Friday, May 13, 2005

Ruling Good for Gays, Great for Republicans

I saw an article over at Boston Crone’s Haven yesterday relating to the federal overruling of a Nebraska referendum on gay marriage. My first thought was, this is great for Republicans. Some new developments today back me up.

Marriage ruling sets stage for Senate debate

'As if the battle over federal judges and “judicial activism” were not superheated enough, a ruling Thursday by U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon to scrap Nebraska’s constitutional definition of marriage has added new fuel.'

'the first time that a federal judge has struck down a state constitutional provision limiting marriage to heterosexual couples – comes just a few days before the Senate begins its long-awaited debate on filibusters of President Bush’s judicial nominees.'

'who is more powerful, one federal judge, or the 477,571 Nebraskans, 70 percent of the voters'

‘The judge was nominated to the bench by President Clinton’

This particular article does not mention that Judge Bataillon was also head of the Nebraska Democratic Party prior to becoming a federal judge.

'Charles Cooper, former assistant attorney general in the Reagan administration, reacted heatedly to Bataillon’s decision, saying, “It is quite timely given the subject matter that we’re taking up. We have fresh evidence of the enormous, extraordinary power that even a single federal district judge has.”'

What horrible timing for the Democrats. A week before the Senate goes head to head over filibusters, Judge Bataillon has opened up a huge ammo cache for the Republicans. Not only could this ruling solidify the Republican standing on the filibuster issue, it will help to ensure the Dems take another pounding at the ballot box in the heartland in 2006. The timing also gives this ruling much more national press than it deserves.

Regardless of your opinion on the gay marriage issue, one must admit that the timing was deadly for Dems. It will be entertaining to watch them scurry for cover from this as next weeks debate heats up. And you can bet this ruling, and others like it, will be brought up time and time again in the run up to 2006, and possibly 2008.

Updated 7:44pm: One other point I would like to include; this case was brought by the ACLU's Gay Project and Lambda Legal. The Republicans are going to have a field day with it.