"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Thursday, June 27, 2013

DOMA and Voting Rights - Constitutional Federalism in Action

The Supreme Court Supports the 10th Amendment
The Court upholds the right of the states to control their own
affairs in the areas of election and marriage laws.

By Gary;

The Supreme Court must be doing a good job.  In one week they have managed to both piss off and bring praise from Liberals and Conservatives.

The Court is the last properly operating fragment created by the Federalists at the Constitutional Convention.  So naturally both Big Government Liberals and Conservatives will be angry at the Court at different times for daring to be the third branch of government and operate the way Alexander Hamilton and Federalist Chief Justice John Marshall wanted them to.

Gay Marriage  -  Yes and No

The pro and anti Gay marriage sides along with the media missed what I consider to be the main points of the DOMA ruling.  The ruling represents a victory for the cause of state's rights and the 10th Amendment.
The Supreme Court for the first time said the Federal government couldn't discriminate against same-sex couples if their marriage is recognized by a state.
Conservatives argued Gay Marriage
from a religious not Constitutional
point of view.  America is not a
Theocracy where the courts exist
to support Holy doctrine. 

In the case before the court, New York resident Edith Windsor would have been exempt from a Federal estate tax of $363,000 had her late spouse been male.  The Court was simply upholding the marriage laws of the state of New York and equal treatment under the law for all groups.

Ms. Windsor will now get a refund from the IRS of $363,000 plus interest.

Conservatives attack the ruling from a religious, not a legal, point of view. 

The United States is not a theocracy like Saudi Arabia, Iran or Vatican State.  The courts to not exist to support Sharia, Biblical or Buddhist religious teachings.  The U.S. is a secular society with many different points of view from atheist to dozens of very different religions.

Voting Rights

Here is was the Liberals turn to scream at the "evil" Supreme Court for overturning the key elements of the oppressive Voting Rights Act.

Liberals (including most Republicans in Congress) were more than happy to keep fifty year old voting law restrictions in place against selected states.  That way both parties could parade themselves before the voters at election time and boast how "progressive" they are.

Under the Constitution and the Civil Rights Acts passed in the 1860s and 1870s the Congress has the right to protect the rights of the people from oppression by dictatorial state governments.

The Supreme Court rightly decided that using 50 year old data to control selected states for political purposes was unconstitutional.  Again, this was a victory for the 10th Amendment right of states to control their own affairs.  If that power is used to oppress a group then the Federal Courts are there to seek justice.

The 10th Amendment
So-called "Conservatives" are beating the anti-gay marriage drum.  So bet it.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion . . . on a state by state basis that is.  The Supreme Court's ruling on DOMA effectively upholds the 10th Amendment of the Bill of Rights. 
The Court is saying that an All-Powerful Federal Government cannot discriminate against or unfairly tax people legally married under state laws.  This is yet another case where so-called "small government" Conservatives want the Federal Government to dictate policy to the states.  The ruling is actually a victory for Constitutional Federalism.

The Federalist Papers #78
"The interpretation of the laws is the proper and peculiar province of the courts. A constitution is, in fact, and must be regarded by the judges, as a fundamental law. It therefore belongs to them to ascertain its meaning, as well as the meaning of any particular act proceeding from the legislative body."
Alexander Hamilton

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