A government of men, not of laws.
Adam Smith famously said there’s a lot of ruin in a nation. America today is testing just how much there may be. How long can a center hold, in our expectations and daily interactions, when the protections of our scheme of law are being dismantled before our eyes?
Robert Barnes, writing at the Washington Post, had a good summary yesterday of how Justice Antonin Scalia’s prediction about the majority opinion in U.S. v. Windsor, the DOMA case ruled on in June 2013, is coming true. The Supreme Court did not rule on the constitutionality of state laws that recognize only traditional marriage. It ruled only on the question of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. And the majority opinion claimed, somewhat coyly, not to settle the same-sex marriage (SSM) issue by ruling on DOMA, but only to reject DOMA.
That coyness aside, Continue reading “Courts on same-sex marriage: Adieu, rule of law”
Americans today are getting a crash course in the liberty we give up when we create bureaucracies and let the executive branch grow without restraint.
Consider these points:
1. The appeal for California’s Proposition 8 was thrown out because of an issue of standing for the defendants (i.e., the backers of Prop. 8 – who, it will be remembered, stepped in to continue the appeals process after the original backers dropped out). The last ruling of the lower court is being allowed to stand, but the issue itself – the constitutionality of defining marriage in traditional terms – has not been ruled on by the Supreme Court. The Court didn’t say that it’s unconstitutional for a government authority or the people themselves to define marriage in traditional terms.
2. What was ruled on was the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). And in spite of Continue reading “Liberty 101: Same-sex “marriage” and the power of bureaucracy”