Friday, November 10, 2006

Kudos to the Massachusetts Legislature: Bravo to the Massachusetts legislature for refusing to bring gay marriage up for a vote. The highest court of our state has spoken. We have three separate branches of government. The courts are one of those branches. The populous cannot willy-nilly attempt to overrule a court’s decision and vote to establish a constitutional amendment against what they do not like. The Massachusetts Supreme Court decision allowing gay marriage is a civil rights decision. It should not be up for a vote. If it were possible, civil rights Supreme Court decisions of the past would have been nullified by constitutional amendments. That is not how this country works. Civil rights should be added to constitutions and not taken away.

The first Federal Supreme Court to establish the right of judicial review was the Marshall court in the case of Marbury v. Madison of 1803. The opinion written by Justice Marshall said: "The very essence of civil liberty certainly consists in the right of every individual to claim the protection of the laws, whenever he receives an injury. One of the first duties of government is to afford that protection. The government of the United States has been emphatically termed a government of laws, and not of men. It will certainly cease to deserve this high appellation, if the laws furnish no remedy for the violation of a vested legal right." Justice Marshall was correct then and that Federal opinion should apply even to the states now.

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