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April 10, 2020

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Harlan's Ghost

This theory seriously misreads Obergefell and relies on language that is best characterized as dicta. What it overlooks is that marriage is essentially a commitment and the law generally favors the keeping of commitments (the theory/practice of efficient breaches aside). While it is true that parties can breach, a party may obtain an immediate injunction to prevent irreperable harm or an order to compel specific performance. The rights argument is much less forceful when you are talking about a *voluntary* commitment -- that is, you can't be compelled to marry but once you do, you agree to assume certain responsibilties and it's rather specious to argue that you have the right to unassume those responsibilties unilaterally. We don't impose a waiting period on contracts but we certainly impose a lot of process on the unwiding. It's unclear to me how you can become engaged to one person while one is still married to another person which of itself shows a fundamental lack of respect for the commitment one has made and has yet to be released from. There's so much more that could be said, but this suffices for now.

Maybell Romero

Hi, Harlan's Ghost! Fancy seeing you around here, haunting my post! It's too bad, though, because it seems that 1) you haven't had a chance to read the paper itself, wherein we argue that issues such as property distribution, child support, etc., should be considered apart from the actual dissolution of a marriage itself. We aren't arguing that one should be able to, as you say, "unassume those obligations unilaterally." But I have a feeling from your last couple of sentences that this may be more of an issue of personal offense than any real disagreement about the law of marriage and unmarriage. So sorry your life has been full of disappointments such that you make assumptions about the lives of others. I hope things turn around for you soon.

anon

" So sorry your life has been full of disappointments such that you make assumptions about the lives of others. I hope things turn around for you soon."

Nothing in the comment was personally insulting.

Yet, the response is a condescending, arrogant, gratuitous insult. Why?

Do you speak to your students like that?

Brian L. Frye

Dear anonymous commenter,
This is an insult: "It's unclear to me how you can become engaged to one person while one is still married to another person which of itself shows a fundamental lack of respect for the commitment one has made and has yet to be released from."
I think Maybell's response was rather charitable under the circumstances.
If you weren't a coward, you'd post under your own name.
BLF

Maybell Romero

What's up, "anon"! No, I wouldn't say anything like that to my students, given that they would never float out something along the lines of "It's unclear to me how you can become engaged to one person while one is still married to another person which of itself shows a fundamental lack of respect for the commitment one has made and has yet to be released from." I'd never have to. They're smart, well-trained, and don't assume facts.

Maybell Romero

Also, you've got me wrong, anon. I'm actually very, very sad for Harlan's Ghost. There's obviously something that happened preventing them from engaging the actual argument of the paper rather than making unfounded assumptions about the lives of others. I hope that difficulty stops haunting them soon.

anon

Wow, double down on the insults.

There is nothing personally insulting to anyone demonstrated by the quote you chose. The commentator argues that you don't ethically make another identical contract, in breach of one by which you are presently obliged, until and unless you have terminated your present agreement.

Sure, it can be argued that one has autonomy to break oaths, breach contracts, etc. But, to argue otherwise does not personally insult anyone.

You, on the other hand, toss around the "coward" label like a true professional insulter. As debated many times here in the FL (perhaps you are not aware of this), anonymous commenting is expressly permitted. It is you violating the comment policy, not me.

The reason anonymous commenting is permitted is obvious. Vindictive angry persons in legal academia, and there are many, simply can't conduct a civil debate without going below the belt. This anger can be reasonably assumed to be regularly manifested by these persons in their sheltered little enclaves, using whatever petty power they have to vindictively attempt to destroy anyone who dares, even civilly, to disagree with some position.

Why would anyone want to engage personally with such persons who are so quick to level personal attacks? Social distancing is well advised here. Anonymous commenting is the way it is done here in the FL.

Don't like it? Take it up with those who run the blog, rather than lashing out in uncontrollable anger at me.

Maybell Romero

I couldn't care less if Harlan's Ghost or you, anon, want to remain anonymous. What is confusing to me, however, is that the issue of the engagement is what sticks in some people's craw rather than the actual argument of the paper itself: People should be able to enjoy the same freedom and autonomy to unmarry as there is to marry. Whether Brian and I are engaged or not is rather beside the point. It's interesting you find it insulting for me to insinuate that Harlan's Ghost has suffered some misfortune, but not insulting for HG to presume a "fundamental lack of respect" for any commitments I've made in the past while knowing nothing about the situation. Seems like unequal treatment and disproportionate indignation to me.

Brian L. Frye

LOL, ok bud. How about this. You continue to post anonymous insults & I continue to make fun of you for being a coward. Free speech all around!
HG questioned the seriousness of our commitment to each other. If that isn't an insult, I don't know what is.
If you want to criticize our argument, do it on the merits. So far, my students have had much more interesting comments.

Brian L. Frye

An observation: What kind of loser trolls blogs? A second observation: What kind of pathetic troll isn't even funny?

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