Trying to raise my kids the best I can

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Legislating from the bench

Conservatives are outraged. Angry. Even scared. Because judges in California just overturned the ban on gay marriage. This also happened in Massachusetts in 2003. But I would like to allay the fears of these conservatives. The court is doing no more or less then it is supposed to. What is the purpose of the courts?

"Often called the "guardians of the Constitution," the federal courts exist to fairly and impartially interpret and apply the law, resolve disputes and, perhaps most importantly, to protect the rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution."

Conservatives fear that judges have overstepped their roles. But did they? In both cases they looked at the recently passed law to see if it violated the rights and liberties guaranteed by the constitution. And both times they deemd that the law did violate the constitutional rights (of homosexuals). This might be disappointing, even frustrating, for gay marriage opponents. But the panic over the "legislating from the bench" is really unfounded.

This legislation is no different then
Brown v. Board of Education (1954) in which the Court determined that separate but equal school facilities violated the Equal Protection Clause. This overturned many laws in the land.

I am curious how the supreme court will rule in the upcoming case about the Washington DC ban on handguns. Will they overturn the law and uphold the constitutional interpretation of the right to bear arms? Or will they interpret the right to bear arms as meant to be only applied to the militia. (That's the arguement. I didn't just make that up).

Many of the same people who are hoping the DC law will be overturned are horrified that the courts overturned the MA and CA laws. You can't have your cake and eat it too. (wink) Anyway, my point is that conservatives need to step back and take a deep breath and realize that USA is still running smoothly as it should be. Yes, the judges are making sometimes unpopular decisions. But that is why they are granted life-long seats. Because if they were elected officials they wouldn't be able to make the necessary but unpopular decisions that they sometimes make.



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