Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Changing the Rules

In today's follow-up on the Supreme Court's declination to hear Massachusetts' same-sex marriage case, Liberty Counsel's Matthew Staver is still spinning:

The republican form of government is a fragile thing, and it depends on each branch of government respecting its limitations. When one branch of government does not respect its limitations, when it usurps power it has not been given, there is no recourse for the people.

His group is certainly invested in this, claiming to have a couple of dozen anti-same-sex-marriage actions pending. Yet other lawyers say the tack they took here was doomed. We do have federalism with states rights, so that this type of issue is almost always left to the states. In addition and more to this point, the Massachusetts legislature has the process of amendments and laws, so that what's at work on both sides is the checks and balances system.

I think Liberty Counsel may have to look at civics books and legal texts before trying again. Staver's argument about the fragility of our form of government is rhetoric and not supported by history. It is about as believable as his argument in the original effort to prevent Massachusetts marriages last spring when his petition claimed that "marriage as universally understood for millennia of human history will be forever changed; chaos will ensue."

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