Last night, for what seems the millionth time since my son died from medical neglect, I cried myself to sleep. But the tears were different this time. Mixed with feelings of loss were feelings of gratitude that the Affordable Care Act is finally safe from the wolves on the Right.
In fact, in his opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts pretty much scolded opponents, telling them the law will not be overturned unless Congress is able to do it.
Then today, in an opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Court upheld the right of any two consenting adults to marry. My tears were strictly tears of joy this time.
From Justice Kennedy’s decision:
“The history of marriage is one of both continuity and change.
“Changes, such as the decline of arranged marriages and the abandonment of the law of coverture, have worked deep transformations in the structure of marriage, affecting aspects of marriage once viewed as essential. These new insights have strengthened, not weakened, the institution. Changed understandings of marriage are characteristic of a Nation where new dimensions of freedom become apparent to new generations.”
I wish I was home in Asheville tonight for the party, but I will do my celebrating here in New Jersey with friends.
The screamers on the right have gotten it wrong again, and in both these cases, their defeat is complete.
The people who call themselves “pro-life,” but assert that it was OK for 45,000 Americans to die each year from lack of access to health care, can go away now.
Of course, the first reaction from House Speaker John Boehner was that he will keep trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act. I imagine the haters will try to pass a Constitutional Amendment again, defining marriage in their own narrow view, but that won’t happen. Too many people get it that we all deserve the freedom to marry the person we love.
Too many people understand that the Affordable Care Act is saving tens of thousands of lives a year, even as opponents continue to block Medicaid expansion in nearly half the states. That, by the way, is causing the deaths of 17,000 Americans a year.
While that’s a lot better than we were doing, it is still 17,000 human beings. That’s the same as wiping an entire small town off the map. You can’t say that’s OK and continue to be credible when you call yourself pro-life.
Justice Scalia huffed and puffed over the Affordable Care Act decision, calling it “pure applesauce.” I don’t think he’s happy about being a relic, and I would think Justice Thomas may realize his status as a relic of a more hateful time any day now.
I have friends and family who are getting health care now who couldn’t get it before the ACA, and they would have been booted out of coverage had the court ruled the other way. I would have lost coverage.
I also have friends whose marriages were affirmed by the decision on marriage equality. When my friends Bruce and Christopher were married this year after more than 20 years together, I wept through the entire ceremony. Christopher said he could hear me sobbing on the video, and he loved it.
It may well be the most joyous wedding I ever attended.
Thank you, SCOTUS, for getting it so right two days in a row. I never thought I’d be able to say that about this court, but there you go. Miracles happen.