Federal judge Vaughn Walker’s decision to overturn Proposition 8 is the latest example of a judge overstepping his authority in order to unconstitutionally overrule the people. I’m going to explain why, without even getting into the topics of morals and God, so as not to confuse liberals.
The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution says, essentially, that the states and people retain all powers not granted the national government in the Constitution. This amendment (as well as the first nine) were put in the Constitution to ensure that the federal government would not become too powerful and that individual states would retain their right to self-rule, thus maintaining a nation of individual states, as opposed to an oppressive all-powerful government like the one our forefathers had just fought a war to escape from. Nowhere in the Constitution was the federal government given the power decide what was best for any individual state, and the concept of equal rights for all was not really even addressed directly. The Founding Fathers were wary of too much power in the hands of a centralized government. They wanted the vast majority of legal decisions to be local ones, in the hands of the people. There was, however, one obvious weakness here: the principle of “majority rules” is not always good. What if the majority of people passed a law that infringed on the rights of a smaller group of people?
This was finally addressed almost a century later with the 14th Amendment, the one opponents of Prop 8 cite as to why the measure is unconstitutional. Let’s look at it. It says that states cannot “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” In other words, we can’t have a special set of rules or rights for one person or group of people and not another. For example, there can be no law that says guys named Steve have to pay taxes but nobody else does, or blacks have to pay more for a loaf of bread than whites, or the Amish don’t have to buy health insurance but everyone else does beginning in 2014 (oops), etc.
This is what opponents of Prop 8 are using in their argument, but there is one colossal problem: Prop 8 doesn’t discriminate or give rights to any particular group of people, nor does it deny anyone any rights enjoyed by somebody else. NOBODY is allowed to marry someone of the same sex. I’m not, you’re not, your straight friend’s not, your gay friend’s not. Prop 8 merely defines marriage as between one man and one woman. It is about the definition of the institution of marriage, not about gays or straights or the Amish or any other group of people.
By the way, the reason for the 14th Amendment was to give blacks equal protection under the law right after the Civil War. Slavery had been outlawed, but that was not going to stop some states from passing laws to prevent blacks from owning property or testifying against whites, among other things. This is not to say that the principle therein does not apply to anything other than these particular issues, but it should be noted that when the 14th Amendment became part of the Constitution in the 1860s, it did not give blacks (or anyone else) the right to marry someone of the same sex, nor did anyone claim it did. This is because NOBODY had that “right.” Even women’s right to vote did not apply, as individual states still had the authority to pass suffrage laws on their own.
So for those keeping score, the people of each state have the right to decide what is legal or illegal in their state, unless their decision denies someone a right given to somebody else (or is in violation with some other part of the Constitution). This is not the case with Prop 8. Why, then, did one federal judge have the power to step in and overrule the decision of the people of California on an issue not addressed at all in the Constitution? Well, he didn’t. And that’s the problem. A federal judge has stepped in and decided that the will of the people in California doesn’t matter, even though all they did was confirmed that the definition of marriage should be what it has always been in virtually all societies all over the world for thousands of years, and even though he had literally no jurisdiction. This is akin to the Governor of North Dakota vetoing a bill passed by the California legislature.
To illustrate what kind of “judge” this is, in his decision he wrote that “Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis for singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license.” Go back and read that again. I did not make that up. First of all, gays and lesbians aren’t singled out. It applies to marrying your dog, cat, bird, or even taking a second wife. And on the topic of what is “rational,” I guess the way he sees it, sure, seven million voters voted that way, and that’s the way it’s been since the beginning of time, and there is nothing in the Constitution that indicates it should not be the case, and this particular definition happens to be the system on which almost every civilization in history has been based, but on the other hand, seriously, marriage between a man and a woman? Let’s be “rational,” folks.
The fact is, whether you were for or against Prop 8, Justice Walker (who just happens to be gay) had no legal right or jurisdiction to overrule the voters of California. Judges are supposed to enforce the law and protect the rights of the people, not “find” new rights in the Constitution or, when that doesn’t suffice, make them up out of thin air. Instead of serving the people, this clown has decided to impose his opinion on them, namely the opinion that the core institution of the greatest nation on earth has no rational basis. Somewhere right now James Madison, Father of the Constitution, is crapping his proverbial pants.