Like Jason Voorhees In That Last Scene


Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Ordinary Times. Relapsed Lawyer, admitted to practice law (under his real name) in California and Oregon. On Twitter, to his frequent regret, at @burtlikko. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.

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17 Responses

  1. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    1) Good reason to do away with oaths that invoke ecclesiastical authority figures.

    2) The New Mexico (?) method seems much more attractive now (register the affidavit instead of issuing the license).Report

  2. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    “Rowan County, Kentucky, has no religious beliefs, and engages in no religious practices or religious speech. ”

    Objection, asked and answered during prior argument. (see: reams of digital ink angrily splashed about to the effect of “Hobby Lobby is a CORPORATION and NOT A PERSON so it CANNOT HAVE BELIEFS”, refuted by the Supreme Court ignoring it).

    To be honest, all of the arguments you put forth in this post are repetitions of the same stuff we heard during Hobby Lobby. Are we really just going to have the exact same discussion every time something like this happens?


    The only meaningful and valid argument (which you did not make) is that in this case it’s the office director declaring that no marriage licenses will be issued in her county, and since the state government has a compelling interest in government functions such as license issuance and there’s no way to make this happen other than through that office, therefore it is indeed the least restrictive solution to overrule the director’s religious-grounds refusal. You don’t actually need to get into the weeds of rights and moral transgression and “can a non-human entity be said to have beliefs”.Report

    • Avatar James K in reply to DensityDuck says:


      Just because its possible for institutions (such as corporations) to have religious beliefs does not mean it is legally possible for government agencies to have religious beliefs, since them doing so would be unconstitutional.Report

    • A corporation that is sufficiently “closely held” can have the same religious beliefs as the owners. A state or county would presumably fail any reasonable test of that, since the “holders” have all sorts of inconsistent religious beliefs.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to DensityDuck says:

      To be honest, all of the arguments you put forth in this post are repetitions of the same stuff we heard during Hobby Lobby. Are we really just going to have the exact same discussion every time something like this happens?

      Hmmm. I don’t recall Burt mentioning a distinction between acting in a personal capacity and acting as an agent of the state during the Hobby Lobby discussion. Maybe I didn’t read closely enough.Report

  3. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Are we really just going to have the exact same discussion every time something like this happens?

    What, are you new here?Report

  4. Avatar greginak says:

    In somewhat the same concept here is a college saying having a union for adjuncts would violate the schools religious beliefs. Yes there are a lot of technicalities due to labor law.

  5. Avatar zic says:

    Just to point out: the difference between HL and Obegefell decisions that most stands out it that one primarily imposes based on religious beliefs that pertain to a specific gender.

    The whole turn to Planned Parenthood funding is the refuge of the angry right after losing the SSM wars for it’s always okay to tell the ladies how to conduct their lady-parts business. Has been forever. It’s tradition.

    So that, to me, is the monster in the discussion. If HL had involved objections to paying for some form of male contraception, it would have been dismissed and never heard by the court.Report

  6. Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

    “…willing to go to jail” but apparently not willing to give up the paycheck for doing a job he no longer wants to do. Standing tall.

    “Forget it, pal. I don’t need your phoney baloney job. I’ll take your money. But I’m not gonna plow your driveway.”

    — Homer J. SimpsonReport

  7. Avatar Kazzy says:

    When I studied the ADA in relation to what it mean for educating students with special needs, the teacher asked us if the ADA prohibited any and all discrimination based on disability. “Of course!” we said. “So the city has to hire blind bus drivers?” he responded.

    Look… if you feel like your faith prohibits you from putting a rubber stamp to a piece of paper, so be it. And if it prohibits you from putting a rubber stamp to a piece of paper that two dudes or two women slip you but not one that a man and a woman slip you, fine, whatever, I don’t really care. But if you’ve got all these hang ups… if you have an apparent inability to consistently stamp the paper… you don’t get to have the job that is essentially called “Paper Stamper”. I mean, that seems simply enough to me. She can have pretty much ANY OTHER JOB in government. But she can’t have the one she refuses to do… no matter what the rationale is.Report

  8. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Of interest, and topically related: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton summoned to Federal court on contempt hearings after State of Texas refuses to recognize post-Obergefell same-sex marriage on death certificate.

    This is working out to not be the best week in Paxton’s career.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Burt Likko says:

      AG’s office in Texas is routinely seen as the stepping stone to Governor (figurehead), Lt. Governor (has the powers most states invest in their Governor) or Senator.

      I don’t know if that’s true in all states, but any AG in Texas has his or her eye on higher office, and will posture accordingly.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Morat20 says:

        That AG is a good platform to move on to higher office seems to be true most places.

        That the real power in the Texas state government rests with the Lieutenant Governor rather than the Governor is… pretty weird.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Burt Likko says:

          It was an anti-Reconstruction measure that never got repealed. Governors were appointed during Reconstruction, but Lt. Governors were elected. And part of Reconstruction was rewriting the State Constitutions…

          The North more or less ignored it, for reasons I never did learn. It wasn’t exactly subtle. I suspect it was that, State Constitution or not, the Governor held effective power anyways.

          Perry’s an outlier in terms of Texas Governors. He wielded quite a bit of power, but it was LBJ fashion — his power was not derived directly from his office, but from the people who owed him. Officially, as Governor, his power was limited (he couldn’t even issue pardons — just 30 day stays). But WAY too many folks in various positions of actual governmental power owed him favors — or were aware that he could make life difficult for them, using other resources.

          One reason he hung around so long in office, even as the Texas GOP was subtly — then pretty openly — trying to replace him. Perry wasn’t that popular, for the last several years. I mean he wouldn’t lose Texas or anything if he were running for President (he’s breathing and a Republican) but I’m not sure I’d say he’d win Texas in a primary these days.Report

        • Avatar Francis in reply to Burt Likko says:

          NPR told me once that “AG” actually stood for “Aspiring Governor”.

          Some fine day, sooner rather than later, a group of Satanists is going to get the funding necessary to start bringing some religious liberty challenges in conservative states. Abortion is a sacrament and that sort of thing.

          My sneaking suspicion is that the lawsuits will go nowhere, but it will certainly be interesting to see how courts will be willing to apply religious liberty doctrines developed to avoid liberal laws against conservative laws.Report