples should have both names listed on their children's birth certificates, just as heterosexual married couples do, without requiring a court order. . . .

"What is before this court is a narrow issue of whether the birth-certificate statutes as written deny the appellees due process," Justice Josephine Linker Hart wrote in the court's majority opinion. "...In the situation involving the female spouse of a biological mother, the female spouse does not have the same biological nexus to the child that the biological mother or the biological father has. It does not violate equal protection to acknowledge basic biological truths."

The stupidity evidenced here is staggering.

Right up front, birth certificates are not about biological parentage, they are about legal parentage: who has legal responsibility for the child. Under the Arkansas court's thinking, a child born through artificial insemination to a woman whose husband is sterile should have the (anonymous) sperm donor listed as the father. A child born through surrogacy should have the surrogate listed as the mother. Neither a sperm donor nor a surrogate has legal responsibility for the child.

The bias in this opinion is only compounded by the fact that it quotes the portion of Obergefell that says listing as parent/spouse on birth and death certificates as among the rights and benefits of marriage that must be accorded to same-sex couples, and then declares that part of the opinion irrelevant to the question of whether both same-sex parents must be listed on a child's birth certificate.

The Court mentioned birth certificates only once, stating,

Indeed, while the States are in general free to vary the benefits they confer on all married couples, they have throughout our history made marriage the basis for an expanding list of governmental rights, benefits, and responsibilities. These aspects of marital status include: taxation; inheritance and property rights; rules of intestate
succession; spousal privilege in the law of evidence; hospital access; medical decisionmaking authority; adoption rights; the rights and benefits of survivors; birth and death certificates; professional ethics rules; campaign finance restrictions; workers’ compensation benefits; health insurance; and child custody, support, and visitation rules.

Obergefell, ___ U.S. at ___, 135 S. Ct. at 2601. This single mention of birth certificates was related only to its observation that states conferred benefits on married couples, which in part demonstrated that “ the reasons marriage is fundamental under the Constitution apply with equal force to same-sex couples.” Id. at ___, 135 S.Ct. at 2599.

The full slip opinion is here.

Depending on how fast this gets to the Supreme Court, if the Court decides to hear it at all, rather than remanding it back to the state court, it will go down in flames, 5-3. Even if the Hairpiece manages to get an appointment through the Senate, it will still be 5-4.

And, just in case you were wondering, bias is alive and well in Arkansas.

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