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03/04/2009

Committed to commitments: Brown tears 8 down

by Jeremy Hooper

Gavel-prop-8Since the only Crystal Ball we've ever seen in real life was a drunken drag queen in a to' up pair of see-through Barbie shoes, we can't predict what's going to happen in the California Supreme Court this Thursday. Though it's typically not a horrible thing when the state attorney general takes a principled stand for your legal side.

He may not be behind the revision argument. But AG Jerry Brown is fully behind the "marriage is an inalienable right" argument:

"The state faced a dilemma like this before. In 1964, 65 percent of California voters approved Proposition 14, which would have legalized racial discrimination in the selling or renting of housing. Both the California and U.S. Supreme Courts struck down this proposition, concluding that it amounted to an unconstitutional denial of rights.

As California's Attorney General, I believe the Court should strike down Proposition 8 for remarkably similar reasons -- because it unconstitutionally discriminates against same-sex couples and deprives them of the fundamental right to marry. "
Brown: Proposition 8 Should Be Struck Down [HuffPo]

Jerry's mouth, please meet the ears of God Chief Justice Ronald George.

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Your thoughts

I bet that Brian Brown and Maggie Gallagher at National Organization for Marriage (There's an oxymoron!) are apoplectic about this. Hopefully Brian Brown's head will explode and Maggie Gallagher's snatch will open up and swallow her whole.

Posted by: Tony P | Mar 4, 2009 4:57:09 PM

....and at least 3 of the others 6. More would be nice.

Posted by: LOrionL | Mar 4, 2009 5:47:58 PM

PS. All you whippersnappers don't remember him as GOV MOONBEAM, but I do.

Posted by: LOrionL | Mar 4, 2009 5:49:00 PM

Both the California and U.S. Supreme Courts struck down proposition 14 passed in 1964, concluding that it amounted to an unconstitutional denial of rights.

A more recent case of striking down a voter approved constitutional amendment was proposition 2 in Colorado. This proposition prevented governmental entities at any level from enacting laws that prohibited discrimination against gays. Aspen, CO, for example, had a law prohibiting such discrimination against gays in housing, employment and so on. Proposition 2 invalidated this and other such laws.

Both the Colorado and U.S. Supreme Courts struck down proposition 2. A main argument was that the constitution protects the right of the people to present to the government a partition of grievances and to lobby their representatives in favor of laws that address these concerns. Proposition 2 singled out gays alone to prevent them from exercising this constitutional right as far as non-discrimination laws were concerned.

So constitutional amendments can be overturned when they conflict with other more fundamental rights guaranteed by the same constitution.

After the ruling, the Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court made this statement, "The majority cannot use the ballot box to vote away the rights of a minority." I hope the California Supreme Court applies this simple axiom.

Posted by: Bill Ware | Mar 4, 2009 11:01:54 PM

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