A thought: SCOTUS and plural marriage...


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This came to me earlier today.

The current SCOTUS roster seems inclined to not just review previous SCOTUS decisions, but has already overturned several decisions that it felt were made in bad faith or on bad logic. 

Well, I think we can all agree that the anti-polygamy laws of the 1800s were pretty well in violation of the US Constitution given who they were targeting and why. 

Ever since the 1960s the push has been for "free love" and all that. Nowadays there are plenty of people willing to advocate for polyamory. 

A part of me can see someone convicted of bigamy actually trying to take it to SCOTUS *because* of how the anti-polygamy laws came about, and if they do go all the way to SCOTUS I can see some or even all of the justices overturning the nation's anti-polygamy laws. 

Is this something anyone else foresees potentially happening? 

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I have heard it said that no one has the right to make their morals into laws that others must abide by.  The problem with that kind of thinking is that morals are the only laws that humans can legislate.  We certainly cannot legislate the value of the square root of 2, the value of pie, the universal gravitational constant, the laws of physics or anything logical or part of the laws of our universe. 

The question is not if humans can make morals laws but rather what morals humans ought to make into laws.  Politically it seems that whoever has the power is responsible for determining what morals should become law.  In essence, that part of society with the most power is morally obligated to force those that disagree to live by their morals. 

What we end up with is a struggle for power to enforce our own morals.  The corollary to all this is that if something is not against the law it is morally okay to do it.  We just do not seem to learn morals, laws or even how to get along without forcing others to be accountable.

 

The Traveler

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10 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

Nobody has both of the things necessary to bring such a case before the Supreme Court.  1- Standing.  2- Enough $$.

You don't think that some rich guy wants to be married to multiple women?  It only takes the political will of some billionaire.

With the state of promiscuity and the deterioration of the institution of marriage, the real hurdle is "what's the point?"

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3 hours ago, Carborendum said:

You don't think that some rich guy wants to be married to multiple women?  It only takes the political will of some billionaire.

With the state of promiscuity and the deterioration of the institution of marriage, the real hurdle is "what's the point?"

No, I don't think any rich guys want to be married to multiple women.  That was sort of a hallmark of LDS polygamy - nobody did it because they wanted to.  They did it because it was commanded of them. 

I think your real hurdle question is running through the heads of all the rich guys wanting multiple women.  Having multiple partners isn't a thing that needs legalization.  But put 1000 men desirous of such an arrangement in a room, and count the ones who want legally binding marriages with all their partners.  I'm guessing you'd count zero men.  The more rich you are, the less you'd want legal marriage.  

You can already find guys who are paying alimony to multiple women, married at different times.  I just don't see guys lining up to expose themselves to more of that.  The wife+side chick lifestyle has just too much going for it.

 

Edited by NeuroTypical
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10 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

The wife+side chick lifestyle has just too much going for it.

You’d be surprised how many wives settle for that. If you are filthy rich there’s a percentage of women who either stick their heads in the sand, don’t care, or passively accept their husband having a mistress. 

Edited by LDSGator
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19 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

I think your real hurdle question is running through the heads of all the rich guys wanting multiple women.  Having multiple partners isn't a thing that needs legalization.  

This is kinda what I was hinting at with the state of promiscuity.  It is considered the norm to comit adultery or simply remain single and sleep with whomever they want.

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18 hours ago, Traveler said:

the value of pie

If we are being honest, nothing beats a good apple pie. Nothing. The key is to use tart apples and not nearly as much sugar as you normally find in apple pies. Yuck. Also, mix the flour and shortening as little as possible so you get a nice, flaky crust.

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10 minutes ago, Vort said:

If we are being honest, nothing beats a good apple pie. Nothing. The key is to use tart apples and not nearly as much sugar as you normally find in apple pies. Yuck. Also, mix the flour and shortening as little as possible so you get a nice, flaky crust.

 My grandfather used to have a slice of cheese with his. 

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On 6/17/2024 at 9:44 AM, NeuroTypical said:

No, I don't think any rich guys want to be married to multiple women.  That was sort of a hallmark of LDS polygamy - nobody did it because they wanted to.  They did it because it was commanded of them. 

I think your real hurdle question is running through the heads of all the rich guys wanting multiple women.  Having multiple partners isn't a thing that needs legalization.  But put 1000 men desirous of such an arrangement in a room, and count the ones who want legally binding marriages with all their partners.  I'm guessing you'd count zero men.  The more rich you are, the less you'd want legal marriage.  

You can already find guys who are paying alimony to multiple women, married at different times.  I just don't see guys lining up to expose themselves to more of that.  The wife+side chick lifestyle has just too much going for it.

 

I don’t think modern legal trends make it clear that federal anti-polygamy legislation was unconstitutional (some of the remedies provided by that legislation—denying the vote, liquidating entities that promoted polygamy, etc—sure; but not the notion of the feds regulating marriage itself).  Conservatives were fine with the federal DOMA; and when it was stricken down I believe the grounds had less to do with concerns about federal overreach than that sexual orientation had been deemed a “protected class” and that DOMA failed under an equal-protection analysis.  I believe (going from memory here) that the Reynolds decision said that Congress can pass generally-applicable laws even if they happen to conflict with the mores of individual religious groups; and IIRC that holding still gets cited from time to time in modern cases.

I do think we are moving towards a society where polygamy is legally tolerated; but I think the route to that will come via federal legislation as a sop to increasing numbers of immigrants from Islamic countries where polygamy is de rigeur.  Even then, the tolerance won’t really be social.  People will still consider it inherently oppressive to/exploitative of women; it’s just that - as is currently the case with other antisocial behaviors - progressives will insist that ethnic or racial minorities be given a pass and that the rest of us must either look the other way or make obeisance for our having caused the situation through our “whiteness”.  

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