DOMA Overturned, Prop 8 Case Dismissed for Lack of Standing

Wednesday, June 26, AD 2013

Unsurprising results. Here is the DOMA decision, and here is the Prop 8 decision.

Both were 5-4 decisions. Kennedy delivered the opinion of the Court on DOMA, Roberts on Prop 8.  The lineups were slightly different. The dissenters on DOMA were Roberts, Alito, Scalia, and Thomas, and on Prop 8 Kennedy, Thomas, Alito, and  . . . Sotomayor. Prop 8 fell because of standing and not on the merits of the legal issue, so the Court lineup actually doesn’t say much on that one. Of course the end result is that California will now recognize same-sex marriage.

I’ll be back much later with a full analysis. What the Windsor (DOMA) case means is that the federal government cannot prohibit states from recognizing same-sex marriage, and those married in states allowing SSM must receive federal benefits. States are still free to not recognize same-sex marriage, but Kennedy’ s use of the Equal Protection Clause to underpin his argument means that the handwriting is on the wall. Scalia’s dissent is a must-read, but Alito’s is perhaps more significant – particularly footnote 7.

In the meantime, here’s some happy reading for you to ponder for the rest of the day.

Update: I think my explanation of the DOMA decision’s results is a little shaky. This was never about what the states could do, but it simply relates to granting federal benefits to same sex couples who claim to be married.



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23 Responses to DOMA Overturned, Prop 8 Case Dismissed for Lack of Standing

  • Busy day in the law mines so I do not have time to comment except to say that under the full faith and credit clause DOMA was always of dubious constitutionality. It was a successful tactic in the nineties by the left to derail the strong push to pass a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, and that chicken has come home to roost. The Court sidestepped proposition 8 because Kennedy is not willing, yet, to impose gay marriage on the entire nation by judicial fiat. (There are very weird lineups in that case in the majority and the dissent, so my last statement may be completely wrong.) More from me after I have had a chance to read the decisions this evening.

  • All:
    God save your majesty!

    I thank you, good people—there shall be no money; all shall eat
    and drink on my score, and I will apparel them all in one livery,
    that they may agree like brothers, and worship me their lord.

    The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.

    Nay, that I mean to do.

    Henry The Sixth, Part 2, Act 4, scene 2, 71–78

  • I actually WAS hoping there was a silver lining in the link. Turns out it is more depressing an idea than the post itself.

    Satan has been having a field day in the West since the early 1900s and it feels like many bad roads are converging.

  • Twitter: @GPollowitz:

    “Future Bill Clinton quote: ‘I always thought DOMA would be overturned, that’s why I signed it into law'”

  • Well I haven’t read the Prop 8 case yet, but perhaps your silver lining is that it is good that it wasn’t decided on the merits, because if it had been decided on the merits the decision could have been very Roe-esque.

  • Matthew 10:15

    Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.

    Luke 10:13-15

    Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had been performed in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will be brought down to Hades!

  • “We shall go before a higher tribunal – a tribunal where a Judge of infinite goodness, as well as infinite justice, will preside, and where many of the judgments of this world will be reversed.” Thomas Meagher

    “How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” Abraham Lincoln

  • I don’t know if it’s accurate, but I’ve read a couple of things indicating that the Full Faith and Credit clause has never been applied to states recognizing marriages in other states. If that’s true, it would mitigate the impact of this decision (for now).

  • DOMA was always constitutionally problematic. No one should be shocked by it being overturned.

    The silver lining, if any exists, is that we live to fight another day at the state level on the defense of marriage. By punting on the Prop 8 case, the Court did not do what many same-sex “marriage” advocates had hoped it would do, which is to constitutionally enshrine SSM as a secular-left sacrament the way it did with abortion in Roe v. Wade.

  • “How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” Abraham Lincoln

    That is a great quote, one I’ve never heard before. Thanks for sharing it.

  • Spot on, T. Shaw! SCOTUS could issue a ruling declaring that a tail is a leg, but that wouldn’t make it so.

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  • Jay,

    Excellent analysis, I agree completely.

  • The bishops have issued a statement ( declaring today to be “a tragic day for marriage and our nation.” Well and good, but it means next to nothing unless they put some teeth in it. It’s time for them to draw a line in the sand. It’s also time for a pastoral letter on the subject.

  • The failure of our Bishops to speak is utterly demoralizing.

    Casey’s website displays his unfettered support for gay marriage. Pelosi and Biden seem to oppose every social position the Church has taken. Yet nothing happens. We have Dolan’s diocese paying for abortions through healthcare while the USCCB proclaims the same policy at a national level to be unconscionable. Our schools knowingly hire homosexual teachers, only to have the bishop of those diocese act surprised and dismayed when they lose in court due to inconsistent application of policy.

    For God’s sake… Well, for ours, actually… Can our hierarchy get their act together!?

  • One of the probably-a-trolls over at Ricochet (the COC keeps ’em from being obvious) decided to throw an utter fit over the “how many legs does a dog have” thing, accusing the editors of ignoring slanderous comparisons of homosexuals to dogs….

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  • I have been on vacation with my family this week. It is the first one in five years and I really needed it. I am amazed at all of the HIV billboards I see in Miami Dade. It is nauseating.

    I hope Texas does secede. If not, I may move my family to Poland. This abortion and homosexual garbage has to end.

  • Trolls need to shut off debate because all they have are ad hominems, distortions, fabrications, and “SHUT THE EFF UP!”

  • The goblins gay undoubtedly will “heart” this from “Never Yet Melted” blog, “Life in a Nation Governed by 15-year-old Girls.”


    “We obviously live in a society led around by the nose by an elite which is too stupid to live. Any appeal to emotion and sentimentality will reduce even the learned Supreme Court Justice, nominated by a Republican and entrusted by Fate with the deciding vote, to the intellectual condition of a pubescent female in early high school who has been reading “Black Beauty.”

  • Proposition 8 is peaceable assembly to petition the government for redress. Any and every citizen has the standing to appeal it, pro se, and not be denied our First Amendment civil rights. Denying a citizen access to Justice because of technicalities is denying Justice to all. Justice delayed is Justice denied.

  • DOMA overturned. Let the gay agenda prove that they have the ability of two becoming one and claiming the definition of marriage of two becoming one. I say that I am wealthy but that does not raise my bank account not one red or rainbow cent.

  • The consummation of two human beings, body and soul in the presence of God is the sacred state of Matrimony. In the fact that same-sex individuals cannot ever consummate their love for each other, leaves the disparaging fact of their commitment being undone, only half accomplished. No amount of constitutional investigation or encouragement will change the fact that same-sex couples cannot couple or consummate their relationship in the presence of God. Therefore, there is no marriage for gays to be constitutionally protected. Since gays have consistently rejected same-sex unions, it appears that gays are willingly complicit in rewriting our constitution without ratification by the people.

Portents of Doom

Wednesday, January 2, AD 2013

Yes, Congress and the White House managed to punt on any real solutions to our ever-growing debt crisis, reaching a deal that raised a lot of taxes but cut no spending. Yet the real signal that we are truly doomed as a country  may have come from a bill that did not pass – not yet. The House of Representatives failed to pass a $60 billion relief bill for Hurricane Sandy, prompting Republican Governor Chris Christie to act like a petulant child who didn’t receive all that he wanted on Christmas morn.

“There is only one group to blame,” Christie said. “The House Majority and John Boehner.”

“Last night, the House Majority failed the basic test of leadership and they did so with callous disregard to the people of my state,” he said. “It was disappointing and disgusting to watch.”

“Shame on you, shame on Congress.”

Following his remarks, Christie doubled down on his criticism in a lengthy — and incredibly candid — press conference in which he laid into House Republicans for putting “palace intrigue” ahead of their actual jobs.

“Our people were played last night as a pawn…and that’s why people hate Washington, D.C.,” Christie said later. “They forget that we’re the ones who sent them there.”

Representative Peter King (“R” – NY) also blasted his party and even threatened quitting in anger – hours before throwing his support for Speaker John Boehner when others within the caucus attempted to oust him from leadership.

But King and Christie are just speaking out for their poor constituents who desperately need federal aid. Ummm, not exactly. Daniel Foster lists some of the items contained in this bill:

•$2 million to repair damage to the roofs of museums in Washington, D.C., while many in Hurricane Sandy’s path still have no roof over their own heads.

•$150 million for fisheries as far away from the storm’s path as Alaska.

•$125 million for the Department of Agriculture’s Emergency Watershed Protection program, which helps restore watersheds damaged by wildfires and drought.

•$20 million for a nationwide Water Resources Priorities Study.

•$15 million for NASA facilities, though NASA itself has called its damage from the hurricane ‘minimal.’

•$50 million in subsidies for tree planting on private properties.

•$336 million for taxpayer-supported AMTRAK without any detailed plan for how the money will be spent.

•$5.3 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers – more than the Corps’ annual budget – with no statement of priorities about how to spend the money.

•$12.9 billion for future disaster mitigation activities and studies, without identifying a single way to pay for it.

As Foster notes, money has already been appropriated to deal with the immediate situation. And as Katrina Trinko adds, only 15 percent of the money allocated in this bill would actually be spent this year. Some emergency funding, huh? But of course the esteemed Senators from Alaska will not tolerate any criticisms of their pork requests.

These are two very real and very serious disasters that Alaskans are facing. The first being the salmon disaster which was declared a disaster by the federal government this past September – Alaskans are still waiting for relief after the devastating impact on fisheries. After Japan’s generous gift of $5 million, the U.S. government needs to step up to the plate as tsunami debris poses serious navigational hazards and risks to coastal communities. Sandy remains the priority in this bill, but given that many of the dollars allocated for debris will go to charting and mapping it, this bill is a more than appropriate vehicle to bring up these disasters which have severely impacted Alaska’s communities.

This fiasco highlights some things you need to know about our government, and why things will never improve. As Senator Begich’s comments illustrate, there is not a dime of federal spending that will not be defended by someone. No matter how trivial, no matter how seemingly wasteful, there will always be someone out there to defend that dollar (or millions) of appropriation.

More importantly, Christie’s childish reaction shows that even s0-called fiscal conservatives cannot be relied upon to remain level-headed. Surely Christie must be aware that some $20 billion or so of this bill is completely unrelated to dealing with the immediate aftermath of the hurricane. Instead of criticizing those in Congress who decided to weigh down this bill with unnecessary measures, Christie decides to demagogue the issue and blame the people who are at least trying to behave responsibly. Surely Christie could have called upon Congress to mass House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers’s much more reasonable disaster relief bill. But that’s not the Blusterer’s style. This was a moment to get on the evening news, and he wouldn’t have done so had he criticized Democrats.

Chris Christie is the golden child of “fiscal conservatives.” If even he is unwilling to patiently await passage of a reasonably considered bill that would focus on actual hurricane relief, but instead would prefer to scream about the need for IMMEDIATE PASSAGE NOW!!!!!!!!! – then what hope is there that we can ever achieve fiscal sanity in this country.

Ace has some sobering words to consider in light of this fiasco.

Watching “fiscal conservative” Chris Christie fail to say one word about those who demand that relief for his state be bought with unrelated spending for their own states, which weren’t hit by catastrophe — shouldn’t it be noted that Lisa Murkowski and Don Young of Alaska won’t vote for those left homeless by Sandy until some local businesses get their “cut”? — it occurs to me that he is accommodating himself to reality.

The reality is vox populi, vox dei — the voice of the people is the voice of God. And the voice of this particular shabby god has decreed that we shall be financially reckless and we should go through a national bankruptcy, and there’s no sense trying to avoid it, so we’ll just run up a huge tab buying multiple 65 inch 3D tvs before we crash.

Given that the people wish to spend money they do not have, and soon will not have (for all the same reasons that people with bad credit can’t rent a car — your ability to borrow is precisely related to your projected future ability to make good on your loans), and will not be diverted from this disastrous course, what can anyone do?

. . .

But for now, let’s go get a few of those sweet 3D TV’s and watch Pirates of the Caribbean IV.

You’ll think I’m a wonderful, well-providing father… for the next month or so.

After that, you may hold a different opinion of me. Major negative changes in circumstance tend to do that.

But for now– 3D TVs. Have you ever seen such a clear, sort of three dimensional picture? Aren’t I your hero? At this moment, I mean.

We deserve the government we have.


Oh, and before I hear from any wiseguys, two of my brothers had to abandon their flooded homes because of the storm.


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9 Responses to Portents of Doom

  • I agree.

    Sixty billion here, sixty billion there – pretty soon you’re talking REAL MONEY.

    The national debt is over 103% of GDP and will shortly hit 130% (then we become Greece) as Obama and Christie are each year spending trillions more than tax receipts. Neither NJ (high tax state) nor the US government can repay their debts.

    And, I live on Long Island. Our Nassau County village had over 140 large trees down and 35 houses severely damaged. We didn’t need to take money from taxpayers in Idaho or from my children and grandchildren to restore eletricity and gas and open our streets. Or, to fix our houses.

    They’re reporting that Bohner pulled the bill b/c Cantor voted “no” on the immense excrement sandwich they call the fiscal cliff deal.

    Anyhow, in a few years it will be all over for the USA.

  • I can think of few politicians who have fallen swifter in my estimation than Chris Christie. I think he is preparing the way for an eventual jump to the Democrats. Good riddance.

  • Despair not: “they can be a great people, Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you.”

    People want to do better. They want to be the people they dream of being.

    During this last snow event (i refuse to call 5 inches of snow a “storm”) i cleared the opening to a shared alley. A neighbor who was finishing his sidewalk headed into the house, only to return five minute later to help. 10 minutes later, another neighbor joined. Within an hour, there were six of us clearing the alley, and then the intersection, and then the road. By the time the plow came through, there was nothing for him to do.

    My point is that we can be Franciscan about this: preach the Gospel always, if necessary, use words.

  • “preach the Gospel always, if necessary, use words.”

    A good story G-Veg, but I wish to point out that Saint Francis never said that. That is a modern formulation from the 1990s.

  • I really don’t know what’s up with the US money-go-round. The largest economy and arguably the wealthiest nation in history is broke – with govt. debt 103% of GDP.
    While our little country – admittedly a little more socialised than I personally would like. but our debt is 41% of GDP – we have an adequate welfare system – some say too generous – unemployment is high at 6.9 % in a relatively small export led economy, and 4.5 million people. Maybe its our small size that makes things easier – but we , under the present govt – unlike the Helen Clark Labour govt -just don’t cave in to every bludger wanting a hand out ( except we are being over-generous to the Maori Greivance Gravy Train)
    And we’ll be back in surplus projected at 2015. Maybe you should get our guys to handle your purse strings 😉

  • St. Francis may not have sai it but I like the articulation so I think I’ll keep it as is.

    With regards to the US economy, the US spent an obscene amount on war and then threw away the stimulus mony. That is at least part of the difference you see.

  • “the US spent an obscene amount on war”

    Disagree vigorously G-Veg. Any money that is used to keep my family safer I do not regard in any way as “obscene”. I fear that we will soon get to see that perhaps we failed to allocate sufficient funds for defense considering the number of hot spots that are beginning to glow around the globe.

    “St. Francis may not have said it”

    No may about it, he did not say it. This popped up in the 1990s and you now see it repeated endlessly throughout Saint Blogs.

    Fake quotes are abhorrent to me since they lend authority to a phrase to which it is not entitled. With the advent of the internet fake quotes gain credence because so many people repeat them. Three examples: “We sleep safely in our beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on our behalf.” attributed to George Orwell is a fake quote that is repeated endlessly. “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence — it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.” is a favorite George Washington quote that he never uttered. “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” was never said by Edmund Burke.

  • Yeah, I’d say a “phenomenal” amount on defense, not “obscene”. The benefits we get from it include secure international trade, so it’s probably a net gain, but it’d sure be nice if someone else picked up the check every once in a while. (And that’s not even considering the moral consequences.)

    I think that Christie looked particularly good to Republicans back when their bench was weaker. As the years roll by, there’s a natural sorting process, and the new generation will be tested. Paul, Brown, McDonnell, Rubio, and Ayotte, and going back a little further, Palin, Ryan, and Jindal. There will be sex scandals, and words like “macaca”, and random bad luck, and a lot of rising stars will fall. Some will succeed. Two new ones to watch: Ted Cruz in the Senate and Tom Cotton in the House. Great early press.


    The New Year does not bode well for our amoral nation.
    America has become a godless imitation.
    How many more will lose life, liberty, and survival?
    The Constitution and rights must have serious revival.

    The religious freedom we once had is now being denied.
    Objections by religious leaders are being defied.
    The God of Abraham was once our nation’s guiding light.
    Immorality has almost become a legal right.

    Marriage of a man and woman is God’s moral demand.
    Will the Supreme Court now deny His eternal command?
    The American people are enemy number one.
    Our religious liberty and freedoms they have undone.

    Our nation has grown cold to God’s love – we are divided.
    The Ten Commandments are being openly derided.
    Those who do not trust God have misplaced their intended goal.
    They alone have the power to rescue their eternal soul.

    As light fades, what we so proudly hailed no one can now see.
    The ramparts were not watched – we are no longer free.
    The future of America has never seemed so bleak.
    Hope is possible only if the Son of God we seek.

    Bob Rowland

Our Country

Wednesday, February 29, AD 2012

So to sum up: we now live in a country where students at ostensibly Catholic universities testify on national television before Congress that they are freely engaging in pre-marital intercourse, and that the university’s failure to pay for their $100 per month contraception is severely cramping their style – as they pay on the order of $50,000 per year for the privilege of said education.

But Rick Santorum is considered kooky and extreme.


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24 Responses to Our Country

  • Yup, that aboout sums it up, Paul Z.!

  • “that they are freely engaging in pre-marital intercourse, and that the university’s failure to pay for their $100 per month contraception”

    Which would actually be closer to 9-20 dollars per month. Bad enough being an airhead with the morals of a shrew in heat, but a lying airhead with the morals of a shrew in heat is even worse!

  • Yeah, I thought the $1,000/year figure seemed a tad high.

    And can I be a bit crude here? If we’re concerned about overall health, shouldn’t we be subsidizing condoms? After all, birth control pills don’t protect against STDs.

  • I imagine her parents are very, very proud. We should find them, and congratulate them as publicly as possible, in front of as many TV cameras and pod-cast i-Phones as can be found.

  • I wonder what other items are in these students’ “budgets”. I recall college… “poor” indeed, except when it comes to the party life.

  • How much you wanna bet that these self-absorbed brats who cannot afford rubbers have smart phones with robust texting plans.

  • I wrote on this as well, complete with facts, charts, powerpoint presentations and fancy blockquotes in red text.

    OK, no charts or powerpoint presentations, but I did include a few facts and 2 fancy blockquotes in red text.

    And of course, my usual style of commentary, such as:

    “One thing is for certain – I won’t be seeking legal advice from any recently graduated Georgetown-educated lawyers. Ever. It appears the only thing they know about legal briefs are the ones they stripped off of a fellow student.”

  • Well done, LarryD. I’ve obviously been on twitter too much, thus my pithier post.

  • The Newman Society commissioned survey of some Catholic colleges found more Catholic college young women than men involved in pre marital sex 50% to 41% and less Catholic young women being drawn to the sacraments than men. Close ’em up. Those are religious orders that could be missionizing in the third world where people skip meals instead of class. Go to the bottom of this link:

  • Not that it’s a high bar (rimshot!), but she’s waaaay too stupid to be a lawyer. If she’s having that much sex and not charging for it, she’s an idiot–she’d have even a Georgetown education paid off by now.

  • You crack me up, Dale, you truly do. And it’s with the truth, no less! 😀

  • Here’s a pdf of Fluke’s testimony:

    Now, Ms. Fluke talks about 3 people who need BC meds for non-sexual reasons – but that doesn’t explain 40% of the women at GLS. Unless there are only 7 female law students in attendance…

  • What staggers me is that these airheads expect everyone else to pay for their jollies.

    I think this is even too bizzare for George Orwell to have predicted isn’t it?

  • Their god is in their groins.

    Thank God I only have sons.

  • With marriage so devalued and convenient what is surprising about this?

  • Karl-
    I suspect marriage is devalued for the same reason that this happens, rather than being the cause of it happening. It’s possible that “free love” devalued marriage, as well…. Virtue is devalued, especially if you’re of the class that can expect to go to college as a baseline expectation.

  • I have no trouble accepting, on an intellectual level, the evil of contraception. But the emotional part of me really does not want people like this young woman to succeed in producing offspring.

    Incidentally: condoms to not offer much protection against STDs, espcially things like genitals warts.

  • I could not afford anything but a “state school” back in the early 70’s when I attended the University of Buffalo. Loose sex was everywhere. I hope no one kids themselves into thinking this is a recent phenomenon.

    By some miracle, I do mean miracle, I got through college without being sexually active but it was all around me. I once “slept” through my nearly orthodox jewish roomate and his girlfriend/future wife, making love. It was quite an experience. I remember staying up all night with a young woman, simply talking. This was after she had been invited to stay with a guy who offered to give her a room to stay in while she visited the school as a potential student. The guy was a suite mate of mine. I found the young girl sitting sad-faced nearly in tears in the common area outside of our rooms, late one friday evening. She told me he had ordered her to get out, with no place to go for the weekend to sleep, unless she would succumb to his charms. She was very broken up and knew know one at the school except my lecherous “friend”, but I was able to gain her confidence and asked a female classmate to help her out. Fortunately, I had gone to high school with this classmate and she kindly shared her room with this girl for the remainder of her visit.

    These kids, today, face these temptations, everyday. I am grateful to be old enough to be their, almost, grandfather. Even at 57, the temptation is ever present, living as a single man in a world of “hooking up”. I guess that is what it is called these days.

    I truly do not know how I got through my college years without such reckless behavior because I was always on its threshold. I had drifted away from my active Catholicism but retained the moral structure without paying much mind to God. When I reflect upon it, I must have a very wonderful Guardian Angel whom I probably just about wore out.

    I think things are much more “immediate” for young people today. I once got my glasses slapped off my face and into the backseat of my 1967 Plymouth Fury, for refusing to continue with the “gymnastics” I was involved in, in the front seat. I gently told the young lady I had met earlier in the evening(I was 19) that it was not “right” for us to proceed any further and that I did not want either her, nor I, to regret it later.

    POW, right in the face!

    I still laugh when I recall the incident. I was so naive. But I am glad that I was, even though that young lady never spoke another word to me.

    My point is, it is not easy to remain chaste. I am convinced, in my own case, that I was “protected” from what I still cannot believe I did not do. If that makes any sense. I would NOT want to be young now. Nothing of a sexual nature truly surprises me anymore.

    I do not deceive myself into thinking that I am “beyond” falling “off the wagon”. It is only
    a heartbeat away, but for the grace of God. How much more difficult it must be for younger people. May God help them.



    From time to time, I speak of these incidents to an occasional young person and I wonder if they think I am just making it up for their behalf.

  • Higher education to become tomorrow’s leaders and shape the world …
    Wonder if the professor offered college credit for the experience of debasing herself, her family, and her Catholic school and so, Church?
    Educating the brain must be a challenge when it’s located below the neck.
    Temptation, repentance, conversion of heart, renewal of spirit, reverence, and holiness will become futuristic courses taught by the desensitized as electives, or just become extra credit papers.

  • AC/DC: “On the highway to Hell.”

  • Remember, these contraceptives that are so expensive will be added to insurance plans ‘for free’ so that there is no financial impact to the university. Really, no one will be paying for it, it’s nothing…

  • “Friendly21” as well.