By Christopher D. Berger,
With last week’s ruling by the California Supreme Court on Prop. 8 and the accompanying backlash from the gay rights community, it seems appropriate that a discussion of gay marriage take place, and it’s high time I re-input my two cents. For those not familiar with the matter, the California Supreme Court in May of last year ruled that gay marriage was in fact legal in California, which opinion was put into effect immediately. In response, traditional marriage proponents in California put together a massive campaign to pass an amendment to the state constitution banning gay marriage. It became the single most expensive referendum in US history and passed despite intense opposition from the gay rights community, who challenged its validity in court, where the California Supreme Court ruled 6-1 last week that the amendment was valid, that the people did in fact have the right to amend their constitution and had done so lawfully. (more…)
“Law, Feelings, and Religion at the Bar in Iowa” — The Supreme Court of Iowa’s decision to redefine marriage abandons reason and replaces it with feelings as the standard of public consensus.
What happens when judicial arrogance becomes so habitual as to become second nature? This past Friday, April 3, the Supreme Court of Iowa provided an answer: judicial arrogance transforms into smug self-deception. This is not the question the court thought it was answering. It claimed to be addressing the question of whether “exclusion of a class of Iowans from civil marriage”-namely the “class” of “gay and lesbian people” who wish to marry others of the same sex-can be justified by the state. But the opinion for a unanimous court in Varnum v. Brien, written by Justice Mark Cady, actually says very little about matters of such justification. By contrast, it speaks volumes about the extent to which American judicial power, having burst free of all constraints, is now in the grip of a banal routinization of tyranny so complete that the tyrants do not recognize their own character as they blandly overturn many centuries of civilization in a day’s work.