I never thought I would come across smart political analysis from Clay Aiken, and in all places – on the Perez Hilton blog. But read this:
I will say that I am QUITE disappointed that Prop 8 passed in the first place. I could argue all day the myriad of reasons that I believe the US Constitution provides for equal rights for all people. And, as much as it is their right to have a differing opinion, I think that some of the arguments coming from the anti-gay side are stupid, hypocritical, and even contradict themselves.
That said, I can’t say that I am too upset by the CA Supreme Court’s ruling. While it is disappointing that same sex couples in CA will have to wait longer to have equal rights, at the same time I worry that a different ruling from the court would have caused far more trouble than good.
Proposition 8 was the recent vote to amend the California State Constitution to restrict marriage to between a man and a woman.
The California Supreme Court had earlier ruled that same sex couples could marry, but after voters changed the state constution, they (correctly in my opinion) ruled that such marriages were no longer allowed.
The bottom line is… no matter how much I hate it…. Prop 8 passed with the majority of the public vote. I don’t agree with them. I don’t think it is right, but it happened. I don’t think I would be comfortable allowing the courts the power to override the will of the people.
And this a key principle – that Judges should not make laws, and over-ride the will of the people.
Yes, I know the argument can be made that had the courts not struck down segregation in the south we may still have Jim Crow laws in place. However, (A) segregation was instituted by the states based on public opinion and not necessarily by an official vote and (B) the US Supreme Court struck down the practice of segregation. It didn’t overturn a specific vote.
And Aiken demonstrates the difference between over-turning other laws, and a law put in place by popular vote to amend a state constution.
I strongly believe that the next time that Californians go to the ballot box to vote on legalizing same sex marriage, the tides will turn. I truly believe that the majority of CA voters will support the equal rights of all people next time they are given the chance. While the CA Supreme Court may now be composed of justices who believe that same-sex marriage should be legal (remember they are the ones who made it legal in the first place), what happens when the public votes for same-sex marriage to be legalized, yet the CA Supreme Court is made up of justices who feel it should be illegal? Will they then have the power to overturn the vote? Its not a precedent I want set.
As much as I disagree with Prop 8, I don’t want to give the courts the power to ignore the will of the people. Because I expect that one day, even in North Carolina, the majority of voters will allow me the right to get married, and when that happens, I don’t want nine justices being able to change the outcome.
Aiken may not realise this, but he is effectively quoting Justice Scalia. Scalia points to how much better it was women got the vote by way of constitutional amendment, rather than have the Supreme Court declare they are now voters.
Thi even ties into Roe v Wade. One can be pro-choice but also anti Roe v Wade. One of the reasons abortion is such a heated issue in the US, is because the public and the legislatures had the decision taken away from them by the Supreme Court.