Monday, July 18, 2005

Becker - Posner blog steps into the Gay Marriage debate - with reasoning

Over at Becker - Posner blog there are a pair of posts, the one I linked to by Judge Posner called The Law and Economics of Gay Marriage - Posner and another by Prof. Becker called On Gay Marriage - Becker, available here.

The nice thing about the Posner one, at least, is that it argues as I have: marriage is an institution, one that is traditional in the sense of utterly malleable as society's needs and nature changes. It also makes the point (sensible, to me) that outrage based on unreasoned prejudice is potentially not something that society should weigh when making decisions that affect everyone, or that affect minorities in particular.

Outrage, Posner says, can't simply be ignored. Judges in particular should not court outrage by rushing out ahead of innovation by legislators. I happen to disagree; Brown v. Board was the right decision to make, even if as I have argued it was arguably wrongly reasoned. (Along that line, see Jack Balkin's blog about his new book, What Roe Should Have Said. Kudos to him for a pair of snappy book titles. These are edited by Balkin and include various "opinions" written by some very smart people. The Roe one in particular looks worth a look; it's got a scathing dissent, various fascinating concurrences, and lots of healthy debate (through opinions, not in the form of actual bickering). Put it on your list... after perhaps Harry Potter.)

So: Becker-Posner posts, worth reading. Balkin's book, also worth looking into. Also check out both blogs; they may any of them be wrong, but they're all very very smart about it.

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