Why the Legal Challenge to Proposition 8 Matters
February 28, 2009
As I’ve discussed a bit here before, the current legal challenge to Proposition 8 (the measure eliminating homosexual marriage in California) brought by those who unsuccessfully opposed Proposition 8 is not just about homosexual marriage, it is a direct threat to the democratic ideals on which our nation is built. If the people cannot amend their own constitution, it ceases to be “their” constitution. The following is an excerpt from the brief filed with the court in defense of Proposition 8 (those who oppose Proposition 8 are known as the “petitioners”):
For this reason, some opponents to Proposition 8 could nevertheless also oppose the legal challenge in recognition of its broad-reaching impact, and instead attempt to persuade the people to pass another constitutional amendment in the next election recognizing homosexual marriage. At least that would be politically legitimate.
This highlights the basic problem of judicial activism. When judges interject themselves into policy-making, they remove issues from realm of public decision-making. That’s why the people of each state are powerless to decide whether they will allow abortion within their borders: the United States Supreme Court hijacked the federal constitution and used it to subvert the will of the people. And the more this happens, the more we can question whether we any longer have a democracy.