Wednesday, February 11, 2009

CT- Same-sex marriage doesn't cost justices

These judges reappointed in spite of their ruling on same-sex marriage - Same-sex marriage doesn't cost justices

Unfolding in the state Senate today: a proxy battle over same-sex marriage.

The Senate just reconfirmed three justices of the Connecticut Supreme Court, all of whom were among the five-member majority in Kerrigan v. Department of Public Health, which ruled the state’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

There were objections to the justices from some Republicans, with many citing concerns about what they view as relative loose constructionism in interpretation of the state Constitution. But there wasn’t enough to make a difference.

Associate Justices Flemming L. Norcott Jr., Joette Katz and Richard N. Palmer were all confirmed by the same vote total: 28-7, with one senator absent. (The missing senator is Sen. Thomas Gaffey, D-Meriden, who has been absent from the Capitol since the death of his teenage son earlier this month.)

This conclusion isn’t hugely surprising. Senators don’t toss out Supreme Court justices all that often.

And the rumors of some grave comeuppance for those who support same-sex marriage have been, like those of Twain’s death, greatly exaggerated. Lobbying efforts to open the state constitution to a new convention (and thus to direct-initiative lawmaking and a gay marriage ban) or to unseat the pro-marriage chairmen of the Judiciary Committee have come up short.

And if any of those justices wondered (in the back of the mind, they must, right?) what cost it would be to a career to back the plaintiffs in Kerrigan, the answer is the strange but increasingly familiar one: It’s just not that big a deal.

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