Letters to the Editor for Aug. 20, 2010
Our Constitution not so stable as we’ve believed
To the editor:
A federal judge ruled recently that California’s definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman is unconstitutional, as it deprives gays of their rights under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. Now that “equal rights under the law” amendment was added shortly after the Civil War to ensure that newly-freed slaves would not have their rights taken away from them by former Confederate states. It contained no provision for radically redefining the institution of marriage, altering it beyond recognition. Such a thing was the furthest thing from their minds. And that’s how things stood for nearly a century and a half. But this particular judge has now decided otherwise, totally ignoring the intent of the authors of that amendment. Defenders of such judicial activism state that ours is a living constitution, constantly evolving to meet the needs of our changing society. But if that’s the case, then our written constitution is no longer the bedrock upon which our democratic government is based. Instead, we are subject to whatever passing fancies happen to intrigue our black-robed, unelected magistrates. Instead of a firm foundation, we have the shifting sands of personal philosophies.
We citizens need to pay attention to the judicial philosophy of the various candidates for president and state governor as they solicit our votes. What kind of judges will each one appoint? This is crucial, as those judges will be handing down rulings long after the one who appointed them has left office.