Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Latest Tear to the Constitution

If you believe in the importance of having an ethical judiciary, you should be disappointed.

If you are a California voter that cast a ballot to define marriage as being between two people of opposite sexes, you should be angry.

If you believe in the separation of powers, which unlike the so-called constitutional “separation of church and state” is actually in the U.S. Constitution, you should be furious.

Judge Vaughn Walker, who is chief judge of the northern California federal judicial district, threw out Proposition Eight, which received over 7,000,000 votes and a majority of ballots cast on the very day the Golden State overwhelming supported the election of Barack Obama to the presidency.

Walker, who was appointed by President George H.W. Bush, ruled that the state constitutional amendment restricting marriage to individuals of opposite sexes was unconstitutional citing that it violated due process (the 5th amendment) and equal protection (the 14th amendment).

The ruling is the product of an individual occupying a position of great power with an active imagination, a fanatical belief in what is just and no sense or fear of accountability.

It should be noted that even a relatively elastic amendment like the Civil War era 14th obviously had limits as it was necessary for the Constitution to be amended again to expand voting rights to women.

Under Judge Vaughn and the plaintiff’s logic, an amendment to the constitution spelling out women’s suffrage was superfluous as it and a host of other “rights” are implied already in the 14th amendment.

Implied is a good way of describing it since the word “marriage” nor any reference to the legal bonding of a two people is mentioned anywhere in the Constitution. One would think that this gray area should be a matter determined by the states (see the oft-forgotten 10th amendment).

In fact a better argument could be made why the 10th amendment declares the matter none of the federal judiciary’s business than one establishing how the 5th and 14th amendments are applicable. But the Left has demonized that constitutional clause with the same ferocity it has savaged a certain grandmother in Alaska.

There’s also the matter of a serious conflict of interest as Judge Walker is a homosexual and is a potential beneficiary of his own ruling.
Government acts arbitrarily all of the time. Especially on the national level.

Washington tells states that they won’t receive highway money if they don’t have a speed limit or if they permit people under the age of 21 to drink at a bar.

Owning a gun is a constitutional right; marriage is not. States have their own rules on how many days a couple has to wait before tying the knot and if a blood test is required.

If marriage is indeed a constitutional right possessed by all individuals, then why are there polygamy laws on the books? And continuing down this slippery slope, what’s to prevent close relatives from marrying each other? And age limits?

Are their “rights” less than that of two unrelated men or women who want to tie the knot?

Theoretically, that depends on whom you ask. And then how many likeminded people elect representatives sympathetic of that opinion who then pass laws, or in matters that seem to be in conflict with the Constitution or are important enough to enshrine in original governing document, pass a measure by a super-majority and then ratified by a super-majority of welfare-distribution centers better known as states.

Or you can take the liberal legal equivalent of a Dukes of Hazzard short cut and simply appoint a judge to create rights (or deny those explicitly codified as such) via fiat.

Liberals generally respond to the “polygamy/incest” argument that follows their own logic as being a standard conservative retort on the issue of same-sex marriage and then proceed to loudly challenge the integrity of traditional marriage advocates, comparing them to George Wallace or some other long dead politician of a distant era.

Government decides what’s too fast and obscene and what’s clean enough water and air.

The details that define our culture and acceptable quality of life come from the people, who may embrace, reject or amend the heritage they inherited. Elected government officials are charged with the authority to enact laws within the confines of organic law that reflect society, the essence of a democratic republic.

In California’s case, the people have a right to take things into their own hands, at least until a judge feels differently.

Judge Walker’s ruling is hardly the final word on that particular case and the matter of same-sex marriage in general.

And to disagree with the New York Times’ gushing reaction to the ruling, it’s neither historic nor a landmark decision. It’s a speedbump on the road to higher courts and a poor reflection on the man who should not have heard the case and the latest judicial excess by a branch of government with a tendency to not just break laws but make them as well.

Perry v. Schwarzenegger will be appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, where it will in all likelihood receive an amen from that collection of notoriously liberal jurists, and then to the U.S. Supreme Court, where it will be decided almost single-handedly by moderate associate justice Anthony Kennedy, who sits in the middle of an evenly split, ideologically polarized body.

Judge Vaughn’s decision is a reminder of why the federal judiciary figures prominently in election campaigns and how great of a threat an unelected body of lawyers can be to democracy and constitutional government.

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