“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men (sic) are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” -Declaration of Independence.

Judge Dennis Jacobs is a Republican judge known for his conservative ways. Today he released an opinion that rules the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

[W]e conclude that review of Section 3 of DOMA requires heightened scrutiny. The Supreme Court uses certain factors to decide whether a new classification qualifies as a quasi-suspect class.  They include: A) whether the class has been historically “subjected to discrimination,”; B) whether the class has a defining characteristic that “frequently bears [a] relation to ability to perform or contribute to society,” C) whether the class exhibits “obvious, immutable, or distinguishing characteristics that define them as a discrete group;” and D) whether the class is “a minority or politically powerless.” Immutability and lack of political power are not strictly necessary factors to identify a suspect class. Nevertheless, immutability and political power are indicative, and we consider them here. In this case, all four factors justify heightened scrutiny: A) homosexuals as a group have historically endured persecution and discrimination; B) homosexuality has no relation to aptitude or ability to contribute to society; C) homosexuals are a discernible group with non-obvious distinguishing characteristics, especially in the subset of those who enter same-sex marriages; and D) the class remains a politically weakened minority.

Earlier this morning I mentioned a movement from within conservatives to take back their cause from big business and from the religious right. Joe Forbes spotted this story and sent it with the tongue in cheek question, “might this be what you had in mind by a conservative sea change?”. Yes, this is exactly what I was talking about. Protecting inalienable rights should be the “Republican” side of that phrase “democratic republic.” The true liberal remembers that we decide by majority rule, but the true conservative is the one who remembers those rights that should never be put up for a vote.

Thanks again to Joe Forbes for the sending following link: