It was the judicial equivalent of a high school student tearing up his term paper because he got a bad grade. Or, more accurately, throwing it back at his teacher and telling her to revise it herself. Last week, a Tenn. judge refused to grant a straight couple a divorce because the U.S. Supreme Court allowed gay marriage. Many readers may be scratching their heads right now, wondering how the legalization of gay marriage could possibly disrupt straight divorce proceedings.
But spare a moment to hear out Jeffrey M. Atherton, if for no other reason than that the judge’s argument is an increasingly common one as conservatives across the country claim the Supreme Court overreached with its June 26 watershed ruling.Today’s study in legal reasoning begins in Chattanooga, Tenn., and inside Atherton’s Hamilton County courtroom. FULL REPORT