Tits McGee (chibirhm) wrote in ontd_political,
Tits McGee

Democracy Wins in California

by Rod Dreher

Whatever you think of Prop 8, I don't see how you can disagree with the decision of the California Supreme Court to uphold it. For a court to have nullified a constitutional amendment ratified by a popular vote, and to have done so on a legal technicality, would have been a terrible thing for the democratic process, and the system's legitimacy. Note well that the same court that ruled same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage ruled 6 to 1 that they no longer do -- which, of course, they don't, the constitution having been amended by Prop 8. I'm surprised by how many people don't realize that the amendment process is how our system provides a check-and-balance to the courts.

In our system, either the people have the right to amend their own constitution, or they don't. If we do not, then we live under judicial tyranny, full stop. The right to amend the constitution doesn't mean we will always do so wisely. But it's dangerous to believe that fundamental right should be taken away from a sovereign people because you don't like the decision the people have made.

Keep in mind that today's decision was not about the ultimate justice of same-sex marriage. It was about how California's constitution works. The justices have made clear that they believed under the previous California constitution, there was an inherent right to same-sex marriage. The voters of California changed the constitution when they voted Prop 8. Perhaps they made a mistake. But it was a constitutionally permissible mistake, the High Court now says. Note too that the plaintiffs were arguing for Prop 8 to be overturned on a legal technicality. There is simply no basis in constitutional law for having a constitutional amendment overturned because it conflicts with a previous understanding of the constitution by the court.

Now the pro-SSM folks will work hard to get a pro-SSM amendment on a future California ballot. And if the people pass that one, overturning Prop 8, fine. I think they're wrong, but the people will have spoken, and done so in the most serious possible way: via a constitutional amendment. That's how it works in our system. You've got a better one in mind?


As much as I disagree with Prop. 8, I gotta agree with this. As a judge, I'd have ruled the same. It's how the law works, sorry to say.
Tags: california, marriage equality, voting

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