Green Room

The War Against Marriage Goes Round and Round, Round and Round…

posted at 3:05 pm on August 4, 2010 by

Today, between 1:00pm and 3:00pm PDT, U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker will electronically issue his ruling on the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8.

Proposition 8 was the citizen-initiative state constitutional amendment overturning the state Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage (SSM) and restoring the traditional definition of marriage to America’s biggest (and most debt-ridden) state. The amendment passed 52.24% to 47.76% in 2008, despite the massive, Obama-driven, liberal-Democratic vote.

The state Supreme Court reluctantly upheld the proposition, which led to an immediate federal lawsuit, Kristin M. Perry v. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Alas, I predict that Judge Walker will find for the plaintiff, striking down Prop. 8 (again) and once more shoving SSM down the throats of Californios.

George Will will be beside himself with glee. It’s not that he supports SSM; I’m sure he doesn’t. But he’s absolutely fanatical against citizen initiatives; he considers them an abomination. Imagine, direct democracy!

He is disgusted and appalled at the very idea that citizens should be allowed to determine the laws they live under, instead of letting their betters rule for their own good. If Judge Walker rules against Prop. 8, Will will write a column praising the decision.

By contrast, Patterico — who supports SSM — will be bitter and angry… because he believes citizens should be allowed to set their own defintion of marriage much more than he believes in same-sex marriage. The difference is simple: Patterico is a staunch proponent of government by the consent of the governed — while George Will calls himself an unreconstructed Tory, by which I assume he means he is a monarchist at heart.

The only question I have is whether Walker will stay his ruling until the Ninth Circus can review it, or whether he will order the state immediately to begin issuing marriage licences to same-sex couples… hoping that even if the Ninth or the Supreme Court ultimately overturns his decision, so many lesbians and gay men will have already married that SSM will be a fait accompli, the courts having finally forced the policy upon the state even without final support from the Supremes.

On that narrow question, I make no prediction.

Cross-posted on Big Lizards

UPDATE: I wrote this post before reading Patterico’s own post, which also predicts that Judge Walker will strike down Proposition 8. Two great thoughts with but a single mind between them. (Oh, wait; that would make us both halfwits, wouldn’t it?)


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But he’s absolutely fanatical against citizen initiatives; he considers them an abomination. Imagine, direct democracy!

To be fair, that isn’t usually such a great idea, which is why our founders set up a Republic.

Unfortunately they couldn’ see the economic changes and technological progress that would drastically reshape our society.

Dark-Star on August 4, 2010 at 3:22 PM

The polling on this seems to be always in flux. If people are intimidated by all the name calling of SSM advocates then you probably see the polls saying more people support SSM. This fight will go to the Supreme Court and it would be unfortunate if Proposition 8 is nullified until that happens.

Blue Collar Todd on August 4, 2010 at 4:21 PM

My problem with ballot initiatives is that they often spring from some fever swamp/echo chamber with less thought than there should be on how such an initiative might stand up in court.

The battle over legislation gives a good preview on how opponents plan their legal strategy, and gives the time and the means to remedy problems with the legislation.

Sekhmet on August 4, 2010 at 4:25 PM

“how such an initiative will stand up in court”

Yes, the judicial veto.
If a President, or a governer exercises a sufficiently unpopular veto, the public can theoretically vote the rascal out and vote a new rascal in. But the framers of the Constitution didn’t explicitly give the judiciary a veto, so they didn’t provide a check or balance for it. Isn’t it about time we rectified that oversight?

Confutus on August 5, 2010 at 12:54 AM

Riding along on a royalist screwousel
They’re trying to put the screws to all of you
Riding along on a royalist screwousel
Will they be able to keep putting the screws to you

George Will chasing, and he’s racing
So near yet still a ways away
On a royalist screwousel, on a royalist screwousel

Nearer, nearer by overturning laws
Still a ways away
People fighting for their voting rights
Just get in the way

Round and round and round and round and round
And round and round and round screwing you
Up, down, up, down, up, down too

Cheshire Cat on August 5, 2010 at 3:13 AM