Today is somewhat of a historic day in the US. The Federal Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to strike down state bans on same-sex marriage. At least two states, Arkansas and Kentucky where the bans were still in place, have begun issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples immediately. It’s a big win for them.
While I agree with the ruling in principle, I am also saddened that for same-sex couples to enjoy the rights they should have always had, Federalism had to take a big hit. Where I part ways with the majority of the court is that the Constitution itself does not grant the Federal government jurisdiction over areas outside of the enumerated powers as the majority decision assumes. It should have ruled on the Constitutional question before it rather than some nebulous definition of dignity. While it would have arrived at the same basic answer, the better answer in my opinion, it would have not done permanent harm to Federalism as I fear it now has. The people’s rights are innumerable and undefined. The government’s powers are few and defined. But rather than handcuff the government to the 9th and 10th Amendments, with this statist decision the court created a new power of government to tell the states what to do vid judicial fiat. It is truly tragic.
The other tragedy is that in many ways I am still connected to many conservative circles and I’ve had to listen to them crow on about the decision all day. Rush Limbaugh said that, with the ruling, “…Five justices have forced a way of life on everyone.” Really? I actually thought that prior to the ruling it was the other way around, homosexuals having been forced to abide by heterosexual mores. It’s not like the Justices said that everyone has to marry someone from the same sex.
Scott Walker who was on my short list of Republicans for President I would support said we need to amend the Constitution to overturn the Court. Of course Walker has now been removed from that short list for being constitutionally ignorant and proposing to address the wrong problem in the wrong way. The problem is not same-sex marriage. The problem is the Court and has been since the Dred Scot decision in 1857. Why don’t the politicians fix it already?
But I suppose it’s fine for this to have happened now at the beginning of an election cycle. Perhaps the righty-tighties will publicly self-destruct on this development and dig the grave for themselves and so-con political power once and for all.