Monday, April 08, 2013

Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Mark Tushnet

As of this afternoon, a majority of the US Senate has endorsed marriage equality. Now for some real "courage": Why not introduce (and put on a fast track) legislation to repeal DOMA? I know, I know: It's always easier for a politician to let someone else do "difficult" things -- unless there's political ground to be gained by doing them yourself. It seems to me that DOMA falls into that category. (And, were John Boehner and Mitch McConnell really savvy politicians, they'd tell their caucuses that the vote on DOMA's repeal is what is referred to in parliamentary systems as a free vote, one in which party discipline will not be exercised -- and, for McConnell, that it's not an issue on which he'd welcome a filibuster.) I know that my "proposal" isn't a "serious" one, but it's probably worth thinking about what that fact tells us about contemporary politics in the United States and about the role of judicial review in our politics.

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