The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

March 26, 2013

Kennedy questions whether top court should rule on gay marriage

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

"The question before this court is whether the Constitution puts a stop to that ongoing democratic debate and answers this question for all 50 states," Cooper argued.

Olson argued that Proposition 8 "was stigmatizing a class of Californians based upon their status and labeling their most cherished relationships as second-rate, different, unequal and not OK."

He sparred with Justice Antonin Scalia, who made little secret of his disagreement with Olson's contentions.

"When did it become unconstitutional to exclude homosexual couples from marriage?" Scalia asked. "1791? 1868, when the 14th Amendment was adopted?"

Olson responded with his own rhetorical questions, alluding to landmark Supreme Court decisions on race discrimination.

"When did it become unconstitutional to prohibit interracial marriage?" Olson asked. "When did it become unconstitutional to assign children to separate schools?"

Scalia said the answers to those questions were easy ones. "At the time that the equal protection clause was adopted," he said, before adding, "but don't give me a question to my question."

When Scalia repeated his question later, Olson responded, "You've never required that before."

Support for gay marriage has soared in recent years. A Pew Research Center poll released last week found that 49 percent of adults supported legalization, with 44 percent opposed. Ten years earlier a Pew poll found 33 percent in support, with 58 percent opposed. The latest poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Californians back gay marriage by almost 2-1, with 61 percent supporting it and 32 percent opposed, according to a Field Poll released last month. That survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Tuesday's session was exactly a year after the justices heard the first day of arguments on Obama's health-care law.

— With assistance from Nick Taborek in Washington.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • Target New CEO [Duplicate] Target names Pepsi's Cornell as chairman, CEO MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Target has hired Pepsi executive Brian Cornell as its new chairman and CEO as it looks to recover from a huge data breach and troubles in Canada. Cornell replaces interim CEO John Mulligan, who is chief financial officer for the M

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brain wave monitoring is better gauge than using a focus group, study says To predict a large population’s likely response to something — a product, politician or policy — political consultants, marketing gurus and advertising execs have long favored the focus group. Ask a small segment of the target audience what it thinks

    July 31, 2014

  • Argentina slides into default as debt talks fail NEW YORK (AP) — The collapse of talks with U.S. creditors sent Argentina into its second debt default in 13 years and raised questions about what comes next for financial markets and the South American nation's staggering economy. A midnight Wednesd

    July 31, 2014

  • Exchange Bee Researcher [Duplicate] Bee researcher takes aim at central Minnesota park WAITE PARK — Crystal Boyd strained four bees, three flies and one leafhopper from a yellow pan trap, the third of 12 in a transect topping a granite outcrop in Quarry Park Scientific and Natural Area.She popped everything into a labeled, zip-top plas

    July 31, 2014 4 Photos

  • Cinema verite documentarian Robert Drew dies at 90 Filmmaker Robert Drew, a pioneer of the modern documentary who in "Primary" and other movies mastered the intimate, spontaneous style known as cinema verite and schooled a generation of influential directors that included D.A. Pennebaker and Albert M

    July 30, 2014

  • Homeowner killed, another injured in Vegas crime spree LAS VEGAS — A horrific carjacking and home invasion spree ended with two people dead and a woman in critical condition. One victim, Richard Ramos, a 59-year-old father of four, “fought to his death” to protect his wife and children from their attack

    July 30, 2014

  • Officer Shooting Minnesota-9 [Duplicate] UPDATE: Suspect in Minnesota officer killing in custody WEST ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Police in Minnesota say a man wanted in the shooting death of an officer is in custody after being shot by police. St. Paul police spokesman Sgt. Paul Paulos says 39-year-old Brian Fitch Sr. got out of a minivan firing at

    July 30, 2014 4 Photos

  • Officer Shooting Minnesota-3 [Duplicate] Minnesota officer killed making traffic stop WEST ST. PAUL (AP) — A police officer in Minnesota was fatally shot Wednesday while making a traffic stop and authorities said they were searching for a suspect. Mendota Heights police officer Scott Patrick, 47, was shot about 12:20 p.m. after pulli

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Possible suspect caught in Minnesota cop shooting WEST ST. PAUL (AP) — A potential suspect in the shooting of a police officer in Minnesota has been captured. Minnesota Public Radio News reports that the officer was killed. Television news footage showed the man being pulled from his vehicle Wednes

    July 30, 2014

  • Police shooting reported in West St. Paul WEST ST. PAUL (AP) — Police are responding to the reported shooting of an officer in West St. Paul. Details weren't immediately available. Calls from The Associated Press to several police and city departments in the area weren't immediately returne

    July 30, 2014