Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Common Sense Ruling from California

Almost immediately after Californians voted to amend their state constitution to ban same sex marriage, the decision faced a legal challenge. Now the state Supreme Court has ruled wisely:
It is not our role to pass judgment on the wisdom or relative merit of the current provisions of the California Constitution governing the means by which our state Constitution may be altered. . . . In the absence of an explicit subject-matter limitation on the use of the initiative to propose and adopt constitutional amendments, . . . we conclude the existing provisions of the California Constitution governing amendment and revision cannot properly be interpreted in the manner advocated by petitioners.
So Proposition 8 stands and same sex marriage can no longer be practiced in California.

The ruling is really about democracy. The rules in California clearly stated that the constitution can be amended by majority vote through a state-wide referendum. Maybe that rule is a low standard that makes such a foundational document too easy to change. Maybe that rule makes government more responsive to the needs of its citizens. That's a debate for another day, but the Court ruled wisely in that respect, to decide otherwise would have unilaterally changed the foundations of American democracy and initiated a constitutional crisis.

I welcome this wise decision. I can't say I expected it.

1 comment:

uber.liberal said...

That is why the Liberals need to beat you!! You would take gay marriage away! You would like more white people, less bilingulism, and you won't give us the national daycare that is wanted. You must be defeated!!