Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Drop the Constitutional Amendment Process

After all, with judges making findings of facts like these, there won't ever be a need to actually pursuade the electorate of anything.

He’s emphasizing the factual findings in the case here, not the ostensibly more important legal conclusions about due process and equal protection. That’s smart as a legal strategy insofar as the facts, not the law, are binding on the appellate courts that’ll hear this case, and it’s smart as a political strategy insofar as the average joe will likely be interested in the sociological testimony from the trial but not so much the tedium of due process analysis. If you’re going to use your limited time on camera to push gay marriage to the public, this is precisely the sort of thing you’d want to emphasize.

The problem, of course, is the legal part of the decision:
The optics are uniquely bad — a federal judge imperiously tossing out a public referendum enacted by citizens of one of the bluest states in America on the shoulders of a multi-racial coalition. If the goal of gay-rights activists is to make same-sex marriage palatable to the public, then embittering opponents by torpedoing a hard-fought democratic victory seems like … an odd way to go about it. The response to that will be that equality can’t wait, just as it couldn’t wait vis-a-vis school desegregation in the 1950s. Except that (a) no one, including gay-marriage supporters, seriously believes that the harm here is as egregious as the harm to blacks under Jim Crow, and (b) there was no assurance of a legislative solution to racial injustice in the 1950s the way there currently is for gay marriage.

This is one of those situations which will simply further enrage the electorate. If you don't get your way after following the process, when do the People get to do what they want? According to liberals, only when they decide it's best for you.