Commentary: What Happened Today?

Minnesota Marriage Equality Street Team - Phase 2, Wrap 1
Photo by Randy Stern

I should have titled this piece "a Commentary on Marriage Equality within an automotive context – Part 2."

Rather, possible societal change as an interruption or background noise to what this site is supposed to be.

Nine Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States convened again this day to receive a series of boxes for their brief appearance in their building. Upon opening their boxes, the contents are read to their letter. These are the codes of law for which their rulings on cases brought forth to these Justices are discussed within chambers. By majority ruling, their words are law – based on a Constitution that guides the principles of a nation.

Whether we agree with the Constitution or the Supreme Court's interpretation thereof is up for debate within the court of public opinion. We could scrutinize the decision, the Majority and Dissenting Opinions from the Court until the cows come home. This is what we do, as prescribed by the First Amendment of the Constitution. It is our right to free speech that keeps the debates hot – whether we engage in them or not.

Why discuss the Court's rulings on an automotive website? What does Hollingsworth v. Perry or United States v. Windsor have anything to do with the work being done on here?

Consider the Supreme Court's role in the Constitution and governance of the United States of America. Their power shapes every aspect of our lives – our work, our home, our relationship with society at large.

Some of the Supreme Court's decisions have shaped our industry. Anti-trust laws were argued to ensure fair competition within trades. The legal rights of workers also had some appearances inside the Court. Many decisions of the two-plus centuries of the Supreme Court have affected anyone touching any part of the automobile.

The rulings of the Supreme Court also includes the interpretation of the First Amendment – something that the kernel of those of us in the media corps. To which license shall we state our true feelings and how much legal protection do we have in the words we write, the images we capture and the things we say to our audiences.

It is the American Way. It is something I do what I can to live every day in the context of this work and other related avenues I participate in.

It is a privilege in being a part of the automotive media corps. The access we get to vehicles, events and the coverage of an industry that is the driver of our economy is just absolutely amazing. As one of my friends said, "[I] have the best job in the world." Yeah, but it takes a lot of risk, stamina and hard work to maintain the high level of output expected from this position.

So, I am taking a risk right now. In a way, I am exercising the license and privilege of this position to basically reflect upon how the events of these past two months in American history has shaped my place amongst the media corps covering both the automotive industry and my local community.

Therefore, my feelings about what happened in the Supreme Court of the United States of America can be summed up this way…


What? Were you expecting some political treatment espousing the ins and outs of the two decisions rendered at the Court? Were you waiting for a pithy and intellectual explanation of how these rulings will affect our lives? Or, were you already turned off by what I might have been able to say on here?

Perhaps I spared you from all of this. This is an automotive website after all. I am supposed to talk about the automobile in our society, review new vehicles and reminisce about the past.

However, it is cause for celebration. This weekend in Minneapolis will be absolutely bonkers – add the rulings on DOMA and California Proposition 8 along with the codification of Marriage Equality in Minnesota. For me, I will take the time to reconnect with friends, have good conversations and capture some unique images along the way.

What happens next in my life and my interactions with you is uncertain. Sure, knowing that there are a few more freedoms and rights that I have access to now than when I started this site over two years ago, but I am still doing this automotive writing thing.

So, yeah, I am pretty happy about what transpired earlier today. I am also pretty happy how both my birth and home states will benefit greatly for the good of all citizens. I will be even happier when I get to Loring Park on Saturday for the Twin Cities Pride Festival.

I better get back to writing about cars…

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