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Friday Afternoon

So the Supreme Court has decided to take up the issue of Gay Marriage. I'm a bit surprised, I guess. There seems to be an inevitability, even accepted by some who've fervently opposed it, that Gay Marriage will continue to be legalized in state after state with no going-back. As I understand it, the worst thing that can happen to Gay Marriage here in California is that the Supreme Court will rule that Proposition 8 is valid, whereupon we'll have another vote and expunge it. California voters have voted twice on this issue. The first time, Gay Marriage lost by 22 points. The second time, Prop 8 went down by a little less than 5 points…and now every single poll says that Gay Marriage would win by a comfy margin today. I'm not even sure anyone would throw a lot of money at trying to stop it.

So it seems like a waste of time for the High Court to take that up…or even to argue it insofar as 7-8 justices are concerned. Seven or eight of those minds are made-up and nothing said by lawyers is going to change them. Maybe Justices Kennedy and Roberts could just have dinner with David Boies, Ted Olson and the attorneys for the other side and kick things around.

The most intriguing scenario here is if one of the Justices has to be replaced before the case gets there next spring. I've long thought it's an odd thing that issues as important as some of what gets to the Supreme Court get decided, in essence, by whether an 82-year-old jurist feels up to doing another year or how his or her heart holds out. One of these days, we're going to have a period where several Justices need to be replaced around the same time and whoever's in the Oval Office will have the opening to completely reshape the High Court for decades to come. Our world could change a lot and it wouldn't be because the Will of the People had decreed it. It would be because someone's cholesterol was too high or a driver ran a red light.