Thursday, August 12, 2004

California Supreme Court Decision on Gay Marriages

Compare this viewpoint on the California Supreme Court decision on the legality of gay marriages performed in San Francisco by the S.F. mayor, to the California Supreme Court decision.

DAVID KRAVETS (Associated Press):

The court said the city violated the law when it issued the certificates, since both legislation and a voter-approved measure defined marriage as a union between a man and woman.


... in actuality the legal issue before us implicates the interest of all individuals in ensuring that public officials execute their official duties in a manner that respects the limits of authority granted to them as officeholders. In short, the legal question at issue -- the scope of the authority entrusted to our public officials -- involves the determination of a fundamental question that lies at the heart of our political system: the role of the rule of law in a society that justly prides itself on being "a government of laws, and not of men" (or women).
Savor the importance of that affirmation and then the particulars -- a local executive official disregarding the law solely upon the official's opinion that the law is unconstitutional. The court continued -- next paragraph.

As indicated above, that issue -- phrased in the narrow terms presented by this case -- is whether a local executive official, charged with the ministerial duty of enforcing a statue, has the authority to disregard the terms of the statue in the absence of a judicial determination that it is unconstitutional, based solely upon the official's opinion that the governing statute is unconstitutional. As we shall see, it is well established, both in California and elsewhere, that -- subject to a few narrow exceptions that are inapplicable here -- a local executive official does not possess such authority.

The official, they affirm, does not have such authority, the court continued:

The conclusion is consistent with the classic understanding of the separation of powers doctrine -- that the legislative power is the power to enact statutes, the executive power is the power to execute or enforce statutes, and the judicial power is the power to interpret statutes and determine their constitutionality."

In a nutshell, why the Liberal Left wants to stack the courts to interpret and subsequently create by interpretation, legislation that legislatures could not pass without popular scrutiny and popular protest.

Media social engineering at work in the Reuters coverage

In its decision, the justices focused on whether the mayor had the authority to marry gays rather than the broader arguments whether the state constitution must allow gay marriage.

And best quote from Reuters?

"No court can take away the love we share," said John Lewis, who married his partner Stuart Gaffney six months ago. The two wore tuxedos with purple bow ties and reacted as they stood in front of the state court building.

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