While I rejoice unapologetically in the deaths of Prop 8 and DOMA, the purpose of this analysis is to explain what is really happening in our nation's politics and how far beyond homosexual marriage this developing trend reaches. 3 months ago, I predicted that this ruling would be a sweeping victory for homosexual marriage that threw out all State bans and made it legal in States that haven't passed a law in either direction. Instead, the Supreme Court punted - throwing out the 2 challenged bans but not burning all the others with them. While it proves my prediction to be partially wrong, I'm actually pleasantly surprised by this turn of events because it's not only the expected victory for homosexual marriage, but also an unexpected victory for State rights.
Make no mistake about it, the Supreme Court has been on a Federalist binge in recent years and would have preferred to burn all the other bans with Prop 8 and DOMA. But we must remember it is also a political institution and must account for the checks on its own power. Much like the Obamacare ruling, an across-the-board sweep against State bans would have caused a massive wave of nullification where red States essentially maintained the bans and continued to refuse homosexuals marriage. About 4/5 of States already openly defy Federal laws - marijuana, certain Obamacare provisions, abortion, gun control, etc. - and the Federal government simply pretends this isn't happening by ordering its law enforcement and prosecutors to ignore the violators in those States. It does so because it simply does not have the resources to actually enforce the laws. If it tried - Federal agents would get arrested by State law enforcement or lynched by local mobs and the Feds STILL couldn't do anything about it, erasing what little is left of respect for Federal authority. In the 1960s the Federal government unleashed the military to win a seemingly similar conflict; but that was over one State law (segregation) in a single region (the South) where the law was losing popularity and was rabidly unpopular everywhere else. Today's conflict is about a multitude of Federal laws that span the political spectrum and are all very unpopular where they're nullified - the lack of cooperation from locals and even from the military would not bode well for Federal power.
Being a little smarter than Obama and the criminals in his Department of Justice, the Supreme Court simply avoided adding to the long list of ignored Federal laws and possibly throwing the Federal government into a confrontation it has no chance of winning. In doing so, it acknowledged the decline of Federal power and that it simply no longer has the same authority to tell States what to do.
The ruling paves the way for nationwide recognition of homosexual marriage. Seeing as the US uses a Common Law system based on precedent, this ruling guarantees that any State ban challenged in the Federal Supreme Court will be thrown out. Additionally, the laws can simply be repealed by legislative or initiative amendments within the State. Hence, the remaining State bans will disappear gradually as the populations
in those States mature culturally to tolerate homosexuality.
I realize this isn't what many impatient Progressives want to hear, but preserving State autonomy is key to maintaining civil liberties. We made a mistake as a country in the 1960s by destroying State rights in an effort to force a top-down culture change equalizing ethnic minorities - and we failed COMPLETELY to equalize them but the resulting unchecked Federal power led to such 'gems' as the Patriot Act, NDAA, and the tyranny of all the agencies involved in modern-day scandals. Stop deluding yourselves - the Federal legalization of homosexual marriage would not improve the life of any homosexual in rural Alabama; but avoiding said legalization also takes away the authority of some inbred politician from a rural Alabama district to Federally ban abortions and homosexuality in urban CA, as well as enact a sweeping police state in a hunt for "terrorists".