Patrick J. Buchanan
November 24 2003
"John Marshall has made his decision. Now let him enforce it," thundered Andrew
Jackson of the legendary chief justice.
From the sublime to the ridiculous, we have one Margaret Marshall, chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, ordering the state legislature to enact, in 180 days, a law giving homosexuals the right to marry. What is to be done with this Justice Marshall?
The legislature and Gov. Mitt Romney should ignore the court, defy the order and submit to Massachusetts voters a constitutional amendment declaring that marriage is between a man and woman, as God and nature intended.
Massachusetts has been given an opportunity to lead the nation as it did in the 1770s, in breaking the power of a tyranny. If Bay State legislators will refuse to pass the law demanded by the court, and Romney will refuse to sign such a law and orders the bureaucracy to ignore the court, what could the court do? Order his arrest? Declare him in contempt. So what? Reasonable people already hold the Massachusetts court in contempt.
It is time for elected representatives to take back powers that were never constitutionally granted to any court. For the issue here is not, "What is decided?" but, "Who decides?" In a republic, the power to write laws is given to elected representatives, not judges or justices.
In every state, marriage has been between a man and woman and restrictions have been set by the legislature. One cannot practice bigamy or polygamy or polyandry. One cannot marry children. One cannot marry a member of one's own family.
What the Massachusetts court did was to declare that, from now on, it would decide such matters. The Massachusetts court has just usurped the power of the elected branches, and they should slap the court down.
This is an issue of power as well as law. Gov. Romney can make himself a national figure by refusing to propose or to sign any law regarding marriage that he and the people of the Bay State believe to be rooted in ignorance, illogic and immorality.
The opportunity afforded by this absurd decision is not confined to Massachusetts. Legislatures across America should enact laws defining marriage as between a man and woman. Voters should petition to have identical referenda put on the ballot.
Congress should re-enact the Defense of Marriage Act and amend it to deny the Supreme Court any right of review. Congress' power to restrict the appellate review jurisdiction of the Supreme Court was granted in Article III of the Constitution for a purpose. This is it.
President Bush should make the preservation of marriage the social issue of 2004. Every candidate, including Gov. Dean if nominated by the Democrats, should be forced to declare himself for or against the idea that marriage is restricted to men and women.
Gay activists and their media auxiliaries will denounce this as the politics of divisiveness and hate. But America has begun to catch on to the tactic of smearing as bigots and haters any who resist this new social revolution. And the nation has begun to see through the strategy of imposing that revolution, not through the democratic process of winning hearts, minds and votes, but through the dictatorial process of getting collaborator-judges to issue court degrees.
"The worse the better" is an old revolutionary slogan. The more stupid, arrogant and oppressive a regime becomes, the more the people turn to revolution to be rid of it. The principle applies to counterrevolutions, as well. The more insolent, arrogant and dictatorial judges become, the more they build up the cordite of counterrevolution.
In a half century, we have watched judges and justices arbitrarily strike down laws against pornography, denying communities the power to prevent the pollution of cultures. We have seen the killing of unborn children declared a constitutional right. We have seen children forcibly bused across cities to meet some jurist's idea of what is the proper racial balance.
Judges have declared the pledge of allegiance to be a violation of the Constitution. They have ordered high-school teams not to pray before games. They have ordered students not to say a prayer at graduation. They have told teachers what they may and may not teach about God and man. They have declared homosexual sodomy a constitutional right.
Time to go to the root of America's social crisis: the power usurped by judges and imposed against the will of the people and their chosen representatives.
Legislatures and executives should begin recapturing their lost powers, or we should find new legislators and executives with the courage to restore the constitutional balance of the Fathers. Let the counterrevolution begin where that first revolution began, with a new Boston Tea Party.
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