Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Judge Walker, Prop 8 and the Judiciary

I’m seriously disappointed that the 9th District Court panel has continued the stay on marriage quality, though I am not surprised. I think the court foresees an appeal process all the way to the Supreme Court, and the possibility of a reversal on Judge Walker’s decision, which would put thousands of new marriages into limbo, I suppose.

I suppose.

Though who can measure the pain of love denied.

And though I believe marriage equality will prevail, like racial equality and gender equality have prevailed, in the meantime, it’s an uneasy time for LGBT persons around the nation.

By way of note, when Judge Walker issued his decision, there was a great hue and cry from the Prop 8 people, and who can blame them. They castigated Walker in every way they could, expressing their disapproval of a judge whose singular opinion would fly in the face of the people.

Now, however, I heard a Prop 8 supporter suggest that the panel of judges who ruled on sustaining the stay are “hearing the people.”

I don’t know about you, but these comments strike me as unusual.

Judges don’t pay much attention to the people, do they?

Not if they’re good. Not if they’re honest.

They pay a lot of attention to the law. That’s what we want, isn’t it? That’s why we have three branches of government. That’s what makes us Republic.

If the courts had listened to the people, would America’s schools have been desegregated? Or California’s use of restrictive housing covenants been declared unconstitutional?

Had the President listened to the people,  and the powerful interests of the South, would there have been an Emancipation Proclamation?

If Congress has listened to the people, would there ever been the great Civil Rights legislation of the Sixties?

The genius of the American Republic – that’s what it’s all about. And whatever our moral or religious proclivities might be, there’s no doubt, we win some and we lose some. But however it shakes itself out, we entrust ourselves to one of the most ingenious systems of government ever defined.
And the next time, you’re grateful for a win, remember, it’s the law that wins, not you.

And the next time you lose, remember, it’s the law that still wins.

Let us pray that Justice be blind! Always!

And deaf, as well.

That we will continue to have good judges – women and men invested with a profound love and respect for the laws of the land and the foundation of all our law – The Constitution. 

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