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05/19/2008

Ronald George on Ronald/George marriage ruling

by Jeremy Hooper

GeorgeIn the coming days and months, social conservatives will likely brand the four California justices who ruled in favor of marriage equality with the "activist" label so often, one might assume that their body has replaced its need for oxygen with a need for judicial condemnation. We, however, are big believers in listening what people have to say for themselves and casting our opinions based on fact and revelation rather than rhetoric and presumption. Which is exactly why we were excited to see that the LA Times has conducted an interview with Chief Justice Ronald M. George, so that the reasoned robe-wearer can give his own insight into what lies behind his (fantastic and wise) decision. Go check that out:

California chief justice says same-sex marriage ruling was one of his toughest [LA Times]

It remains to be seen if the more vocal of marriage opponents will listen to George's words and do their own rational soul-searching before baselessly trying to use tyrannical mob rule to stifle minority rights and protections. But if they do, marriage equality will no longer have much bearing on our own lives, as we will likely die from the shock.

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Your thoughts

I think the whole "activist judge" label is probably one of the dumbest things to come from the conservative/"christian"/republican crowd. But nowhere near as dumb as their dear leader, of course.

An "activist judge" would be a judge with a religious agenda, or some other agenda, other than what they were elected/hired to uphold.

Granting same-sex American couples equal rights to marry isn't being an "activist judge"; barring same-sex American couples from legally marrying their partner, based on their own personal religion or "morals" (as if) IS being an "activist judge".

"Christians" tend to forget that a lot of them are activists too. Showing people oversized pictures of a bloody fetus, holding up signs of stick men buttfucking - that's being an activist too. A RETARDED activist, but an activist nonetheless.

Posted by: Scott | May 19, 2008 2:34:29 PM

We should coin a new phrase, "Factivist Judge" for those judges who allow only the facts to influence their judgement.

Posted by: Dick Mills | May 19, 2008 8:58:44 PM

I like that phrase, I'll start using it.

Posted by: Zack | May 20, 2008 12:48:17 AM

Just what is the Judge's silly interview supposed to prove? It certainly didn't do anything to prove that his ruling was "fantastic and wise."

If it demonstrated anything, it showed that "moderate Republican" George has a history of judicial activism: "Shortly after Gov. Pete Wilson elevated him to chief justice in 1996, George obtained enough votes to change the court's stance on parental consent for abortion. He wrote the ruling that overturned the state's parental consent law." Given that parental consent is usually required for a minor to so much as get pierced ears, I am very interested to see the section of California's constitution that made the law improper.

Not once in the interview does George tell us how his ruling is based in the California Constitution. Nor does he mention a single legal, constitutional principle that the Califoria law violated. It's all about his "soul searching," his fatalism, and how heavily the matter weighed on him.

Well, so what? If Harry Blackmun had gone on about how difficult a decision Roe v. Wade was it wouldn't alter the fact that the ruling has no Constitutional basis. And if Chief Justice Taney has said that reaching his opinion in the Dred Scott case "weighed most heavily" on him, that wouldn't change the truth that his decision was an activist one.

If you don't understand this Jeremy, and realize that court rulings have to be discussed on their LEGAL merits, then you're being as foolish as LaBarbera and his ilk who think refering to the Bible settles everything.

If the majority of Californians voted for same-sex marriage, would that be "tyrannical mob rule"? Or does tyranny only occur when the majority disagrees with you? Is this Jeremy Hooper's version of democracy: "the people get to decide only as long as they agree with me'?

As a member of the gay left, you consider gays to be victims. That's what your coded talk about "minorities" means. Well I have to points of wisdom for you:

1) Get over your victimhood. All human beings are victims of the human condition.

2) Minorities, whether historically treated unfairly or not, do not have a right to special consideration in the democratic process. All groups have the same responsibility to convince their fellow citizens.

I know this will only make me seem more schoolmarm-like in your eyes, but this is a message you really need to hear.

Posted by: David | May 22, 2008 2:59:21 AM

Scott,

I know you call yourself the "blue grass fool," but you shouldn't aspire to live up to that moniker!

A judicial opinion is activist -- or not -- based on its own structure. If a ruling is based on legal principles not actually found in any legislation, then it is activist. The label "activist judge" is a perfectly apt and proper one for a judge with the habit of issuing such rulings.

And, FYI, the Bush is stupid jokes are really old and tired. If you want to be amusing, try something else.

As for your judicial examples, both the SSM-requiring and SSM-denying judges would be activist.

As for your comment about Christian activists, you are conflating judicial activism with grass-roots political activism. They are nothing alike.

Posted by: David | May 22, 2008 3:09:54 AM

Standard response to all comments from 'David' of 'Stop The Tyrants' (above):

After engaging/indulging David for over a year, I finally wised up and realized that every last dialogue we have shared has been completely fruitless. And not in just a "we disagree" way -- I enjoy engaging in reasoned dissent, which can be both fun and even educational. David, however, is simply not open to any exchange of ideas. I have gone over every comment he has ever made on here: The aggressively closed-off tone is the one consistent. His mind is made up, and any attempt at discourse with him will fall on the deafest of ears.

So I will no longer dignify, or really even read his reliably self-aggrandizing, non-productive, school marm-like comments. It might be in everyone's best interest to do the same.

Posted by: G-A-Y | May 22, 2008 7:20:46 AM

"David, however, is simply not open to any exchange of ideas."

You describe yourself, Jeremy, not me.

If you have a reasoned argument in favor of the California Supreme Court's marriage ruling I'd be glad to read it. And by reasoned argument I mean one with reasons why the ruling is proper as a matter of law, and not an emotional appeal on behalf of poor downtrodden American homosexuals. You will excuse me, I hope, for doubting you have any such argument to offer, however, as you have failed to provide one in your many posts on the matter to date.

You went over every single comment I ever made here? And an "aggressively closed-off tone" was present in ALL of them? Even when I only commented to ask if that foolish woman, Stacy Harp I think was her name, that she looked good in arguing with Brummer? I think not.

You call me self-aggrandizing because I dared call you a bad citizen. I stick by my call; favoring judicial tyranny to democratic action is bad citizenship. And why shouldn't I act like a schoolteacher? You act like a child.

Posted by: David | May 22, 2008 8:56:57 AM

Standard response to all comments from 'David' of 'Stop The Tyrants' (above):

After engaging/indulging David for over a year, I finally wised up and realized that every last dialogue we have shared has been completely fruitless. And not in just a "we disagree" way -- I enjoy engaging in reasoned dissent, which can be both fun and even educational. David, however, is simply not open to any exchange of ideas. I have gone over every comment he has ever made on here: The aggressively closed-off tone is the one consistent. His mind is made up, and any attempt at discourse with him will fall on the deafest of ears.

So I will no longer dignify, or really even read his reliably self-aggrandizing, non-productive, school marm-like comments. It might be in everyone's best interest to do the same.

Posted by: G-A-Y | May 22, 2008 8:59:03 AM

David: Why don't you go read the fucking opinion? There's plenty of legal justification for overturning the ban. There's plenty of explanation as to why it violates the California Constitution. You won't read it though because you've got your mind made up already.

Minorities have to convince people just like everyone else? Funny, that's not what "equal protection" means to me. I suppose you just think those words are there for show?

Posted by: John K. | Nov 11, 2008 1:01:11 PM

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