by guest blogger Andrew Roman
The man's name is Jeffery White. He is a native New Yorker who, since 2002, sits as a District Court Judge in San Francisco. He was appointed by that heathen - that steward of all this is implacable and soulless - George W. Bush.
|Judge Jeffery White, Bush appointee|
Perhaps our left-leaning brethren ought to reconsider their animus for our forty-third President. Judge White is proving to be quite a friend to them.
Seven years ago, for example, the Bush appointee ruled that it was perfectly suitable for groups to sue the federal government because of its financial backing of overseas projects that contributed to global warming - the first judge ever to give the go-ahead to greenies to sue the feds over smokestacks and exhaling. (The groups included “Friends of the Earth” and “Greenpeace”).
On Wednesday of last week, Judge White, in a forty-three page ruling, said the Defense Of Marriage Act, passed in 1996 under President Bill Clinton - the law that says the federal government will only recognize marriage as the union between one man and one woman - is flat out unconstitutional.
Maybe a "thank you" card to Mr. Bush is in order.
Just as Judge Joseph Tauro did in Massachusetts almost two years ago, Judge White has taken it upon himself - and that's the key word here: himself - to decide that the issue is, in fact, a federal matter. Judge White has magically - miraculously - sifted through Lord knows how many stubborn penumbras to discover a constitutional basis on which to overrule the Defense Of Marriage Act.
Hallelujah. Such skill.
And just like that, the matter of same-sex marriage, thanks to the opinion of one man in a fiercely liberal district - and that, too, is a key word: opinion - has officially been remodeled (if it hadn’t been already) from an issue to be decided by the people to one that will now be tended to by judges.
Quite a strategy. A hell of a plan.
What truly stinks about this entire affair is the obscene and ever-growing arrogance of powerful people who believe they know what is right for the whole of society based on their own agendas, regardless of the law or the will of the people. (I know this is a charge regularly hoisted upon conservatives, but definitionally, those of us on the right seek less government involvement, not more. It is sweet irony how self-professed libertarians like Ron Paul are in favor of same-sex marriage when it would only increase the power and entanglement of government in our lives?).
Take what happened in New Jersey recently as an example.
Two Thursdays ago, the state assembly there passed a bill, by a vote of 42-33, to legalize same-sex marriage - a measure that was ultimately vetoed by Governor Chris Christie. Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver said the body was doing "what citizens sent us here to do: to deliberate, the use the legislative process to represent the interests of all New Jerseyans."
If a more dishonest statement exists, I've not unearthed it.
Whose "interests" exactly are being represented? As defined by whom?
State Senator Kip Bateman says the legality of same-sex marriage in New Jersey should be put on the ballot for the people to decide - a perfectly reasonable notion - but Senate President Steve Sweeney says he won't let that happen.
Read that again: He won't let that happen.
In other words, he won't permit the people of New Jersey to be heard on the matter, rendering Oliver's assertion that they have been sent to Trenton to represent the interests of the people a lie, by definition.
And how do they justify this? How can Dems so casually flip off the people they were sent to the state capitol to represent?
By incorrectly pushing same-sex marriage as a civil rights issue. Because they frame it as such, the citizenry should not – and cannot - be involved in deciding the matter.
Welcome to the modern liberal mind.
Acknowledging the very real emotionality surrounding the issue, there is simply no sound argument for same-sex marriage as a matter of civil rights. Equating the redefinition of marriage with the struggles of American blacks during the 20th Century may pass as deep intellectual fodder in campus dorm rooms and Chomsky discussion groups, but there isn't any meat on that bone. It's like saying natural gas and bananas are identical because they both come from the earth.
To begin with, blacks did not have the option of concealing their “blackness.” In many areas, disgusting injustices against blacks were abhorrently conspicuous and institutionalized. "Whites Only" signs really did exist in plain sight. Economic disparity, housing discrimination and the inability to access the same public facilities as whites was the norm. The word “oppression” accurately depicts the black experience during the era of Jim Crow.
Not so for gays. Not to that degree.
Genuine inequalities in employment opportunities, income and housing were, at best, marginal issues for homosexuals in America.
Gay liberation began as a movement intended to, in essence, “legalize” homosexual behavior as well as protect openly gay institutions from harassment and varying forms of state injustice – which did exist, but never to the levels incurred by blacks. It eventually evolved into an “equality” campaign, fashioned after the civil rights movement - one that ultimately forced the acceptance of homosexuality on heterosexual America while, ironically, demanding that the public at large stay out of their bedrooms and shut up about it. The golden nugget of the movement would eventually become the actual redefinition of the millennia-old institution of marriage.
Ask yourself: Is today’s inability for gays to marry in most states even on the same planet as the injustices suffered by blacks during Jim Crow?
In his ruling Wednesday, Judge White wrote:
"The imposition of subjective moral beliefs of a majority upon a minority cannot provide a justification for the legislation. The obligation of the Court is 'to define the liberty of all, not to mandate our own moral code."
But isn't law based on a moral code? Laws against rape? Theft? Murder? If those aren't moral positions, then what are they?
And if Judge White is to be taken at his word - that the moral beliefs of a majority cannot provide justification for legislation - does he mean to say that the moral beliefs of the minority should do so instead? And if not, then what is he talking about? How, then, are such decisions made in a representative republic? Through the opinion of one judge whose personal agenda is to normalize homosexuality?
Regardless of one's position on the matter, this flies beyond the issue of same-sex marriage. This is really about judicial tyranny, as talk show host and author Mark Levin characterizes it. On his radio show last Wednesday, Levin said:
"The courts have taken over the issue of same-sex marriage just like they took over the issue of abortion. Now what do you think is going to happen? Do you think the courts are taking over in order to return it to people in the states? No. They're taking over this issue in order to impose their will on you and me and everybody else.
When this single federal judge uses his authority this way to give what is, in essence, a political speech, with zero precedent and zero constitutional basis, he's doing from the bench something that is very very troubling, and it happens all the time, I'm afraid to say - using the power of the law to impose his personal beliefs."
Incidentally, the fact that Judge White was appointed by a Republican does not take the activist judge argument off the table for conservatives. This is not a “gotcha” moment. The “unconstitutionality” of the Defense of Marriage Act isn’t suddenly obvious because a Republican appointee said so.
Nice try, libs.
It doesn’t matter who appointed Judge White to the federal bench.
An activist judge is an activist judge, regardless of who brought him (or her) to the dance.
Same-sex marriage aside, this kind of power grab from the bench – becoming all too common - ought to both scare and disgust us - all of us.