Tom Fitton @ Big Government:
When leftists are unable to persuade voters to adopt their radical agendas at the ballot box, they turn to the courts. Sure enough, there is a battle raging in California now that has far-reaching implications for the bedrock institution of marriage.
On January 29, 2013, Judicial Watch joined with the Allied Educational Foundation (AEF) in filing an amicus curiae brief with the United States Supreme Court in support of California’s Proposition 8, establishing that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” (On February 7, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled Proposition 8 unconstitutional by a vote of 2-1, in a decision the amicusbrief says “imputes the worst possible motives to voters.”)
According to the Judicial Watch-AEF amicus brief, should the Supreme Court fail to overturn the Ninth Circuit’s decision, the people of California would be deprived of “the right to decide for themselves the ways in which they want to restrict or liberalize their marriage laws – or not.”
Our amicus continues, “The Ninth Circuit’s sleight of hand decision … constitutes a dangerous erosion of the principle of rational basis review … Furthermore, the Ninth Circuit decision expands the reaches of the Equal Protection clause in such a way as to eclipse the people’s sovereignty to make laws for their own governance … Finally, this [Supreme] Court should find that petitioners have standing to bring this appeal, as a contrary ruling would undermine the people’s rights to initiative and referendum in twenty-six states.”
Before getting into more of the legal issues at play in this lawsuit, let me just pause to re-emphasize this point. Have you ever stopped to think about all of the various ways the Left tries to inappropriately silence the voice of the majority? On virtually every issue of significance, the Left would rather a judge or a government bureaucrat or some czar tucked away in a cubicle in Washington, DC, issue edicts that we must follow. Or President Obama himself, who “can’t wait” for the American people to catch up to his infinite wisdom, will instead impose his agenda via executive order.
Keep that in mind as you follow the debates ongoing on Capitol Hill covering everything from gun rights to illegal immigration to what food you can eat. This is about stealing the God-given right of self-government, which brings me back to the specific legal arguments in this lawsuit. The Judicial Watch-AEF amicus brief argues that:
- The Supreme Court should re-affirm a rational basis standard of review (the concept that a law is valid if a legislature has a legitimate interest in enacting a statute): “The law the Proposition 8 enacted bears a rational relationship to the legitimate state goal of increasing the chances that both parents will raise children they unintentionally conceive.” The brief adds, “Only by severing the meaning of marriage from procreation can the Ninth Circuit deny that Proposition 8 is rationally related to responsible procreation … If the courts can overturn laws by reimagining their purpose, the judiciary’s power over the legislative process will be enormous.”
- Democratic decision-making should be protected from the overbearing judicial power respondents prefer. “The Ninth Circuit’s decision relies on the creative argument that Proposition 8 is unlawful because it functioned to ‘take away’ a previously granted right,” the brief states. “If allowed to stand, the Ninth Circuit’s ruling would create a new ‘one-way ratchet’ rule allowing state judiciaries to grant new rights which are instantly irrevocable by the citizens of that state.”
- If proponents of Prop 8 do not have standing to defend the law in court, democratic self-governance across the nation will be threatened. Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and current Governor Jerry Brown both refused to defend Proposition 8 in court, prompting proponents of the initiative to seek to intervene as defendants. The Judicial Watch-AEF brief argued, “A ruling that Proposition 8’s supporters did not have the standing to defend their law would therefore constitute a devastating blow to the people’s right to direct democracy across the country.”