DOMA Declared Unconstitutional

By | June 26, 2013 | 0 Comments

The Supreme Court on a 5-4 vote decided that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional.
That is, the court declared that the federal government lacks the power to define marriage for federal purposes as between one man and one woman, the way it has been defined for millennia in Western civilization.
Let me get this straight. The federal government has the power to tell us what kind of light bulbs we can buy, what kind of toilets we can install, and what kind of detergent we can use to wash our dishes. It has the power to regulate our health care and tell us what kind of treatment we can receive – or not receive. It has the power to use the IRS to intimidate and harass us if we advocate political views the government finds annoying. It has the power to use the NSA to monitor our phone conversations, e-mails, instant messages, and Web surfing. It has the power to send drones to peer into our back yards.
But at the same time, the federal government does not have the power to define marriage the way it has been defined for millennia? In the words of Charles Dickens’ Mr. Bumble, if the law supposes that, the law is an ass, an idiot.
In addition, the Supreme Court ruled that private citizens have no standing – that is, no right – to defend Proposition 8, when state officials refused to do so. Prop. 8 was an amendment to the California constitution, passed by the voters, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman. But federal courts ruled it unconstitutional. Democrat Governor Jerry Brown refused to defend it, so private individuals including law professors took up the case.
That is, the Supreme Court ruled that if the voters of a state pass a measure, but federal judges strike it down, only state officials and not the people have the right to defend it. The voters, the court ruled, are in effect subservient to the officials who are supposedly working for them – absurdly subordinating the employers to their employees, and thereby standing democracy on its head.
In other words, DOMA is out because it’s up to the states to define marriage. But Prop. 8 is out because it’s not up to the states to define marriage. Law that is arbitrary, capricious, and unpredictable isn’t law at all, but merely a series of often-contradictory dictatorial decrees. But then, donkeys are notoriously arbitrary, capricious, and unpredictable. They are, however, very stubborn.
Jefferson said, “I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves.” But even the words of so wise a man as Jefferson can be drowned out if the asses bray loudly enough.
Is it possible for a nation to remain free – to remain a constitutional republic – when the people are forced to recognize that their rulers behave like asses and idiots? Stay tuned.
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