July 16, 2009
Did Sen. Graham endorse gay marriage?
Posted by: Andoni
I was shocked and delighted at the way Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) approached his questioning of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor during the Senate confirmation hearings today. He seemed to be laying the groundwork for Justice Sotomayor and the Supreme Court to rule DOMA unconstitutional.
Graham's two areas of concern in his questioning were whether the right to bear arms was a fundamental right and whether one state should be forced to recognize another state's same sex marriage. He indicated that these were two questions of potential major societal change that the Supreme Court will one day soon have to consider. Graham conceded that although he doesn't want activist judges, that indeed sometimes the Supreme Court needs to step in to secure certain rights because those rights make people uncomfortable and are so unpopular that they could never be achieved by the legislative process.
Graham then cited an example of where the Supremes imposed a major change on society -- Brown v Board of Education, the decision that desegregated the nation's schools. Graham confessed that if he himself had been a Senator from SC in 1954, he could not have voted to desegregate the schools because it made so many of his constituents uncomfortable and was so unpopular. It could not be done legislatively. He seemed to feel that this case of judicial activism and major social change was the right thing to do. He claimed that the case was well argued and that harm to that group was well documented.
Graham concluded his history, sociology and government lesson with this surprising statement praising Sotomayor:
"I think fundamentally, judge, you're able to embrace a right that you may not want for yourself to allow others to do things that are not comfortable to you, but for the group, they're necessary."
I have no idea if Graham only had the right to bear arms in mind when he encouraged Sotomayor to rule for rights that are necessary even if they make other people uncomfortable, but the two cases he told her (and us) were heading for the Supreme Court were gun rights and gay marriage rights.
To me it sure sounded as if he was arguing for Sotomayor to become part of a Supreme Court that would proclaim a fundamental right to bear arms as well as the right of gays to be married in every state of the union --- no matter how uncomfortable this made some people.
Who would have thought that Senator Lindsey Graham was a closeted freedom to marry supporter?
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