HUFFPOST HILL - Darrell Issa Will Get To The Bottom Of This Supreme Court Ruling

06/26/2013 06:05 pm ET | Updated Aug 26, 2013

Traditional matrimony suffered its worst setback since the decline of arranged marriages and the practice of paying for a groom with sheep. Antonin Scalia employed the phrase "argle-bargle" in his dissent, suggesting the Swedish Chef finally landed that clerkship. All told, it's been a very complicated week for LGBT minorities in the South. Well, more complicated than usual. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

HOUSE REPUBLICANS ALREADY READYING ANTI-GAY MARRIAGE AMENDMENT - Wait, we thought the Constitution was Jesus' first law review note? Jen Bendery: "The Supreme Court ruling Wednesday that the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional isn't stopping Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas) from trying to block same-sex marriages through another route: by amending the U.S. Constitution. Huelskamp said he plans to introduce the Federal Marriage Amendment later this week, a measure that would define marriage as between one man and one woman. DOMA did the same thing, but was a federal law, not a constitutional amendment. As such, the Federal Marriage Act is more far-reaching but also a tougher climb. It requires the support of two-thirds of the House and Senate, and ratification by three-fourths of the states, or 38 states...Huelskamp said his bill has no cosponsors yet, but said its language will be almost identical to past Federal Marriage Amendments introduced in Congress. The last time Congress voted on the proposed constitutional amendment was in July 2006, when it failed 236-187. It needed 290 votes to pass. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) were among those who voted for the amendment at the time." [HuffPost]

John Boehner, relaxing: "While I am obviously disappointed in the ruling, it is always critical that we protect our system of checks and balances." Here's to you, John.

Do we need to officially turn in our Elizabeth Warren fanboy cards to join the Wendy Davis club? Or can we be in both? The Statesmen has a great video of the final moments.

On cue, Rick Perry says he'll reconvene the Texas legislature to take up the bill to shutter abortion clinics next week. Judd Leggum: "Nothing says fiscal responsibility like repeatedly calling special legislative sessions 4 bills that'll be struck down as unconstitutional."

@EWErickson Per @Matthops82, Rick Perry calls a Special Session to say #SitDownWendy

U.S. TO ARM SYRIAN REBELS IN NEXT FEW WEEKS BECAUSE WHAT THE MIDDLE EAST NEEDS IS MORE ARMED FACTIONS - U.S. activity in the Middle East has been in the news so much this past decade that missing white blondes in Aruba and shark attacks are starting to get jealous. WSJ: "The Central Intelligence Agency has begun moving weapons to Jordan from a network of secret warehouses and plans to start arming small groups of vetted Syrian rebels within a month, vastly expanding the Obama administration's role in support of moderate forces battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, according to diplomats and U.S. officials briefed on the plans. The efforts come after officials disclosed earlier this month that President Barack Obama had authorized a covert CIA program under which the U.S., Saudi Arabia and key allies would provide both light arms and some heavier weapons to moderate rebel fighters loyal to Gen. Salim Idris, the top Syrian rebel commander backed by the West. The death toll in the civil war is close to 100,000, according to observer groups." [WSJ]

Barney Frank doesn't chase the dragon, but he'd defend your right to do so: "Former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) has not tried heroin. But he thinks it should be legal, along with a host of other drugs. The Massachusetts Democrat is writing a book that will make the case for why the government is and can be a force of good, he told The Huffington Post in an interview. Part of Frank's case rests on the idea that if Congress could pay for more, important social services it provides would be regarded more favorably by the public." [HuffPost's Sam Stein]

BELATED HUFFPOST HILL PAT ON THE BACK - On Monday, after the IRS revealed it scrutinized not just conservative groups but also liberal ones, we wrote at 6:22 p.m.: "That sound you heard was Darrell Issa blowing the dust off his Benghazi files." Exactly one hour later Issa's office sent out an email with this subject line: "Oversight Committee Subpoenas State Department Witnesses in Benghazi Investigation." That sound you heard was our horn tooting!

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - A new study from Virginia Commonwealth University says recently-proposed food stamp cuts would make people sicker and might even cost the government more than they save. "The evidence detailed in this report is... adequate to conclude that the economic stresses on low-income households who lose SNAP benefits will produce adverse health consequences that claim lives, increase disease rates, and increase health care costs -- even though the exact magnitude of this effect cannot be stated with scientific precision. The above 'ballpark estimates' suggest the real possibility that the budgetary savings intended by policymakers could be partially or fully offset by increases in medical care costs and will certainly claim a toll on the health of Americans, especially children." [VCU.edu]

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SUPREME COURT STRIKES DOWN DOMA - Ryan Reilly and Sabrina Siddiqui: "The Defense of Marriage Act, the law barring the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages legalized by the states, is unconstitutional, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday by a 5-4 vote. 'The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity,' Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion. 'By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment.' Justice Kennedy delivered the court's opinion, and was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito all filed dissenting opinions. Justice Clarence Thomas joined Scalia's dissent in whole and parts of Alito's opinion...DOMA, signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996, prevented same-sex couples whose marriages were recognized by their home state from receiving the hundreds of benefits available to other married couples under federal law." [HuffPost]

If you are a cable news viewer, it's possible you don't even know there was a ruling today. CNN and MSNBC spent half the day broadcasting the Trayvon Martin hearing and Fox News... well, people need their Benghazi answers. Luckily, you also subscribe to HuffPost Hill, so now you know.

Scalia's dissent did not disappoint. A day after siding with four other conservative justices to overturn a portion of a nearly 50 year old civil rights law that maintained broad bipartisan support, the conservative justice lashed out at the Supreme Court for intervening in the gay marriage debate. Scalia dismissed the majority's reasoning as "legalistic argle-bargle." Wednesday's decision was inevitable, he said, when the court sanctioned "homosexual sodomy," and striking down the Defense of Marriage Act will inevitably lead to fully legal same-sex marriages. Never change, guy! [HuffPost]

Military couples will now receive equal benefits: "Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced that the Pentagon would be granting equal benefits to gay service members and their families. [Said Hagel]: 'The department will immediately begin the process of implementing the Supreme Court's decision in consultation with the Department of Justice and other executive branch agencies. The Department of Defense intends to make the same benefits available to all military spouses -- regardless of sexual orientation -- as soon as possible. That is now the law and it is the right thing to do.'" [HuffPost's Amanda Terkel]

Things still aren't ideal for LGBT Americans: "The first tier is same sex married couples who live in states that allow same sex marriage. They gained the most from today's decision. The third tier is same sex couples who live in states that do not recognize same sex marriage. They gained very little direct benefit from the court striking down DOMA. The middle tier is where things get complicated: same sex couples who marry in one state but then choose to move (or more likely are forced to, for work, family, or other reasons) to a state that doesn't allow same sex marriage... Thus, same-sex partners now find themselves in a legal position that's similar to the position interracial couples found themselves in decades ago -- allowed to wed in some states, but into marriages that won't be recognized by others." [TPM]

The High Court's rulings meant it was time for one of Washington's most cherished traditions, The Running of the Interns.

FLOP 8: COURT PERMITS GAY MARRIAGE IN CALIFORNIA - Mike Sacks, Ryan Reilly and Sabrina Siddiqui: "The Supreme Court on Wednesday left for dead California's same-sex marriage ban, Proposition 8... By a 5-4 vote, the justices held in Hollingsworth v. Perry that the traditional marriage activists who put Proposition 8 on California ballots in 2008 did not have the constitutional authority, or standing, to defend the law in federal courts after the state refused to appeal its loss at trial. 'We have never before upheld the standing of a private party to defend the constitutionality of a state statute when state officials have chosen not to,' Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion. 'We decline to do so for the first time here.' Roberts was joined in his majority opinion by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Antonin Scalia, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan. Justice Anthony Kennedy filed a dissenting opinion, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Sonia Sotomayor...While California will likely begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, the decision will not have an impact beyond the state's borders, and other same-sex marriage bans across the country will be left intact." [HuffPost]

Gives California rolls a whole new meaning: "The younger you are, the more likely you are to support gay marriage. But what if there's another dimension to this generational shift -- the sushi gap? Raw data from a new survey of Americans' food preferences shows that age-based unwillingness to put delicious uncooked fish in your mouth correlates nearly perfectly with existing data about who disapproves of marriage equality." Since sushi is doomed anyway, we guess that's a good thing. [MoJo]

CIR: BORDER AMENDMENT PASSES SENATE - Elise Foley: "Senators formally added an amendment on Wednesday that increased border security measures in the 'gang of eight' immigration bill, with negotiations continuing on whether additional amendments will go for votes before the full legislation is brought for a vote, likely before the July 4 recess. The border amendment from Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) passed in a 69 to 29 vote, with 15 Republicans voting in favor. The Wednesday votewas similar to a 67-27 test vote that took place on Monday, but with the addition of four senators who were not present at the earlier vote...The border security amendment vote was one of three votes held so far on Wednesday, including a procedural vote to move forward to the amendment vote. That measure to move ahead passed 68 to 30, with Wicker voting in opposition. A later vote to move ahead with the bill as a whole passed 67 to 31, but lost the votes of both Wicker and Chiesa...Most of the Republicans who voted in support of the Corker-Hoeven amendment have declined to say whether they will vote for the final bill, although most are expected to." [HuffPost]

The DOMA ruling is a boost for binational LGBT couples. Elise Foley: "[A]n estimated 28,500 binational same-sex couples... have been excluded from immigration benefits because of DOMA, which disallowed the federal government from recognizing their marriages. Wednesday's Supreme Court ruling doesn't entirely fix the problem -- couples must be married rather than partners, and must travel to a state that allows same-sex marriage if they don't live in one -- but it's still a major victory for LGBT rights. The ruling already helped one binational same-sex couple: an immigration judge halted the deportation of a man married to a U.S. citizen on Wednesday, according to reports." [HuffPost]

DO NOT CROSS TAMMY DUCKWORTH - Seriously, take your standard Catholic guilt, mix in some Jewish mother guilt, sprinkle that with a dash of liberal guilt and you'll have a rough approximation of what Braulio Castillo felt today. Christina Wilkie: "On Wednesday, Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), a veteran of the Iraq War, dramatically chastised a federal contractor who claimed that a high school sports injury had rendered him a service-disabled veteran. Speaking during a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Duckworth vividly described to a committee witness, Braulio Castillo, how she lives in near constant pain after losing both of her legs during her service as a combat pilot. Castillo cited his foot injury, suffered at a military prep school, as the basis for his IT company's application for special status as a 'service-disabled veteran-owned small business.'... 'My feet hurt too,' said Duckworth. 'In fact, the balls of my feet burn continuously, and I feel like there's a nail being hammered into my heel right now. So I can understand pain and suffering, and how service connection can actually cause long-term, unremitting, unyielding, unstoppable pain.'" [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Monkey trolls a dog.

CROSSFIRE IS COMING BACK TO CNN - Would having "Inside Politics" come back be too much to ask? Times: "'Crossfire,' the forerunner to so many television debates and shouting matches, is coming back to CNN, the cable news channel announced on Wednesday. The format will be the same as it was in the 1980s and '90s -- two hosts each day, one from a liberal perspective and the other from a conservative perspective. But the stable of political pundits exchanging verbal fire will be new. The conservatives will be Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House and presidential candidate, and S. E. Cupp, a television commentator who is joining CNN from MSNBC. The liberals will be Stephanie Cutter, the deputy campaign manager for President Obama's 2012 campaign, and Van Jones, an activist and former special adviser to Mr. Obama for green jobs." [NYT]

COMFORT FOOD

- Cat Flakes is a website that features snowflakes that resemble cats. That's it. [http://bit.ly/11137Yt]

- First person Pac-Man is what an Atari sees when it has nightmares. [http://bit.ly/10VdqRx]

- The latest installment of PBS Studio's excellent "Blank on Blank" features an animated rendering of a 1964 Louis Armstrong interview. [http://bit.ly/1ckj5Ar]

- This is a Tumblr featuring heavily photoshopped GIFs of actresses' heads exploding. [http://huff.to/14xmZDn]

- In the 1980s Time Magazine gave away a variety of cheap gadgets as subscription incentives. Here's a look back at those ad campaigns. [http://ti.me/11FiWX0]

- Man dons a GoPro camera and juggles his way around Iceland. [http://bit.ly/120AfgD]

- "NYC: One Sec Shots" is a short film comprised entirely of one-second clips of the Big Apple. [http://bit.ly/1cjLZk5]

TWITTERAMA

@Caissie: If the SCOTUS ruling on DOMA makes you sad, look on the bright side. Gay people rarely have abortions.

@KagroX: Free gay wedding idea: Dress all the servers like Paula Deen.

@matthewstoller: Alito's dissent is a giant subtweet.

ON TAP

TONIGHT

7:00 pm: Jeff Flake tries to forget about his childrearing issues for a few hours with a fundraiser at the Nationals game versus his home state Diamondbacks. $1,000 suggested donation, which is about the cost of a beer. [Nationals Park]

TOMORROW

1:00 pm: Jim Inhofe hosts a "Lunch featuring the Oklahoma State Meal." According to the internet -- which is always correct -- the Oklahoma state meal consists of "fried okra, squash, cornbread, barbecue pork, biscuits, sausage and gravy, grits, corn, strawberries, chicken fried steak, pecan pie, and black-eyed peas." [NRSC, 425 2nd Street NE]

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm: Anthony Weiner, a low-profile politician who is running for a relatively obscure position in an out-of-the-way hamlet in Southeastern New York, holds a fundraiser. Whatever. [New York, NY]

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