Saturday, June 29, 2013

Mich. ban on domestic partner benefits blocked

From: legal_reality
Subj: Fwd: Mich. ban on domestic partner benefits blocked

26 June A.D. 2013

In general, this confirms that "marriage" is a matter of "STATE law," and that the feds may not put asunder what the STATEs have joined together.

The STATEs will be "encouraged" by the european banking cartel to continue to expand the scope/access to gay marriage.  Gay marriage is "big" in "this state," for it's a self-realizing population control measure.  Fewer ways better to help a nation destroy itself than by diminishing its reproduction rate below that necessary to keep that nation on par (or growing).

This'll be a HUGE boon to the "family law" bar and practice.  Gay marriages don't last any longer than straight marriages, these days.

Where "federal benefits" must now be bestowed on gay couples, there's at least one auxiliary issue.  As illustrated in the story below, "estate tax" matters will now be different (that many fewer "estates" available to collect). Gay couples will now be recognized as filing "MARRIED FILING JOINTLY."  Don't know what percentage of any of the decrease in "taxes" going into the system or benefits coming back out are at issue, but if it's enough, then there'll "have" to be a "tax" increase to cover the "loss."

It's just one more aspect confirming the reality of this present "Beast" system and of the shortness of time remaining for this "Beast" system.  The more of this activity the is, the closer to the end we're supposed to be.

Harmon L. Taylor
Legal Reality
Dallas, Texas
Subscribe / unsubscribe :

-------- Original Message --------
Supreme Court strikes down Defense of Marriage Ac
Wed, 26 Jun 2013 09:43:02 -0500
Supreme Court strikes down Defense of Marriage Act
By Pete Williams and Erin McClam, NBC News
In a landmark ruling for gay rights, the Supreme Court on Wednesday 
struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law blocking federal 
recognition of same-sex marriages.
The decision was 5-4, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy. It said that 
the law amounted to the “deprivation of the equal liberty of persons 
that is protected by the Fifth Amendment.”
In a separate case, the court ruled that it could not take up a 
challenge to Proposition 8, the California law that banned gay marriage 
in that state. That decision means that gay marriage will once again be 
legal in California.
The ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act means that the federal 
government must recognize the gay marriages deemed legal by the states — 
12 plus the District of Columbia, before the California case was 
decided. The law helps determine who is covered by more than 1,100 
federal laws, programs and benefits, including Social Security survivor 
benefits, immigration rights and family leave.
“DOMA instructs all federal officials, and indeed all persons with whom 
same-sex couples interact, including their own children, that their 
marriage is less worthy than the marriages of others,” the ruling said. 
It added that the law was invalid because there was no legitimate 
purpose for disparaging those whom states “sought to protect in 
personhood and dignity.”
President Barack Obama, in a post on Twitter, said that the ruling was a 
“historic step forward for #MarriageEquality.”
Kennedy was joined in the majority by the four members of the court’s 
liberal wing, Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia 
Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Dissenting were Chief Justice John Roberts 
and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.
Scalia, in his dissent, wrote: “We have no power to decide this case. 
And even if we did, we have no power under the Constitution to 
invalidate this democratically adopted legislation. The Court’s errors 
on both points spring forth from the same diseased root: an exalted 
conception of the role of this institution in America.”
Cheers went up outside the Supreme Court, where supporters of gay 
marriage waved signs, rainbow banners and flags with equality symbols.
The ruling comes as states are authorizing gay marriage with increasing 
speed and with public opinion having turned narrowly in favor of gay 
Under the law, gay couples who are legally married in their states were 
not considered married in the eyes of the federal government, and were 
ineligible for the federal benefits that come with marriage.
The case before the Supreme Court, U.S. v. Windsor, concerned Edith 
Windsor and Thea Spyer, a lesbian couple who lived together in New York 
for 44 years and married in Canada in 2007.
When Spyer died in 2009, Windsor was hit with $363,000 in federal estate 
taxes. Had the couple been considered by the federal government to be 
married, Windsor would not have incurred those taxes.
Kennedy, in the ruling, said that New York’s decision to authorize gay 
marriage was a proper exercise of its authority, and reflected “the 
community’s considered perspective on the historical roots of the 
institution of marriage and its evolving understanding of the meaning of 
President Bill Clinton signed the act into law in September 1996. A 
court ruling in Hawaii had raised the prospect that that state might 
become the first to authorize gay marriage.
At the time, some members of Congress believed that the Defense of 
Marriage Act might be a compromise that would take the air out of a 
movement to amend the Constitution to block gay marriage.
This story was originally published on Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:04 AM EDT

From: legal_reality
Subj: Fwd: Mich. ban on domestic partner benefits blocked
29 June A.D. 2013

Ooops!  A little bit of ink spillage, there.

We'll definitely want to watch this one as it moves through the system.

Where the STATE (OF MICHIGAN) has stated, legislatively, i.e., through a normal, established, recognized policy-making process, that "marriage" is between "one man and one woman," then that's the policy for that STATE.  The national system is bound by that STATE policy.

If this author understands the reason for the recent DOMA-striking ruling, it's simply this:  "marriage" is a STATE-law matter.

Here, the STATE (OF MICHIGAN) has spoken legislatively, where the STATE (OF CALIFORNIA) has spoken through a STATE-wide vote (directly from the people, who, by the way, since that's a STATE election, can, per a STATE policy, if such exists, be required to prove ID).  Both processes confirm and establish STATE policy, and per those STATE policies, "marriage" is between "one man and one woman."

The DOMA-striking ruling wasn't a pro-gay, pro-homosexual ruling, as if it were now federal policy that no STATE may define "marriage" as between "one man and one woman."  That's not what that ruling says, at all.  What it says is that the national legislature doesn't have a horse in that race.  And, that's about all it says, in essence, except for the very clear support for the notion that what the STATE says about that issue is controlling on the national system.

So, there being a definite difference of perspective on the legal policy for this one (between the recent policies established by the Supreme Court and how this trial judge is apply that new policy), we'll want to watch this as it progresses through the system.  IMPORTANT here is whether the STATE officers with the duty to enforce the STATE's duly- and properly-established policy do their jobs or abandon their jobs.  If they do their jobs, they're giving CALIFORNIA officers a clinic.  If they abandon their jobs, then they'll have been "infected" with this CALIFORNIA-style of malpractice, malfeasance in office, and etc.

Harmon L. Taylor
Legal Reality
Dallas, Texas

Subscribe / unsubscribe :

-------- Original Message --------
Mich. ban on domestic partner benefits blocked
Fri, 28 Jun 2013 17:15:03 -0500

Mich. ban on domestic partner benefits blocked

Jun. 28 5:47 PM EDT


Home » Rick Snyder » Mich. ban on domestic partner benefits blocked

DETROIT (AP) — A federal judge on Friday blocked Michigan's ban on domestic partner benefits for employees who work for public schools or local governments, saying state lawmakers simply wanted to punish gays and lesbians.
U.S. District Judge David Lawson said plaintiffs who have lost benefits or been forced to buy expensive private health insurance have made a "plausible claim" that the law violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The decision came nearly a year after he heard arguments in the lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.
"It is hard to argue with a straight face that the primary purpose — indeed, perhaps the sole purpose — of the statute is other than to deny health benefits to the same-sex partners of public employees. But that can never be a legitimate governmental purpose," Lawson said as he ordered an injunction.
The law, passed in 2011 by the Republican-controlled Legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Snyder, ended insurance for people whose domestic partners work for certain public employers. It's somewhat narrow, exempting colleges and universities, as well as most state government workers whose benefits are set by the Michigan Civil Service Commission.
A handful of school districts had offered benefits before the law took effect in 2012, along with Ingham and Washtenaw counties and the cities of Ann Arbor, East Lansing and Kalamazoo, according to the ACLU.
Supporters of the law say it saves tax dollars and follows the spirit of a 2004 constitutional amendment, approved by 58 percent of voters, that defines marriage only as a union between a man and a woman.
Lawson, however, said that argument stinks. The state's claims "come close to striking (the court) with the force of a 5-week-old, unrefrigerated dead fish," he said.
In his 51-page opinion, Lawson cited this week's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that struck down a portion of a federal law that barred certain benefits to married same-sex couples.
"This is great news. It's a very mean-spirited law," said Lansing piano teacher Gerado Ascheri, 55, who has been paying $460 a month after losing better, less expensive health coverage through his partner's employer, Ingham County.
Barbara Ramber, 54, said she and partner JoLinda Jach, 49, have paid more than $4,000 in out-of-pocket expenses since Ramber lost insurance through the city of Kalamazoo. She has glaucoma and other eye ailments but her replacement insurance isn't generous.
"I'm optimistic and prayerful the city of Kalamazoo will reinstate the insurance," said Ramber, who lives in Kalamazoo Township and works part-time in a school cafeteria.
Although the injunction doesn't end the case, Michigan ACLU legal director Michael Steinberg said the law clearly is doomed. He said any public school district or local government now can choose to restore or create benefits for same-sex couples or unmarried opposite-sex couples.
"The judge was absolutely correct in finding that the law was unconstitutional because it's motivated by bigotry," Steinberg said.
The state, of course, still could appeal. The attorney general's office, which defended the law in court, had no comment. Ari Adler, spokesman for House Speaker Jase Bolger, R-Marshall, said the law's supporters still stand behind it.
Sen. Gretchen Whitmer of East Lansing, leader of Senate Democrats, praised the judge and said she's "disheartened that our governor wouldn't stand up for equality in the first place" and veto the bill.
Separately, another judge is considering whether to strike down Michigan's nearly 9-year-old ban on same-sex marriage. It's not known when U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman will make a decision.
Associated Press writer David Eggert in Lansing contributed to this story.

No comments: