Prop 8 proponents are always belly-aching about the 7 million voters (who voted for an unconstitutional measure) being trampled by one judge. There’s never a mention about the 6.4 million voters who voted to uphold the Constitution.
A good article in the SF Gate taking apart the reich-wing’s baseless arguments about “judicial activism” and “judicial tyranny” and a lesson in how our system of government works. Of course, these arguments are coming from the same people who want to judicially tyrannize the rest of secular society into submitting to their religious superstitions and myths.
This is exactly how our constitutional democracy is supposed to work.
Don’t blame federal judges for doing their jobs. The concept of judicial review has been at the core of our checks-and-balances democracy since the landmark Marbury vs. Madison ruling in 1803.
“It’s the nature of our constitutional system,” said Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the UC Irvine law school. “It doesn’t matter whether a law was passed by Congress, a state legislature, a city council or the voters – it has to comply with the U.S. Constitution.”
“This is by no means a renegade decision,” said Jesse Choper, a constitutional law professor at the UC Berkeley School of Law.
Nor is it the last word. The oft-echoed argument that “one judge” has somehow thwarted the will of the people is a “rhetorical flourish” that does not hold up to scrutiny, Chemerinsky said.
In our system of democracy, no ballot measure – even one that passed by a margin of 600,000 votes, as Prop. 8 did – should be inviolate from the reach of the judiciary.
“This is tyranny,” roared talk-radio blowhard Rush Limbaugh, suggesting the judiciary had been overtaken by “leftist nut jobs.” Limbaugh made a point of noting Walker’s sexual orientation – but not the fact that he was selected for the bench by Reagan and Bush.
Tyranny? I would be more worried about a democracy that did not protect fundamental rights from the “tyranny of the majority” that James Madison warned of in the Federalist Papers.