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October 7, 2004
Edwards fails Constitutional test

Although many MSM pundits have declared John Edwards the winner of the domestic portion of last night's debate, both observers and VP Cheney missed a major blunder, especially considering that Edwards is an attorney. During his discussion of the gay marriage question, Edwards repeatedly stated, "No state for the last 200 years has ever had to recognize another state's marriage." Edwards went on to criticize for "using the Constitution as a political tool."

I'd like to direct the trial attorney's attention to Article IV of the US Constitution, Section 1, also known as the Full Faith and Credit Clause. States are compelled by law to recognize marriages performed in other states. If any state performs a marriage between homosexuals, then all other states in the union will be bound to recognize it, regardless of that state's law.

Apparently Edwards didn't just miss Senate sessions, he missed a lot of law school classes as well.

CORRECTION AND UPDATE: In my haste to complete yesterdays post, I attacked Edwards statements on Full Faith and Credit (FF&C) grounds. After further reflection, and upon reading the comments provided by our readers, I would like to make a correction and share additional thoughts. Historically, courts have not been willing to force a state to recognize a marriage made in another state when that marriage violates the states public policy. Should a gay couple be married in State A and move to state B, they could argue that their marriage is entitled to FF&C, but this does not mean their case will necessarily be victorious should State B have a public policy against gay marriage.

However, because the Supreme Court has been quite active in making its own public policy these days, I believe that the married couple has a far more promising argument in the equal-protection and due-process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. Law students and attorneys alike will recall Loving v. Virginia, where the Supreme Court found a states anti-miscegenation law to be unconstitutional. In his opinion, Chief Justice Warren found "the Equal Protection Clause requires the consideration of whether the classifications drawn by any statute constitute an arbitrary and invidious discrimination." He also declared marriage to be "basic civil rights of man." While it is my opinion that race and sexuality are not comparable categories, I do not trust the activist court to make that distinction.

That being said, Edwards' original comment was "No state for the last 200 years has ever had to recognize another state's marriage." That comment is wrong. States have been required to recognize marriages made in other states every day for the last 200 years. They just have not been forced to recognize all of them.

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Posted by Whiskey at October 7, 2004 7:00 PM

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» Cheney - Edwards Vice Presidential Debate from bLogicus
In my quick review of several bloggers and news organizations it appears that conservatives give the debate to Dick Cheney while liberals favor John Edwards. Both sides appear very confident in their respective assessments. Having a conservative orient... [Read More]

Tracked on October 6, 2004 8:09 AM

» Debating the Debate from Right Journal
I promised no further discussion about last night's debate but for your edification here are other commentators who are offering insight. Armies of Liberation, or as I like to call her, Jane, writes about her favorite quotes from the debate. Bac... [Read More]

Tracked on October 6, 2004 9:04 AM

» Is This Right? from TheTalkArena.com
From The Captain: Although many MSM pundits have declared John Edwards the winner of the domestic portion of last night's debate, both observers and VP Cheney missed a major blunder, especially considering that Edwards is an attorney. During his di... [Read More]

Tracked on October 6, 2004 2:35 PM



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