Why Did Hagel Vanish for Marriage Vote?
The “conventional wisdom” just can’t explain
The “conventional wisdom” (read: liberal media spin) on last week’s U.S. Senate vote regarding the Marriage Protection Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was that the vote was scheduled for purely political reasons—to mobilize the Republican Party’s conservative base for the November midterm congressional elections. A majority of Democrats opposed the “cloture” motion to bring the amendment to a real vote. They charged that the two days of debate on the measure were a waste of time, given the urgency of issues like rising gas prices.
But if the marriage amendment was brought up to boost Republicans,
While this has been part of the “conventional wisdom” of those opposing the amendment, it is an extremely odd thing for a senator from
Bataillon claimed not to be ruling that
The catch-22 is that this logic would make it impossible for states to ever amend their constitutions, because every constitutional amendment has the effect of “disenfranchising” those citizens who oppose the policy choice enshrined in the amendment.
What this case was really about is one judge taking the power to define marriage out of the hands of the people, in order to return it to the hands of judges. Liberals make much of the right of judges in our political system to exercise “checks and balances” by overturning legislative and executive decisions on constitutional grounds. But this power of constitutional interpretation is itself subject to “checks and balances”—the ultimate of which is to amend the constitution itself. If even that power is taken away (as Judge Bataillon did in
Most Democrats say they believe that marriage is the union of a man and a woman and that courts should interpret laws, not write them—both things that the Marriage Protection Amendment would insure. Many Democrats think that states should be allowed to decide whether or not to adopt “civil unions” through the democratic process—a policy option which the federal amendment would allow (but which
Anyone who thinks that federal judges will allow marriage to remain “a state issue” just hasn’t been paying attention—especially in