The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in several gay-marriage cases on 28 August 2014, including Wolf v. Walker and Baskin v. Bogan. The three judges—Richard Posner, David Hamilton, and Ann Claire Williams—were utterly without mercy as they tore apart argument after argument. The anti-gay-marriage defense lawyers were reduced to rhetorical flailing about, at which point the judges took turns beating them over the head with their own stupid words. The full audio can be found here.
Some choice quotes by Judge Posner:
Funny; you don’t like homosexual sex and you don’t like incest, but you’re willing to tolerate incest… all these incestuous cousins running around Wisconsin, I don’t get it… You don’t worry about that, you don’t worry about incest, but you’re terribly worried about homosexual marriage.
“We’ve been doing this stupid thing for 100 years, 1,000 years; we’ll keep doing it because it’s tradition”—You wouldn’t make that argument… Don’t you have to have some empirical or some practical or common-sense basis for barring these marriages? I don’t get anything out of you brief that sounded like a reason for doing this… What if men stopped shaking hands, it’d be the end of the nation, right?
Let me ask you about this positive-rights argument if I could… you’re asking us to contemplate a world in which a state might simply decide to repeal all of its marriage laws, and the federal constitution would not forbid that… it reminds me of the responses of several states to Brown v. Board of Education, who decided to abolish in particular areas public schools, on the theory that they didn’t have to [have them]. That ran into its own set of problems…
And see, I think Loving threw out this positive-negative distinction in the Fourteenth Amendment that you try to rest on… I just don’t see how you get around Loving, because I think that killed that argument you’re making.
You can listen to the full audio here. It’s totally worth it, nearly a full hour of epic beatdowns.