Friday, June 13, 2008

Calilfornia Daisy Chain: Everybody Panic!

It's garbage time in the Golden State. The third-string subs from Florida, the Liberty Counsel, have come in after the home team got its insurmountable lead. Similarly, this is the old grasping at straws.

The California Supreme Court mandated same-sex marriage. The anti-gay/anti-marriage equality forces have a state constitutional amendment on the November ballot to stop these marriages. Meanwhile they are understandably panicked that hundreds, likely thousands, of SS couples will wed, starting Monday. That would mean voters would have to strip their fellow citizens of existing civil rights. This considerably dims the ballot initiative's prospects.

To show how desperate the anti folk are, Liberty Counsel's filing (on their own, they have no standing in the state) for the Campaign for California Families headed to the 1st Court of Appeal with three absurd arguments. The alleged high point of the 33-page petition is a middle-school quality diagram purporting to prove that the high court had legalized not only SSM, but polygamy and polyandry at the same time.

Back on planet Earth, a couple of legal types responded pretty dryly to this grasping at straws:

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera called Liberty Counsel's filing "absurd." "I am not aware of a process in American law that enables parties to effectively appeal a higher court ruling to a lower court," Herrera said.

Vik Amar, a professor of constitutional law at the University of California, Davis, said it was unlikely the lower court would go against the will of the state Supreme Court. "It would be an abuse of discretion to ignore the clear statement made by the Supreme Court when they turned down the stay and grant one now," Amar said.

The hair-on-fire petition has three laughable arguments:
  • The Supreme Court's order does not mandate the immediate issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and this court should act to prevent the constitutional and legal confusion that would result from such action.
  • This court should stay the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples to prevent a violation of federal and state law by opening the door to de facto polygamy and polyamory.
  • This court should stay the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples upon remand so as to preserve separation of powers by permitting the legislature and the people to exercise the roles granted and reserved to them under the California Constitution.
I'm particularly fond of trying to invoke affected laws and regulations. Just hold off a decision until the legislature and any regulatory bodies involved align all their statutes and rules. Of course, that would give any one of these bodies effective veto power — in clear violation of constitutional separation of powers — by inaction.

In addition, the Supreme Court there has already dealt with the petition to delay implementation until after the November election, rejecting it quickly and clearly. Filing these requests in the lower court that already took its beating in the SSM ruling is sad indeed, in the pathetic sense.

Surely though, even the Liberty Counsel nasties can't believe what they presented in the following selection form the petition. The don't-say-we-didn't-warn-you assertions are laughable scare tactics as well as terrible legal arguments.

Since neither the Supreme Court nor the Court of Appeal has declared unconstitutional the myriad of other statutes regarding marriage, local government officials do not have the power to issue marriage licenses until the legislature addresses these statutes. Liberty Counsel asks that the Court of Appeal order that no marriage licenses be issued to same-sex couples until the language cited by the Supreme Court is stricken by the legislature and until there is a judicial determination that the other statutes are unconstitutional.

From the petition, the daisy chain of satanic lust and depravity includes:
The diagram above illustrates how a group of six people could legally form a polyamorous and polygamous relationship if the Supreme Court’s ruling is implemented without legislative action. Couples A and B, C and D and E and F could each enter into civil unions in either Vermont or New Jersey (civil unions 1-3). One member of each civil union could then “marry” a member of one of the other civil unions in California.

I would love to be a banana slug on the window when the Appeal justices get to the diagram and claims.

For those who are truly pro-family and pro-marriage, that is, the winners in the Supreme Court decision, this has to be reassuring. The Dark Side is out of legal arguments and ideas. It's garbage time. As in our struggle here against the last-second amendment to overturn SSM, the effort now is to defeat the initiative in November.

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ogre said...

The Liberty (so called) Council wants to allow the legislature to perform its duties? Then the LC is either (or both) profoundly ignorant or deeply disingenuous (shocking, I know). The California legislature DID already pass legislation establishing SSM, out of both houses.

The Governator vetoed it.

So now we have the Court asserting it as fundamental constitutional equity and a right, and the legislature on record in favor, and the governor refuses now to campaign against it--he accepts the court's decision.

But wait, wait, don't cartoon characters get a say first?


massmarrier said...

Hmm, upon vetoing the legislation, it seems the same governor said the final word was with the courts, the state Supreme Court. When it ruled, he said that was law and he'd support it.

Repeated attempts at the back door, side door and the windows is what is about. The race has been run. The second heat is November. Thanks for playing.