radarrider: (Default)
[personal profile] radarrider
As most, if not all, of you reading this are probably already aware, Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker has ruled that the amendment to the California State Constitution, passed by the voters of that state as Proposition 8, is in violation of the Constitution of the United States of America.  Specifically, it violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution.  It is also interesting to note that Judge Walker was appointed to the bench by President Ronald Reagan.

This brings up an interesting issue, namely what happens when the Constitution of a state conflicts with the Constitution of the United States.  Clearly, the Judge ruled that the US Constitution takes precedence and I concur.

Full disclosure:  I did not support Proposition 8, nor would I have voted for it had I been a resident of California.  But it's not because of any opinion on whether or not two people of the same gender should or should not be allowed to enter into the legal relationship known as "marriage" as sanctioned by the states.

It's because of what Constitutions are supposed to do.  The way I see it, a Constitution's purpose is to describe the structure of a government, allocate certain specific powers to that government, and define specific limits on that government.  What a Constitution is not supposed to do is tell individual citizens that they cannot do something.*  It is up to the legislature to determine whether any actions should be proscribed and the executive to carry out the implementation of those laws.  Should a state legislature determine that same-sex couples should not be allowed to marry, that's their purview, subject of course to challenge on the grounds such legislation is in violation of the State or US Constitution.

*It has been argued that there is one provision in the US Constitution where a private individual is prohibited from a specific action.  That is the Thirteenth Amendment which essentially says one person cannot own another.  However, I interpret it as an effective enumeration of the right not to be owned by another and thus on the same level as most of the Bill of Rights which enumerates other specific individual rights.
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