Tuesday, May 3

Battle of the Supremes

Yesterday -- the day that SCOTUS decided to take up the case of the law schools versus anti-gay military recruiters -- the SacBee had a nice article on a local-boy-done-good and his latest confrontations with the religious right.

Ben, did you know that my favorite Supreme, Anthony Kennedy, was born right there in Sacto? (How could he not be my favorite, with enemies like Tom Delay? It must really gall The Hammer that even Republican appointees can turn "activist" when there are no obligations to pander.) I'm really pleased that I once had the chance to meet Kennedy when he gave a lecture to my Princeton con law class.

In contrast to Justice Nice Guy of course is Antonin Scalia, a judicial bully if ever there was one. I've been remiss in not blogging about the brouhaha that erupted last month when NYU law student Eric Berndt, invited to a cozy Q&A with Nino, scandalized the legal world by asking the justice point blank if he sodomizes his wife. Many upright citizens (read: gay Republicans) clucked about the impropriety of the question, suggesting that it "doesn't help the cause," but I say you have to stand up to someone like Scalia.

I also firmly believe that any movement for social change can't succeed without both its conciliators and its bottle-throwers. While Berndt's tactics perhaps won't sell midwestern soccer moms on gay equality, it should fire up a part of the blue-state base that needs to stay energized. To reach that other demographic, we can let Oprah air tear-jerker episodes on her attractive young designer friend losing a same-sex partner in the tsunami.

Meanwhile, does anyone else think there should be a comic book based on the Supremes, with Kennedy and Scalia heading up good and bad teams of legal superheroes?