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.