Judiciary Archives

Same-Sex Marriage Legalized in California

The California State Supreme Court decided yesterday that the millennia-old understanding of what marriage is, isn’t.

California’s Supreme Court quashed a ban on gay marriage in a historic ruling here Thursday, effectively leaving same-sex couples in America’s most populous state free to tie the knot.

In an opinion that analysts say could have nationwide implications for the issue, the seven-member panel voted 4-3 in favor of plaintiffs who argued that restricting marriage to men and women was discriminatory.

“Limiting the designation of marriage to a union ‘between a man and a woman’ is unconstitutional and must be stricken from the statute,” California Chief Justice Ron George said in the written opinion.

When the debate on a state constitutional amendment defining marriage was in full swing here in Georgia, those against the measure argued that we already had a law in Georgia making same-sex marriage illegal. They said that, therefore, we didn’t need to change the constitution. But the Left in this country has decided to use the judiciary to do an end-run around when they generally can’t get past the people or their representatives, and then they complain when they’re met on that battlefield.

The California situation is a bit more convoluted. The article gives us that history.

Thursday’s ruling came after a long-running legal battle that erupted in 2000 when California voters approved a law declaring that only marriages between men and women could be legally recognized.

In February 2004, the city of San Francisco defied state law by issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, arguing that existing laws were illegal because they violated equal rights legislation.

A court later halted the issuance of licenses and declared that same-sex marriages that took place during this period were void.

However, San Francisco and civil rights activists waged a legal case arguing that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples was unconstitutional and that the law should be struck down.

In 2005 the San Francisco Superior Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, finding that there was no justification for refusing to allow marriages.

But the decision was overturned in 2006 by the California Court of Appeal, which ruled in a 2-1 decision that the state’s desire to “carry out the expressed wishes of a majority” was sufficient to preserve the existing law.

California lawmakers have also voted in favor of gay marriage but the bill was vetoed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has said that the matter is for the state’s court system to decide on.

So in summary; the people said they didn’t want same-sex marriage, their alleged “representatives” decided they did want it, the governor stopped it, tossed it to the judiciary, and the judiciary ruled successively for it, against it, and now for it again.

And they’re calling this potentially historic.

Legal analysts say Thursday’s court ruling could have wide-ranging implications for other US states, noting the California Supreme Court’s history of landmark rulings.

Sorry, but this highly politicized process doesn’t sound like any sort of resounding history.  Leon Wolf at Redstate picked out the money quote from the decision, and finds that the court didn’t really rule on constitutional grounds at all!

And, in fact, it ain’t over yet. Over a million signatures have already been collected to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot in November. If this gets on the ballot, given the voting history, it’s sure to pass. Expect histrionics from opponents.

And remember what this issue did in 2004 for George W. Bush. It brought voters out in droves to vote on this issue, and while there were in the booth, most pulled the lever for Bush. Could this put California in play for McCain?

[tags]California,homosexuality,same-sex marriage,California State Supreme Court,Arnold Schwarzenegger,Georgia,constitutional amendment,George W. Bush,John McCain[/tags]

Appeasers and Activists

Yesterday was a big news day with two unrelated events occurring that will each have an impact on this fall’s elections. While on the surface the two may seem unrelated both spell trouble for Democrats.

President Bush, speaking at The Knesset in Israel, used the opportunity to launch an unmerited attack against Senator Barack Obama. At least, that’s what Senator Obama, aided and abetted by the left-leaning media, would like voters to believe. Here’s the paragraph that got Democrats’ collective undies in a bunch from the transcript of the speech: Read the rest of this entry

The Politics of Voter Fraud

John Fund has a good round-up of the recent Supreme Court 6-3 ruling upholding Indiana’s voter fraud laws.  There was one thing, however, that the justices were unanimous on.

In ruling on the constitutionality of Indiana’s voter ID law – the toughest in the nation – the Supreme Court had to deal with the claim that such laws demanded the strictest of scrutiny by courts, because they could disenfranchise voters. All nine Justices rejected that argument.

Even Justice Stephen Breyer, one of the three dissenters who would have overturned the Indiana law, wrote approvingly of the less severe ID laws of Georgia and Florida. The result is that state voter ID laws are now highly likely to pass constitutional muster.

As much as the Left has tossed that word around (and at times incorrectly), this is indeed a crushing blow to budding Mayor Daley’s of the world.

But read the whole thing.  The case was from Indiana, and there’s a very close Obama connection.  You’d expect him to want to avoid voter fraud, right?


[tags]John Fund,Supreme Court,Indiana,vote fraud[/tags]

Who’s First Amendment Is It, Anyway?

The purpose of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution has been eroded and molded to fit 21st century liberal sensibilities; that is to say, to take it as much out of the public square as possible.  When Thomas Jefferson responded to the Danbury Baptists, he was responding to a specific question — government interfering with or establishing a religion — and he gave a specific answer.

Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

Basically, the government will not try to take away man’s natural right of conscience.  It’s the coercion factor that was at issue.  An established religion would require allegiance to the state church for all public servants. 

But no matter how much you want to mangle this straightforward concept, did it really mean to abolish this?

East Brunswick High School football coach Marcus Borden, who said he is fighting for his peers nationwide, is expected to petition the U.S. Supreme Court for a review of Tuesday’s federal appeals court ruling that prohibits him from participating in team prayer.

The U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia unanimously reversed a July 2006 lower-court ruling that permitted Borden, through his lawsuit against the East Brunswick Board of Education, to silently bow his head or "take a knee" with players as a sign of secular respect for student-led team prayer.

The plaintiffs, represented by Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, say respect is indeed the issue.

"The ruling underscores that school district employees, including football coaches, have to obey the establishment clause and have to respect the religious rights of students," said Richard B. Katskee, assistant legal director for Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, which represented the school board in its appeal of U.S. District Judge Dennis Cavanaugh’s ruling.

Respecting the fact that they were praying, then, is somehow a disrespect of their religious rights?  And what of the rights of the coach?  Does he have to check them at the locker room door?  Note that we’re not talking about him bringing a Bible or leading the prayers; he’s just in the room when the students pray and takes the same position as they do. 

The judges opinions in this case are just as tortured as the logic used to misread the First Amendment. 

Read the rest of this entry

Chuck Norris on Homeschooling

Actor Chuck Norris weighs in on last week’s court ruling in California with his own thoughts on homeschooling. An excerpt:

The reason government courts are cracking down on private instruction has more to do with suppressing alternative education than improving educational standards. The rationale is quite simple, though rarely, if ever, stated. If one wants to control the future ebbs and flows of a country, one must have command over future generations. This is done by seizing parental and educational power, legislating preferred educational materials, and limiting private educational options. It is so simple any socialist can understand it. As Josef Stalin once stated: “Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.”

Read the whole thing.

I understand that schools should and do determine what’s appropriate to be said during school hours, but with all the other speech and such that they do allow, this prohibition looks rather targeted.

A federal judge has rejected a claim that the Poway Unified School District violated a teenager’s First Amendment rights by pulling him out of class for wearing a T-shirt with an anti-gay slogan.

Tuesday’s ruling by U.S. District Judge John Houston reaffirmed an earlier decision in which he found the school district’s policy on hate speech lawful.

Tyler Harper sued the school in 2004 after the district said he could not wear a shirt printed with a Bible verse condemning homosexuality. His younger sister, Kelsie, was named as a plaintiff after he graduated.

Via Stop the ACLU.

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