Any judge who makes a ruling based on their personal beliefs rather than on factual evidence is not truly acting as a judge, but rather as a petulant child determined to force everyone else to do things their way. Allowing even a single ruling of law to be based on personal beliefs, whether religious or otherwise, reduces the entire court system to nothing more than a mockery of legal justice.


A judge can’t make rulings solely based on facts, because facts cannot provide a foundation for ethics. Facts can only tell you the way things are, not the way they should be. Rulings should be informed by facts and based on the values of society as a whole.

I agree that they shouldn’t be based on the judge’s personal beliefs. I suppose our judicial system kind of makes this inevitable, though…

HalJor, avatar

You just described most of the major SCOTUS rulings over the last couple of decades, at least.


Pretty much…

bedrooms, (edited )

IANAL, but I dare guess judges do need beliefs. In the beginning, people thought Black people were not humans, and so equality of people in constitution did not apply. I might be factually wrong on this, but let's assume it. To overcome this, some judges had to abandon their racism and understand black people are people.

And while some areas of human issues can be discussed scientifically, like racism being completely wrong, some are difficult.

And if science can't overcome an unjust law today, judges have to listen to their heart and do the right thing. Probably the left thing these days, though...


It seems like you just negated your own point though? If the justices believe black people do not have rights, and make rulings based on that, then they have ignored the letter of the law. On the other hand, ruling in favor of black people’s rights is actually making a judgement that follows the constitution (which makes no mention of race, religion, sexual preference, or anything else). Saying that all people are equal does not just apply to the people that you personally find equal, it means ALL. Making a judgement that same-sex couples have the same rights to marriage does not mean that a judge overcame their bigotry, it simply means that a judge ruled in favor of the letter of the law and did not let their personal feelings get in the way – they dd the job they were hired for rather than becoming a vindictive dictator.


I noticed. What I wanted to say was it can become a battle between the correct belief and the wrong belief. Especially if the law itself is interpreted wrongly and scientific evidence is difficult to acquire (which sometimes is).


True, if they don’t have an existing law to work from then you have to determine what the law should say. The problem is the current justices have set out to take away people’s rights rather than defend them. Like allowing same-sex marriages harms nobody, but conservatives would have you believe they are some how directly harmed by this (your hurt feelings do not constitute actual harm) or that children will somehow be sexually exploited by it (to which they’ve never been able to show a single case where that was true).

So maybe my earlier statement could be clarified by saying that making laws which intentionally sets people apart, allowing freedoms for one group while taking them away from another group for no reason other than “I don’t like something about them” is what is making a mockery of the legal system. I mean I could make the case that conservatives should not be allowed to vote based on their recent history of electing criminals and con men, as this is causing actual harm to the collective nation and to individuals, but that’s still just a judgement based on my personal beliefs even when actual physical and monetary harm can be shown, because such a law would still be taking away the rights of one group while still providing the same rights to another group that can have the same problems (even though those incidents are greatly reduced).



MudMan avatar

It's not a matter of science vs belief, it's a matter of law versus dogma.

Law is a consensus that, at least in a democracy, aims to set some rule and the consequences of it in advance so that whenever a case applies it is at least relatively predictable and applied equally in each case.

If you pass judgement based on the things you like, or in the religious beliefs you profess you're not following the law, your imparting dogma. Imposing it, in fact, over others.

You can absolutely make unjust laws, but at least those are the result of a process. In a democracy you can at least understands what steps lead to rectifying an unjust law.

If a person with power decides they don't like you and they apply that belief inconsistently, irrationally and without following consistent rules there is no recourse or path for society to correct itself (beyond violent revolt, presumably).

Judges don't need to listen to their heart. Judges need to apply laws generated in a functional system that captures the will of an informed people in a predictable, equitable manner. Judges ruling based on personal beliefs, whether you agree with them or not, are a tyranical manifestation and a very scary thing.

scrubbles, avatar

God I’m tired of this backwards ass country. His entire argument is “Christian snowflakes got their feelings hurt when they were called bigots for being against gay marriage”.

Maybe because they were bigots for being against gay marriage?

Sorry their feelings got hurt, so this entire group of people can’t have rights anymore.

agegamon, (edited )

Personally I am increasingly uncomfortable feeling the “need” to apologize to regressive people about feeling hurt or insulted. They are entirely responsible for their actions.

They are also not sorry that they are pushing the majority of people (women, LGBTQ+, basically anything non-cis-white-men) into a second class or even subhuman status.

I realize that most people are only open to changing themselves when their feelings are not threatened and when they’re feeling understood. But what we’re talking about here, I don’t know the right word, but “accidental” or “unintentional” are not part of it. If regressive leaders like trump or desantis or whoever get elected then we’re talking about borderline genocide done on purpose. I don’t see how we can come back to acknowledging the feelings of bigots at that point.


Yeah, fuck ‘em. Don’t apologize.

In addition to what you’ve mentioned, don’t forget it’s the same groups of people who want to give guns more rights than women/people of color/LGBTQ+. After reading things like this… you realize you shouldn’t be apologizing because these people don’t give a shit.

scrubbles, avatar

This country gets more frustrating when you realize that most of the issues we face right now are (at their root) because most americans have no ability to self reflect on themselves.

Why do I hate X people? Why am I afraid of this? Should I be afraid of this? Why do I feel like I should trust this person instead of that person? Why does this person’s views make me uncomfortable. …why do I feel like I need to have the biggest truck?

If Americans could self reflect on any of those we would be a very different country.

agegamon, (edited )


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  • scrubbles, avatar

    Yeah when most religion and deeply held beliefs fall apart real quick when the reason for why they’re held is “because my parents believed it”. Younger generations who are still republican usually start to realize they aren’t when asked “why are you republican” and all they can do is spout stuff their parents say. Which is why the best way to help counter their beliefs isn’t to say “it’s stupid” or “you’re wrong”, but to instead keep asking questions. “Why do you think that?” “Why do you think marriage should only be between a man and a woman?” “Why do you believe the bible claims that?” Keep asking whys and maybe they’ll start thinking


    Yes, the Socratic method


    Personally I am increasingly uncomfortable feeling the “need” to apologize to regressive people about feeling hurt or insulted. They are entirely responsible for their actions.

    The “I’m so sorry your feelings are hurt” non-apology is always an option. It sounds like an apology, but it basically means “I’m sorry you suck” rather than apologising for doing something wrong. In most contexts, it’s an asshole thing to do because it’s a refusal to acknowledge that someone has a good reason to be hurt. When dealing with bigots, “I’m sorry you suck” is perhaps the most appropriate response.

    raccoona_nongrata, avatar


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  • scrubbles, avatar

    I think it more proves that no matter what founding fathers or any noble people come up with, there will always be people who corrupt those noble goals and twist them. Supreme Court was supposed to be uncorruptible. They get their position for life so they never have to worry about reelections, just do what is right for the country.

    Founding fathers never thought the nominations would be bastardized around elections, or that bribery would sway judges so high up. Power always corrupts

    drwho, avatar

    “Gaining power never makes people become better people.” –Asher Elijah


    Interestingly the supreme Court has always been super political, dating back to the early 1800s when they were just some dudes riding horses around the country to make appeals decisions and then meeting in some random building in New York.

    Check out the way, especially early on, Congress would pack the courts and cut seats when they didn’t politically align with presidents. They did this because the court was making partisan political decisions and they didn’t want the president to be able to dictate who was making those political decisions.

    Or in the early 1810s when the court mysteriously started supporting business interests in pretty blatant ways.

    The way they differ today is that they have more sway (sometimes people would just ignore rulings) and there’s no legislation being done by Congress to actually shape law, so the supreme Court is doing all the legislating for them.

    Look up the Throughline podcast from NPR if you’re a podcast person, they have done a couple very potable episodes on the supreme court. One on how they came to be this way, and the other on the shadow docket (which is integral to how they came to be this way).

    klemptor, avatar

    I don’t know you but I think I love you.

    drwho, avatar

    Maybe they do. If nothing else, that’ll give the police an excuse to bust out all of their military surplus armaments for a play date.


    This is what I’m scared of. I don’t want to sit at home and do nothing, but whenever there are riots, it feels like people get killed and the causes they died for are just buried in the news cycle.


    I might be misunderstanding but I thought legislation was passed and signed to protect same sex marriage at a federal level?…/biden-set-sign-sex-marriage-bill-wh…

    Bitrot, (edited ) avatar

    The law will not, however, require states to issue marriage licenses contrary to state laws.

    That legislation ensures the federal government recognizes it and requires states to recognize marriages from other states. It does not prevent a state from banning it within that state. (Really shitty that NBC doesn’t link to the actual text so people can read it themselves)


    If you read the article it does not mean states will have to issue licenses to same sex couples in their own state, just, from my understanding, honor ones issued in states where it is legal (which while Obergefell stands is all of them). It is also important to note that the Supreme Court had the power to overturn legislation if it deems it unconditional, so, while it would be hard for them to outright overturn this bill using the constitution, since a state cannot hold religious preference due to seperation of church and state, it cannot be ruled out entirely. I feel it is likely they rule in favor of an individual, such as a county clerk, not having to issue a marriage license if it “goes against their religious beliefs”, which could basically mean a ban for large areas of some states with highly religious conservatives.


    I keep saying we gotta fight these laws through the power of malicious compliance.

    Get a job as a clerk with the department of marriages. Say “I’m an atheist, and I don’t believe in marriage as in my mind it has a religious character.” Sue the state for 10 years salary for firing you.

    It’s the same as those Florida laws. Sue your kids’ school for referring to your child with a gendered pronoun. Sue the library for stocking the Bible. Establish precedent that these laws go both ways. It’s the same stuff the Satanic Temple has been doing for years.


    Got it! Poor wording on my part, I was more thinking that the interstate guarantee was protected. It’s disgraceful that this “court” even exists and this even had to be a thing.

    Gaywallet, avatar

    They’re not wrong, but the title feels sensationalized. Alito and Thomas have talked about Obergefell in a half dozen rulings since Roe v. Wade (including Roe v. Wade) and none of this information is new. They aren’t ‘preparing’ so much as they have been prepared, for some time now.

    bedrooms, (edited )

    I'm from Japan. They don't even have judges as corrupt as SCOTUS and still don't allow same sex marriage because the ruling party is conservative. Well, the court ruled it's unconstitutional, but we learned that a law in this country can stay unconstitutional if the government ignores the situation. And apparently 90% of the people (at least on the internet) support that because they are conservative.

    Makes me realize how broken my country is. It doesn't even count as corruption because it's lawful. Fucking hell...

    drwho, avatar

    Fewer and fewer USians are capable of even considering the possibility that their government might say one thing but consistently do something else.


    Not saying they won't do what the title suggests but I feel like the article itself takes a pretty big leap from the quotes used to the headline. Alito's comments seem to be more focused on governmental discrimination based on religious beliefs than on attacking the legality of same sex marriage


    Alito views those as the same thing, essentially.


    So, before I begin, I want to bring back in some context that is important to the point I want to make. Alito made his statement in response to a juror fighting summary rejection from a case, in which the rejection was due to their belief that “homosexuality is a sin.” The plaintiff, in this case, identified as a lesbian.

    I think it is very important to point out that Alito is being very careful in picking his focus of concern from a constitutional perspective as, you have to remember, the sixth amendment garuntees “speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury”. To put it another way, the court try to eliminate, from they jury, pool any individuals whose bias would negatively affect the outcome of a case in a way not congruent with the law. To me, it seems very intentional that he would champion one constitutional right and neglect another as Alito, a Supreme Court Justice, should be taking all angles of the constitution into question. He should not take into account just those parts that align with his held bias and beliefs.

    Now, how should we as individuals, considering both the 1st and 6th ammendments, broach asituation in which two individuals right clash?

    I have tried to look into if there was any precedent on determining what happens in the case of conflicting constitution rights, but I could not find anything. So, as to my limited knowledge, I can’t really look to precedent (if someone knows anything about this, please share).

    Personally, I would believe that since it could be the matter of someone’s freedom on the line in the case of a trial, I lean in favor of the summary dismissal. Not being on a jury does not, in any way, amount to an injury to said individual that in anyway compares to the possible ramifications of allowing bias onto a case in which someone’s life or property is on the line. The individual can continue to believe whatever regressive asinine dogma their religion subscribes to(and yes, I am showing my bias), while the case is decided by people more willing to only consider the law of this country and not some diety who has no authority here.


    Not saying they won't do what the title suggests but I feel like the article itself takes a pretty big leap from the quotes used to the headline. Alito's comments seem to be more focused on governmental discrimination based on religious beliefs than on attacking the legality of same sex marriage


    Sometimes I wonder if POTUS could declare national emergency due to an unhinged SCOTUS.


    If they controlled all three levels of government, they could enact Supreme Court reforms. Each appointee servers for life in an advisory capacity (to align with the Constitution), but only the 9 most recent appointees vote on rulings. Every odd-number year (non-election year), a new judge is appointed. If a judge needs to vacate while they still have a vote, then the most-recently removed judge that’s still available regains the vote until the next appointment.

    So they should usually just serve 18 years, but it could be 20-22 years if people die or retire. (The recent average is a whopping 28 years!)

    I’m not even American, btw, but this seems like a very common-sense proposal, at least to an outsider. I just googled it and found a whole site explaining it in more detail:


    No way this wouldn't lead to at least a few attempts on a Supreme Justice's life

    drwho, avatar

    If it really did, it would have happened by now.


    Nah, that's rather what right wingers do.


    Question because my reading comprehension is bad: would this kill same-sex marriage nationwide, or would it just allow red states to say they won’t recognize it? Not to say the latter isn’t bad, I’m just curious if this would fuck over my ability to even get married in, say, Washington or Oregon.


    Yeah, it essentially makes it a state issue, and each state can ban, or not, and choose to recognize marriages from other states, or not. So if you got married in Washington that might allow same-sex marriage and respect marriages from other states, and then you move to e.g. Tennessee that banned it and didn’t recognize out of state marriages, your marriage essentially wouldn’t exist there. I also imagine for the case of emergencies and whatnot, if you were traveling through such a state, you wouldn’t be recognized as spouses, making it literally a life or death issue for travel.

    It’s very, very bad.


    What an excellent scheme to keep talents away from entering the red states for a job.


    It sounds odd but that’s the point. Educated voters vote democrat.

    drwho, avatar

    Which drives prices in those states down.

    Which makes them attractive to new businesses, and existing businesses expanding.

    Which means they’ll start trickling into those now-cheap red states.

    Which means that folks who need jobs will have to start at least considering moving to and living in those states.

    The only thing that abhors a vacuum more strongly than Nature is Money.


    Holy shit, I didn’t draw up the situation of travelling while married as a problem but you’re absolutely right. It’s already getting extremely tricky to figure out what places are OK or no-go for trans and NB people, this is just going to make things so much more fucking worse.

    Atlanta for example is a massive air travel hub. What if Georgia doesn’t uphold same-sex marriage? What about international travellers who are married abroad?

    JFC. These idiots.


    Shows how sheltered I am, but it never occurred to be that same-sex couples from other countries might have trouble traveling in the US because of this. I just thought of this as an American problem.

    That said, I started boycotting tourism to the United States in the Bush administration and haven’t been back since. My passport even expired over a decade ago.

    Bitrot, avatar

    Current federal law requires states to recognize all marriages, including same-sex marriages, from other states but does not require them to issue licenses within their state. The previous Supreme Court had determined the constitution required states to do so, but that could be overturned. They could also decide the federal law is unconstitutional, but that is less likely.


    Maybe even that depends on the judges.


    “Making matters worse, if Trump is elected this year he could veto any congressional attempt to reverse such a disastrous ruling of the Court by passing a law guaranteeing same sex marriage rights.”

    Call me crazy and naive but there is a small part of me that thinks the democrats can peel off enough republicans to make that happen. There are a lot of pink districts/states with GOP in their seats that would instantly lose their next election if they did that.


    For all of our sakes I hope you’re right.

    Then again, underestimating regressive politicians leaves us with a massive blind spot. You can bet they’re counting on that while they lie to literally anyone who will listen about how “evil” progressives are.


    LMAO no. They absolutely cannot. The Repubs have basically deadlocked Congress now in their ideological war. Dems won’t get any Repubs to join. But it’s moot because Dems won’t even bother. Even if they had a supermajority trifecta, they’d still kowtow and refuse to pass a bill without bipartisan support (like they always do). And we even have examples already. Congress knew for over a month that Roe was about to fall and did literally nothing to stop it. And in the time since, Dems haven’t said a single word about it or done anything to codify reproductive rights at the federal level.


    The dems haven’t had a supermajority trifecta in over a decade and even that was just a few months and included a few independents. They passed massive legislation in this short time too. So it’s time to get over it and learn how our government has worked at every other moment in time.


    Regrettably, it seems like most mainstream Democrats are happy being the anti-Republican Party. They’ve been happy to try to play centrist or even center right for the last 30 years on a great many issues.

    Are enough of them willing to step up on this issue? I wouldn’t bet on it.


    Could this failed state just fail like any other failed state?

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