Is Defining Marriage the Court’s Job?
This week the Supreme Court has been busy hearing two cases concerning the legality of same-sex marriage in the United States. No decision is likely to be made until the court takes their recess sometime in late June.
Many think that the court is going to make a wide, sweeping decision, declaring that same-sex marriage is legal. But is that really the courts job?
The court’s job is to interpret the Constitution and our laws, and make sure the latter aligns with our founding document. However, the court has been more “judicially active” in the past few decades, meaning they have been legislating from the bench – which isn’t their job.
The fact that one of these cases, the Proposition 8 case from California, is even being heard is complete blasphemy. During the 2008 California State elections, Proposition 8 was a proposition on the ballot to amend the California Constitution by defining marriage in their state as “between and man and a woman.”
In 2008 the people of California spoke, saying that they want marriage in their state to be only between a man and a woman, not a man and a man or a woman and a woman.
Of course soon after the people spoke, litigation was filed and in 2010 in a district court, the law was ruled unconstitutional. Again in 2012, the very liberal ninth-circuit court of appeals upheld the lower court’s decision, ruling that the law is unconstitutional under Due Process and the Equal Protection Clauses in the Constitution.
I do not believe that these two court rulings could be more wrong.
Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution expressly enumerates the powers that are given to the federal government. The 10th Amendment says that any power not enumerated to the federal government is reserved to the states.
Nowhere in the Constitution is the federal government given the power to regulate marriage. That is a power that is reserved to each individual state.
If the people of a state decide to not allow same-sex marriage then that is perfectly okay! The same goes for any state that wants to allow same-sex marriage; it would be perfectly okay for the people of a state to allow same-sex marriage, because that is their reserved power.
It is completely wrong and unconstitutional for our federal government to overstep their bounds and arrogantly believe that it is their duty to define what marriage is.
Frankly, that isn’t the government’s job at all. Marriage is purely a religious institution, and the government, on any level, should not be regulating this ageless and sacred practice.
However, I know the inevitable is for the court to throw out a decision either for or against.
Firstly, they should look at marriage under the scope of “Is it a fundamental right, or isn’t it?” If they believe it is, what are the reasonable restrictions that can be placed on it? Would marriage in the cases of incest or polygamy be okay?
These are questions that are going to have to be asked and answered before any decision can be made.
If the court decides for America that same-sex marriage is legal, what are the limits? Where is the line in the sand for the court and the federal government? A wide, sweeping decision could likely open a whole new bag of issues concerning the power of the federal government.
These court cases having been making the nightly news headlines all week, but there’s one question I have to ask: Why is same-sex marriage more important than some of the bigger issues we have as a country, such as the $16.7 trillion debt?
One thing is for sure; 10 years ago this movement didn’t have nearly as much steam as it does now. America is fundamentally changing. But is it really the change we want or need? We are going to have to answer that question come the 2014 and 2016 election cycles.