Thursday, August 5, 2010

If you don’t like the outcome, go to court…

Seriously… Californians have voted TWICE to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Yet one liberal judge (who happens to be gay, a coincidence, I think not) said that it’s unconstitutional.

We’ve gone round and round about civil rights, equal rights, blah blah blah… we’ve heard all the arguments. I won’t go into that here. But I will voice my frustration about voting. And I’m not the only one… here’s a copy of a status update from a friend on facebook:

“Lol I've seen SO many fb statuses about this whole Prop 8 thing... the only thing I have to say is that this is the EXACT reason I stay away from politics and the voting scene... it doesn't matter what we vote for, things get overruled/overturned anyway... why bother?”

I have these exact same feelings. So how are we supposed to get people out to vote and change things when it doesn’t matter because if someone with a lot of money doesn’t like the outcome, they’ll sue and it’ll go to court… and keep going to court until they find a judge who will rule in their favor.

So… any ideas????


PersonalFailure said...

stop trying to vote away other people's rights. that will solve all your problems.

or, to put it another way, representative democracy =/= mob rule.

Heather said...

My comment isn't about voting away rights, it's about not honoring the majority rule... twice. There are several examples of judges overturning the majority vote. That's not what this country is about.

Anonymous said...

"Yet one liberal judge (who happens to be gay, a coincidence, I think not) said that it’s unconstitutional."

Maybe that Libertarian judge (appointed first by Reagan and again by George H. Bush) simply understands the Constitution better than you do.

There's no "blah blah blah" about it. You don't get to vote away civil rights. And if you think a majority SHOULD determine civil rights... well then... you've just given a perfectly good reason as to why the judicial branch exists.

Heather said...

if marriage is a civil right, then why did we get to vote on how to define it?

my post isn't about marriage or how to define it, my post is about the frustration of voting... because it doesn't matter how we vote, if someone doesn't like the outcome, they can just go to a judge and have it changed.

Anonymous said...

"if marriage is a civil right, then why did we get to vote on how to define it?"

If you are asking me, the vote should never have happened. And it seems that this judge agrees.

Thing is, governing is an organic process. Laws are interpreted by people. Therefore you are never going to have a universally perfect system where things that should be voted on are and things that should not be voted on aren't.

That's why we have a judicial branch.

That said, you are the one here who framed this as relating to civil rights. I simply responded.

Heather said...

There are other instances of judges overturning the majority vote, not just in this case. So my complaint is not just about this issue and whether or not it's a civil rights issue, but it's about judges overturning the vote of the people, so why should we vote? Why don't we just go to the judges to decide? Is this not a government of the people, by the people, for the people?

Anonymous said...

"Is this not a government of the people, by the people, for the people?"

Well, first off, you're quoting a speech by Lincoln. And Lincoln wasn't really around for the formation of the Union and speeches aren't law. They're typically hyperbole laden.

Second off, if we're going to go by the speech, let's look at the first part rather than the last:

"...a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."

I think it's reasonable to suggest that the "created equal" part trumps the "will of the people" part.

Anyway, this country is not run as a democracy. It's a constitutional republic. In such a system, legislative and executive actions are subject to review by the judicial branch. That's the way America works. And part of the reason it works this way is to ensure that majority will of a state cannot trump federal law.

That's why it's kind of funny to quote Lincoln. The Confederate states voted to keep their slaves. This was found unconstitutional by the federal government. The Southern states refused the federal decision. So we had cession and war. Similar is the California medical marijuana law. The state voted for medical marijuana. Federal law prohibits it. So distributors of this substance, operating legally from a state position, can be raided and face charges on a federal level.

Is it a flawed system? Yes. Though I doubt you can cite one that would be better. Majority will alone would be no way to run a country. Because if it were left to majority will, we can see clear evidence that the majority would choose to vote away the rights of the minority.

That said, I can understand your pain about voting. I felt the same way when George W. Bush was appointed to office in 2000 despite the clear will of the majority to elect Al Gore. Sadly, most conservatives didn't care about majority will back then.