Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Judicial Branch

Today, the California Supreme Court met to discuss whether or not they would uphold the decision made by the electorate last November to constitutionally define marriage as between one man and one woman. Thankfully, the court decided to stick to the rules and not legislate from the bench.

There's a reason that the court system is called the judicial branch, and not the legislative branch. Justices that sit on the California bench are appointed by the sitting Governor, not elected by the people as a representative. In California, voters are given the opportunity once every twelve years to vote if a particular justice should be retained, but if that justice is booted, the current Governor is the one that gets to make the nomination for the replacement.

Needless to say, justices do not necessarily represent the will of the people they preside over. That's why we have representatives. Representatives run for office. They tell us why they think they'd represent us well. If they do a lousy job, we vote for the other guy the next time around (two years for the State Assembly, four years for the State Senate).

The legislative branch is the one that represents the people and has the authority to propose amendments to the California Constitution. The Governor (also an elected official, I'd like to point out) also has the power to propose amendments, as well as individual citizens that may propose new legislation by popular petition.

The judicial branch is there to make sure that the laws, as stated in the constitution, are upheld. That's it. They don't get to make up their own laws. They don't get to wake up one morning and decide to overturn a constitutional amendment that went through the proper legal channels and has become law. That's not their job.

So the idea that the California Supreme Court even had a vote on whether or not to overturn the will of the people on the issue of homosexual marriage is ludicrous. Geez, this is stuff I learned in my junior high government class! California sure is nutty sometimes.

At least our President (a Harvard Law School graduate) knows that the role of the judicial branch in policy is to uphold it, not to create or alter it. Or does he?


I will seek someone who understands that justice isn't about some abstract
legal theory or footnote in a casebook; it is also about how our laws affect
the daily realities of people's lives, whether they can make a living and
care for their families, whether they feel safe in their homes and welcome
in their own nation...I view that quality of empathy, of understanding and
identifying with people's hopes and struggles, as an essential ingredient
for arriving at just decisions and outcomes. -President Obama, May 2009, on what he will look for in potential US Supreme Court Justice

I want a Justice that follows the rules. Hasn't anyone in the government read The Lord of the Flies? Don't they know what happens when the supposed leaders start making their own rules? I don't want to ruin it for you, but I can ensure you that chaos ensues.

Let's just hope that Sonia Sotomayor (Obama's pick to replace the retiring Justice Souter on the US Supreme Court) understands her job description, and rules with a firm and fair hand, giving no biased rulings based on things like gender or race.

Somehow, I doubt it. Take a look at what she said in 2005:




And as far as impartiality is concerned? Here's what she had to say about that:

I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences
would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t
lived that life. -Sotomayor, 2001



Like Ralph on the final pages of The Lord of the Flies I weep for, "The end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart, and the fall through the air of a true, wise friend." Ralph's friend was the bespectacled Piggy, who was chased off a cliff by bloodthirsty young boys in pursuit of his fire-starting glasses. My friend's name is Justice, and once our country has empathetic judges that legislate from the bench on the basis of race and gender, she too will be chased off a cliff and flung to her doom.

33 comments:

Headless Mom said...

"So the idea that the California Supreme Court even had a vote on whether or not to overturn the will of the people on the issue of homosexual marriage is ludicrous. Geez, this is stuff I learned in my junior high government class! California sure is nutty sometimes."

Civics lessons seem to be thrown out the window on this one, eh?

Anonymous said...

If you support the CA State legislature on todays vote then you are as much of a homophobe as those idiots are.

I don't care what you say, if you don't believe EVERY PERSON has the right to get married are are saying that Gay people are a lower class.

If you believe its the will of God then Your God is a homophobe. I would rather burn in hell than believe in a homophobic God. I don't believe that.

This fight is not over. Its been said before, even by you, that California has spoken, we lost, move on... well, WE WILL NOT MOVE ON! WE WILL STAND AND FIGHT UNTIL ALL ARE EQUAL! And on that day, when we have won equality for every person, we will see if you stand down and stop fighting.

Its unfortunate that a certain little girl in a private Christian School will be taught the same backwards hate message that gays are not as good as straights. Its a shame she will learn as mommy and daddy support. Just a shame. A big shame.

Anonymous said...

AMEN! CANDID CONSERVATIVE BIGOT!

Jenny said...

First off, I have to say it always amuses me when anonymous posters leave nasty comments on my blog calling me a hater.

Second, could one of you anonymous posters please point out where exactly you read that I think that homosexuals are second class citizens? Or that they don't deserve the same rights as any other person in the country? Last time I checked, every adult in California has the same right in regards to marriage: One person may enter into matrimony with another person of the opposite sex.

Anonymous said...

First of all, I am anonymous not out of fear of you or all of your readers (the few you have) but for another more simple reason that is none of your business, my dear.

Secondly, the bottom line is, if you say that you think gays should have all the same rights as straights but shouldn't have marriage, it should be a domestic partnership or civil union you promote separate but equal.

Separate is never equal. Its a form of segregation so that the dreaded gays don't taint your water fountain of marriage.

You may not be the gay bashing idiot like many else out there. You are the friendlier, nicer hater.

Bottom line, if you are not in favor of equality, you support inequality.

Jenny said...

*sigh*

I don't think eight year olds should be allowed to marry. Does that mean I hate children?

Anonymous said...

Wow, a new original argument. Usually, you people go straight to the argument "Well, if you give gays equal rights then you should give rights to pedophiles right?"

Kudos.

However, your argument is still stupidly immature. Unless of course you are comparing homosexuals to children.

I'm talking about mature, law-abiding citizens who are gay.

Any other intelligent thoughts, Mrs. Hater?

Anonymous said...

You know, we can read your tweets.

Hmmm... How dumb do I sound? You tell me.

So far nothing I've said, as far as I can tell promotes my ignorance.

All I've said is that you are a hater, which is true.

As I've said, you are not in favor of equality, you are in favor separate but equal. If you believe a civil union or a domestic partnership are equal to a marriage, then I'm sorry to say, you are the dumb one. So its your choice Jenny, are you Dumb or a Hater? You don't seem that dumb to me. Just ignorant. Just a hater.

Jenny said...

Of course you can read my tweets, they're right there on my website. The implication in "I have to say it always amuses me when anonymous posters leave nasty comments on my blog calling me a hater," was that it makes the poster of such comments sound dumb. So sorry that you did not infer it.

No, pedophiles should not have rights. They forfeit those when they break the law.

I'm not likening homosexuals to children, merely pointing out that one can disagree with something with hating it or an aspect of it.

This post is not even about homosexual marriage, it is about adherence (or lack thereof) to the Constitution. Do you have any opinions on the California Supreme Court upholding an amendment that went through all the proper legal channels and was passed into law?

Anonymous said...

What was that law about? Homosexual Marriage. I totally see how my point was relevant.

As long as your blogs are public you are going to have to deal with people who disagree with you. You're only other option is to change this blog to private, as you did with your other page. However, if you do that, it will be harder for the general person to hear your words. All you would be doing is sharing your opinions (for whatever they are worth) with more people who have your own views.

Ok, tell you what, I'll give you the chance to redeem yourself, at least in my eyes, not that it would matter to you.

What is your opinion on gay marriage?

Go ahead, prove to me you are not a hater.

I'll even give you extra points if you can tell me your opinion without using the words, God or Bible. ha ha.

Jenny said...

Why would I make this blog private? I'm quite enjoying the debate. I wasn't asking you to go away; I was asking your opinion on the content of the post.

As to gay marriage, I have the exact same opinion as the President of the United States of America, who happens to be the most liberal individual that has ever held the office, based on his voting record. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I am tired of people saying that they share the same belief on gay marriage as the president of the United States. Thats such a Carrie Prejean justification, if you ask me.

I am not asking whose beliefs you share. I want to know what you believe.

Do you believe that homosexuals should be allowed to get married to other homosexuals, that they should be allowed to fight in the military, that homosexuals should be allowed to adopt children? I want to know, do you believe gays should be equal in every way as straight people.

A domestic partnership is not equal nor is a civil union.

I'm glad you are enjoying the debate as I am intent on sharing my beliefs anytime you mention homosexuality in any blog. It may sound immature but, as with an older civil rights battle in this country, we have to voice our opinion anywhere we can.

Anonymous said...

As someone who is just stopping by at this blog...If anyone seems angry, or a "hater" it is the pushy "anonymous" writer. Is this a free country where whatever you believe is fine for you as long as you don't break the law and step on someone else's freedom? Now I know that the gay rights movement will keep fighting...that's because this is a free country! But please, if there is a law, respect it until you change it. How are you going to win people to your side if you attack the otherside? If CA voted to keep marrage between a man and a woman, then that's how they want it (for now), pick your battles....Progressives have been on the move for a long time, change is slow but constant. King won through perserverece and patience.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the fellow Anonymous, I am not fighting in the streets with guns and blades. I promote peace, actually.

I am patient. My patience runs thin with this horrible struggle for equality, but I am still patient and confident that equality will come.

Jenny said...

Again, I do believe in equal rights. I have the same right as anyone else to enter into a civil union with another woman, if that is the lifestyle which I chose to lead. For myself, I have chosen to enter into a union with a member of the opposite sex. Gay people have the exact same rights that I do- to enter either a civil union with a member of the same sex, or a marriage with a member of the opposite sex. It's not "separate but equal," it's apples and oranges. Or in this case, apples and apples or oranges and oranges. ;-)

I don't believe that homosexuals should be denied education, jobs, loans, medical treatment, the right to council in legal matters, or even children (should they find willing donors of their gametes, embryos, or children), based solely upon their lifestyle choice.

I appreciate the two recent comments bringing it back to the issue. Last November, the issue was same sex marriage. Today, the issue was the jurisdiction of the court, which ruffles my feathers 1000% more than the gay marriage debate.

Anonymous said...

Well Jenny, I have to say, you are a good minded person... however I stand by my original point that you promote separate but equal. Homo and Hetero is equal to apples and oranges. Marriage and Civil union is Fruits to Vegetables.

You are not given the same rights. Despite what is being said, you are still denied many rights.

Please feel free to look up the differences between civil unions and marriages, and the differences of domestic partnerships (what we have in California) to marriages. You might have to find a liberal page but I assure you there are many articles on the differences and the rights denied.

All I have heard you tell me is that you have offered gay people a water fountain next to the straight persons water fountain, and that you think the water is the exact same in both. From what it sounds like, you are just very ignorant on this issue.

Perhaps you aren't a hater, just ignorant... sorry.

Rocinante said...

Try to make a coherent argument! Don't either one of you 'anonymous' guys know that the least persuasive type of argument is the old "poison the well' approach (aka "name calling")?

Simply calling your opponent a "hater" or "ignorant" does not advance your position, except with people who already agree with you.
Sheeeesh!!

Anonymous said...

Identifying the enemy, or as you call it, name calling, may not help the situation, but I think, on this unimportant bloggers page, with the few readers she has, I might just get away with it.

Rocinante said...

"on this unimportant bloggers (sic) page" constitutes name calling, Anon.
QED. (Look it up).

Anonymous said...

What is it exactly you are asking me to look up ... Rocinante?

The fact remains, as long as she (this Unimportant Blogger) maintains a public blog, she will be forced to deal with people who disagree with her.

I have retracted my label of Hater upon Jenny, but in its place I left the label of ignorant. I am still not 100% sure that she is not a hater, but as for now, the evidence merely supports her ignorance in supporting the denial of equality for a major group of people in our country.

Sincerely,

Anon

She seems like a nice person

Rocinante said...

Look up "QED."
Maybe it's just too subtle a point, Anon, but calling people bad names doesn't advance your agenda.
I'm sure you have some cogent arguments to advance your position in the thinking of others.
Use them.
Most of your posts are simply repetitions of the same insults and words: (e.g.,hater, idiot, backwards, homophobe, bigot, stupid, dumb, etc., etc.).
Would you be persuaded by an argument that simply called you names, over and over?
Think about it.

Anonymous said...

Well first of all I actually never once used the word backwards or bigot. The bigot line was apparently another Anonymous person using my name ;), but I get your point.

And perhaps it won't help my case. But I sincerely doubt that the future of homosexual equality in this country will be based off of what happens in this blog.

Also, I don't believe necessarily that name calling is the same as titling. If I were to call you a poopy face, that would be name calling, however if I were to call Jenny a Republican that would be a title.

Homophobia, I believe, is like a disease. Typically, not always, but in many cases, it is insilled by the parents or the church and reinforced by society and peers. If you have homophobia you would call it something else, usually. Like our beloved blogger here, doesn't think there is anything wrong with separate but equal. She is ok, giving gays an equal water fountain to stand at.
If you held that view towards black people prior to the 60's, you would have been titles as a racist. I see no difference between those times and now.

If Martin Luther King can call someone a racist and still promote his cause, the I see no reason why I can call Jenny homophobic and ignorant.

Its not as if I am calling her a Bible Thumping, Bitch, or anything similar. Merely a title.

Homophobic, in its extreme, being totally afraid of homosexuality, but even in its more milder forms; a general uneasiness by a homosexual presence. Many people honestly don't think they are homophobic, but if in your heart, you believe homosexuality to be a sin, wrong, something you will burn in hell for, something you will never deem as equal to heterosexuality, you are a homosexual.

Ignorant. To believe that you are for equality, to believe that you promote fairness when you clearly announce you promote segregation. That's ignorant in my book. Separate is not equal, check out Plesy V. Ferguson. Only in ignorance can you draw a line down your half of the apartment and say this is to bring us closer together.

If you feel I was insulting you or anybody else, I apologize. However, perhaps it was just some harbored emotions from watching the state of California legalizing the promotion of separate equality, making it legal to turn gays into a second class of society. Even more, perhaps the fact that when that announcement came, it came from a man standing under a giant banner reading "Gay = Pervert" and a man on his side with a banner declaring "Sinners Don't Need Rights". Perhaps these and all the other Homophobes, Haters, etc. out there are more extreme, but you now realize, both sides can name call.

20 years from now, after I have called Jenny a homophobe, or an ignorant hater, I would love to talk to you about how we have gone from this time of inequality to the future that we will be living in. A future where the argument for equality was just a dark embarrassing fight. A time when we can all be equal.

Freedom said...

Anon, Do you believe that there is good and evil? or do you think anything is everything? Whatever your starting point is your free to base your beliefs off of it. This is not to promote any sort of religious belief, but more of a comment on each persons starting point. When I look at the issues that face our society today, most if not all of our differences start in fundimental beliefs. Take gay rights, everyone's opinion is based on their personal beliefs. That as a whole is what makes this country so great, you are not told what to believe or feel, but can decide for yourself. If you like being with like-minded people you can be, if you like to be with opossing-minded people, you could do that too. Freedom. The rule of freedom is that anything you do is fine as long as it doesn't impead on someone elses freedom, and vis a verse. For all your talk about wanting respect, you have yet to respect this "unimportant blogger". Her beliefs don't make her ignorant, just different. Freedom. When the rebublic we live in makes laws, they are to be respected. You are free to fight for those laws to change. Freedom. Those who don't feel the same as you, should be respected just as much as those who feel the same. Freedom. Someday, the laws will change. Please respect Freedom. The freedom to live and breath, and think for ourselves. Freedom.

Rocinante said...

Thank you, Anon. Now you are using your head to be persuasive about your point of view.
While I am not persuaded that you are right, I am much more interested in hearing your point of view when you spell it out cogently like this, without the name calling.
This is an important debate, with profound issues for our society to decide!

Anon said...

Freedom... I believe we all start somewhere and we all end somewhere. I believe there is good and evil, as well as several shades of grey inbetween.

We all CAN develop our own beliefs however, have you heard the saying, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree? Most people's attitudes on issues during their life are some what based on the way they were brought up by their parents, the attitudes of their friends and piers, and yes, their own logic makes up a small part. So just because we CAN make our own beliefs doesn't mean we all DO.

I do not have to respect the law at all. I am required to follow the law. That is all.

This "Unimportant Blogger" has my respect in many issues, however as far as gay rights and one or 2 other issues I believe she is ignorant. Ignorant doesn't mean she is stupid, it means she has based her opinions without total knowledge. Undecided would be better than being ignorant in my opinion.

Rocinante... you and I disagree on this issue, I can see it will either be long time or never before we do agree. However, the fact that you are willing to listen and respect what I have to say earns my respect. Thank you.

Anon

Freedom said...

I don't think you understand the term ignorant. Or maybe you just willfully dismiss it. People can have the same knowlege as you, and still come to a different decision and belief. Example: Reproductive rights of a woman's body is legally her own. So says the law. (I am not choosing sides here) That means that in this country, she can have an abortion, or 20 kids. Her body, Her choice. That is the law. However, some of those that are prochoice get offended when a woman "chooses" to have kids. Oh, sure 1 or 2 is fine, but 5, 10, 15? Then they jump up and cry foul! So are they ignorant because they feel differently about the same info? Not really. Just because two people disagree about something does not make one less knowlegable than the other. And just because someone is raised in a "bible toting home" doesn't make them tainted, any more than growing up in a "gay" home, or an "athletic" home. unless you are raised alone on an island, of course those around you influence you. It is nothing to be ashamed of. Often times children grow up and choose the opposite of what they grew up with. This does not make them ignorant or wiser.

My point is that even with all the info out there, people will still disagree.

Jenny said...

Just wanted to clear something up. I never once said that civil unions and marriage were separate but equal. I said that we all have the same rights as far as domestic relationships are concerned. A person may enter marriage with another person of the opposite sex, or a civil union with someone of the same sex.

I am not a homophobe, nor do I hate homosexuals. Call me brainwashed by religion and upbringing, but I've been taught my whole life to respect others, and not to natter on about the splinter in someone else's eye when there is a log in my own. I'm not sure where you got the idea that I'm afraid of homosexuals, uneasy around them, or that I believe they go straight to hell, because that is certainly not the way I think.

Anon, maybe you are the ignorant one, implying that the Bible breeds hate. You should read it sometime; there's lots of good stuff in there.

Anon said...

I never once implied the bible breeds hate. In fact, I believe the bible is a good book and if people use it to inspire their lives, I'm 100% in favor of it. Its the people who pick and choose which parts to follow, yet swear the bible is law, that bother me. I don't think I've labeled you as such a person yet, if I have, I'm sorry.

I won't argue on abortion vs. pro choice like this. I see it as 2 schools of thought. I can see from both branches and understand that is a very difficult decision. I can see how both sides are right and wrong.

However I do believe that on an issue such as gay rights, it is very simple to see one side as wrong and one side as right.

Straight people can enter into civil unions, or even a domestic partnership in California, as well as marriage. Gay people are not given even that much equality and fairness.

I understand that people can have different views here, but I can't see how someone can believe that offering a domestic partnership in lieu of a marriage is equal.

How is it different than hanging a colored or whites label over a water fountain? If someone can explain to me how a civil union or a domestic partnership is not a separate but equal approach to a marriage, I'll end my argument on this particular blog. However the fact is, civil unions and domestic partnerships, don't offer all of the same rights as a marriage, not only that, but they carry a different title. Jon and Frank aren't married, they are Civil Unioned. Sarah and Melissa aren't wives, they are Domestic Partners.

There are many issues as well that make a marriage different than a civil union.

Jenny, first of all, there aren't civil unions in California. They are called Domestic Partnerships, basically the same, with a different name. Opposite Sex couples can engage in marriage or a domestic partnership. Same sex couples don't have that freedom, that alone makes it not equal.
Secondly, are you actually aware that a domestic partnership or a civil union do not offer all of the same rights as a marriage?

Please feel free to read this article. http://www.massequality.org/ourwork/marriage/marriagevscivilunions.pdf

It is written by GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders) and its all true. Hopefully reading this will show you that the 2 are not the same.

Anon said...

So does cat have your tongues or did nobody read it? What happened guys? I thought we were having a debate here?

Jenny said...

I just don't have very much more to say about it that I haven't already. ;-)

Again, if the issue is rights, we all have the same rights. Marriage between a man and a woman. Domestic partnership between a man and a man or a woman and a woman.

I do not believe that marriage and domestic partnerships/civil unions are equal in stature.

The argument needs to be, "No one should be denied marriage if all parties are consenting adults, because marriage should not be denied to those in love."

Which is why I think that polygamy needs to be legalized if same sex marriage is legalized. I don't think it's fair to discriminate against polygamists that are in love, and just trying to obtain the same rights given to those that able to legally enter into marriage.

Anon said...

I sense a hint of sarcasm...

The ol' Why not legalize bestiality and pedophilia since its just love, while you're at it, argument...

kind of a stretch... sorry.

Jenny said...

I am not being sarcastic, I am being serious. Bestiality or pedophilia are poor examples because all parties are not consenting adults.

It's actually a pet peeve of mine when people use the "marry your dog" argument in the gay marriage debate. The dog can not consent, so it's a non-issue.

If we want to talk about fairness, gay people have it a lot better off under the law than polygamists. Using your examples, married people get a nice water fountain, domestic partners get a less desirable water fountain, but the poor polygamists don't even have a water fountain. How is that fair?

If we want to allow the state to marry consenting adults regardless of their gender, in order to not discriminate against their love for each other, then I don't think we can put a limit on the number of people that want to enter into a marriage together.

Anon said...

Interesting Argument.

I wouldn't expect you to support that.

You might not be surprised but I agree with that school of thought too.