Saturday, May 17, 2008

Checks and Balances


A pretty quiet couple of days, here. Bob and I went to a play last night, "From Up Here," starring tony winner Julie White, who was terrific along with the rest of the cast. It was a rather dark family drama with comedic moments -- I'm not sure how else to describe it. Very enjoyable.

You probably saw the news about the court ruling in California this week giving gay men and lesbians there the right to marry. I'm puzzled by one of the arguments against the ruling -- that the judges were somehow subverting the will of the people because the decision hadn't been made by popular vote. People who make this argument don't understand our system of government. The judiciary branch's role in providing checks and balances is to ensure that individual civil rights are NOT subject to popular opinion. Not to get all preachy, but in the words of Thomas Jefferson:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

In other words, people don't get to vote on them.

(Photo: East Village, April 2008)

6 comments:

Merle Sneed said...

Well said, Steve.

Barbara said...

It seems so logical and simple the way you state it. I wonder when the rest of the states are going to get on board...

Reya Mellicker said...

It's a great decision, overdue but still exciting. My SF friends are jubiliant.

Love today's pic!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

kudos to the judges in california - I do hope i'll be getting a couple calls to fly out to be 'best person' for some nuptials! unlike massachusetts couples can marry who live ANYWHERE!! this I like!!

lettuce said...

yes, a great decision.

the argument i have trouble is understanding is when people say that marriage is, by definition, heterosexual - isn't that definition precisely what these changes in law are changing?
actually I guess its they who don't get it, rather than me.

R.L. Bourges said...

subverting the will of the people: and what do they call it when a President ignores and subverts the laws he has pledged to uphold, I wonder?

Good job, California. Now if the rest of the world would just catch up with natural common sense so that we can all concentrate on real problems for a change? wouldn't that be cool?

best to the folks along the Hudson from the those along the Dadou.