Sunday, October 23, 2005
Attribution Error Bonanza!
Jody has gotten all worked up about the Washington Post's summary of a Kansas Supreme Court decision, in which the court ruled that, as the Post has it, "'moral disapproval' of such conduct is not enough to justify the different treatment." But this fundamentally misstates what the Kansas Supreme Court has ruled (although the mistake is not Jody's, but the Washington Post's). The unanimous opinion is here. The Kansas court ruled that they were bound by precedent set by the U.S. Supreme Court in Romer v. Evans and Lawrence v. Texas. Jody's beef is with Lawrence, not with Limon. For the Kansas Supreme Court to ignore binding precedent (and U.S. Supreme Court decisions are binding on state Supreme Courts when it comes to federal and constitutional law) would be a stare decisis violation. More about morality and the law later, and why I believe Jody is mistaken in thinking that the decision overturns morality as a basis for law, but I wanted to be clear and on the record: this is not a landmark case, but a consequence of Lawrence v. Texas.