Author Archives: William C. Duncan

How marriage law has shifted in 35 years

In many family law textbooks, two cases from the 1970s are juxtaposed. The first is a 1976 California decision, Marvin v. Marvin, in which the California Supreme Court considered a claim by a woman who had cohabited with a celebrity … Continue reading

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How complex regulations give big corporations the upper hand – Sutherland Soapbox, 1/20/15

This post is a transcript of a 4-minute weekly radio commentary aired on several Utah radio stations. The podcast can be found at the bottom of this post. Recently I came across a complaint about corporate involvement in politics. The … Continue reading

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Statement on Supreme Court decision to hear same-sex marriage case

Sutherland Institute is encouraged that the Supreme Court is finally going to take the opportunity to correct the mistakes of so many federal courts that have said that the states are not free to define marriage as they always have. … Continue reading

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Lopsided ‘bipartisanship’ in judges’ marriage mandates

With a large number of federal judges rushing to rule that states must redefine marriage to include same-sex couples over the last year has come a claim by advocates that the legal theory enjoys bipartisan support. Of course, federal judges … Continue reading

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Regrettable words and the ethics of tale-bearing

Recently, the news reported some comments from a well-known, and by all accounts, generous and philanthropic individual in the state, of an unfortunate and ad hominem nature about a prominent politician. Such comments are, of course, always regrettable. What could … Continue reading

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Arranged marriage

Today, the law of Utah says that marriage is an association of a man and a woman, or a man and another man, or a woman and another woman. Not, however, because a massive cultural change in the state led … Continue reading

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Marriage: a cornerstone, not a luxury good — Sutherland Soapbox, 12/16/14

This post is a transcript of a 4-minute weekly radio commentary aired on several Utah radio stations. The podcast can be found at the bottom of this post. Prominent sociologist Andrew Cherlin had an interesting piece in the New York … Continue reading

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Parents’ rights: Integrating rights and responsibilities

The U.S. Constitution is understood to protect the ability of parents to direct the upbringing of their children, free from state interference. That formulation derives from a pair of cases from the 1920s involving disputes over education. In Meyer v. … Continue reading

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Intergenerational families: Humanity’s keystone species

At Yellowstone last summer, we heard about keystone species, “a species that has a disproportionately large effect on its environment relative to its abundance.” These species solve large ecological problems that would otherwise threaten the very existence of an ecosystem. … Continue reading

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6th Circuit marriage decision is powerfully protective of liberty – Sutherland Soapbox, 11/11/14

This post is a transcript of a 4-minute weekly radio commentary aired on several Utah radio stations. The podcast can be found at the bottom of this post.  Last week’s decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth … Continue reading

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Statement on 6th Circuit Court marriage decision

In a strong, well-reasoned opinion, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has vindicated the rights of the people of those states to recognize marriage as the union of a husband and wife. It is … Continue reading

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Take the long view of court’s (non)decision on marriage — Sutherland Soapbox, 10/7/14

This post is a transcript of a 4-minute weekly radio commentary aired on several Utah radio stations.  Utah’s marriage law, and a measure of its self-determination, has now been wiped out by the inaction of the U.S. Supreme Court. As … Continue reading

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Statement on Supreme Court’s refusal to hear marriage case

Children are entitled to be raised by a married mother and father. Sutherland Institute is deeply disappointed that the Supreme Court has failed to correct the lawlessness of lower courts that have deprived the people of Utah and other states … Continue reading

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Hobby Lobby horrors? Not exactly

Legal writing can be dense and overly technical. Perhaps that’s why there persists some confusion about the effect of the Hobby Lobby decision issued by the U.S. Supreme Court. It did not help that the dissent in the case included … Continue reading

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Not so fast: Federal judge says Constitution doesn’t require redefining marriage

Perhaps the most powerful argument for same-sex marriage has been that it is “inevitable.” It’s powerful because it contains an implicit threat: If you think there is something unique and uniquely valuable about marriage between a husband and wife — … Continue reading

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