Thursday, May 22, 2008

I have a Republican hero!

I find it fascinating that a lifelong Republican is at the helm in making marriage equality happen in California.

He's 68-year-old California Chief Justice Ronald George.

According to this article in the San Jose Mercury News, George said that writing the 121-page ruling was the toughest in his career.

In the ruling to overturn the ban on same-sex marriage, George "relied heavily on Perez v. Sharp, the equally historic California Supreme Court ruling outlawing a ban on interracial marriage in 1948.

"He insists California's constitution dictated the outcome, not life experiences. But he acknowledged his experiences on social issues flavored his judicial thinking, recalling a trip with his European immigrant parents through the segregated South in the 1950s. There, he was first exposed to 'whites only' bathrooms and drinking fountains.

"He does not believe it will take as long for the country to follow California's lead on gay marriage as it did with interracial marriage, which was not endorsed by the U.S. Supreme Court until 1967.

"'I think some of it is a generational phenomenon,' George said of the social divide over same-sex marriage. 'I don't think it will take 19 years this time.'"

3 comments:

Collin Kelley said...

If only every Republican could be this open-minded. And I LOVE that one of the Republican-appointed judges wrote this. HA!

Becky C. said...

What this demonstrates is how sick the Republican Party has become. When they say they want conservative judges what they mean is they want them politically conservative, not judicially conservative.

As I have commented, probably at too much length before, if the gay marriage issue is analyzed using traditional rules of constitutional law and construction--it is a no brainier.

The only thing that makes it difficult, as it did for the Chief Justice, is that the inevitable result does not sit all that well with them emotionally or certainly the mores of their party.

The courts that have found against gay marriage have had to indulge in some pretty novel reasoning and specious interests the state has in restricting marriage.

Its nothing new --the Republican judges are often activists (e.g. medical marijuana case)--and that is really what the party and their supporters want. They do not want strict construction of the constitution except when they think it serves their purposes.

That is not how judges should decide cases. For example, I am prolife. But when the Republican Congress passed the late term abortion ban I think it was clearly unconstitutional. They claimed they could do it because of the Interstate Commerce Clause of the Constitution. It is really a stretch to claim that a free clinic in Cheyenne is in the stream of interstate commerce. So, despite my personal views on abortion (and I find partial birth abortions horrendous), I would have struck down the Act--as was advocated by those truly conservative judges and judicial analysts that still exist.

It is too bad that the intelligent and academic wing of conservatism has almost no public voice anymore (and the Chief Justice does come out of that tradition)--it is drowned out by the moronic ranting of people like Sean Hannity and Anne Coulter.

~Becky

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