Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Supremes Do DC Right

Even the right-leaning Supreme Court nails some. Today, the ennead came down for civil rights and D.C. self-determination. They told a group wanting to overturn SSM there by ballot initiative to go away.

Tip of the Toupee: To John Hosty-Grinnell, who tweeted this.

The G.I. Joe action figure looking minister of a Beltsville, MD, church had a mind to take away the SSM rights of D.C. homosexual couples. The D.C. Council voted to legalize SSM there in 2009, consistent with the District's Human Rights Act.

That didn't suit Hope Christian Church's Senior Pastor, Bishop Harry Jackson. He led the repeated drive, turned down in the D.C. Court of Appeals and onto the Supreme Court. He held the paternalistic view that Congress, not the District should decide what D.C. laws could face a ballot initiative to overturn them. He sued the D.C. Board of Election and Ethics, demanding a plebiscite.

The District legal position was that this was a local issue. Moreover, "(t)here is no national analogue to pertinent provisions of District law, and indeed no federal right of initiative at all," reads the city's brief. The decision of the District court is here.

The Supreme Court did not agree with Jackson. They declined to let the suit continue.

As an amusing little side note, the D.C. appeals decision also points out that Jackson was not only asking for discrimination, he was late. While Congress has authority over the District, any laws the District enacts take effect fully if Congress does not overrule them or object within 30 days. The decision denying everything Jackson sought adds (pp. 13-14), "... Petitioners ask this Court to interfere with the Congressionally mandated legislative framework here."

Game over.

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