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Commentary

April 5, 2013

Juriprudence by the polls

During two days of debate over gay marriage, the Supreme Court considered technical matters of standing, the nature of marriage and constitutional rights, the social science of gay parenting, and much else.

The response of top liberal commentators was, Please, don't bore us with the details. Just get on with it.

What matters is that the cause of gay marriage is righteous - and, oh yeah, gaining in the polls. For the left, the nine justices are bit actors in a real-life episode of "The West Wing," where truth, justice, and progressivism always prevail. The Constitution is an incidental, a prop.

Maureen Dowd, as usual, perfectly reflected the liberal id. "Their questions," she wrote scornfully of the justices, "reflected a unanimous craven impulse: How do we get out of this?" "Getting out of it" is another way to put "leaving the question to the elected branches of government."

Dowd complained that the justices acted like "fuddy-duddies." Yes, if only our robed masters were cooler. Surely, if they had Anna Wintour in for a working lunch at the court's chambers, all this unpleasantness could be worked out quickly. Dowd scorned the court proceedings for their lack of emotion. How bitterly disappointing it must be to her that even Sonia Sotomayor, selected by the president in part for her "empathy," asked questions relating to the law.

In his dispatch, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank struck a similar tone. He wrote, disapprovingly, "The question is whether the court forces gay-marriage activists to win the right state-by-state." If that is really the question, why should it even be a question? Since when is it an imposition to advance your cause democratically, especially when you are absolutely certain you are going to win?

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