SCOTUS Declares Same-Sex Marriage Legal: States Rights Destroyed
Based on some of the comments coming out of Supreme Court Justices lately, we should have had an inkling of how they were going to rule. Today, SCOTUS released their ruling on same sex marriage: legal. The 14 States where gay marriage bans exist can no longer regulate it. This is now and has been for along time, an issue of states rights, not just marriage.
Religious Freedom and States Rights
The vote was 5-4. In their dissenting remarks, the four justices who were opposed to this ruling made it clear that the court had overstepped its bounds on several levels.
“Respect for sincere religious conviction has led voters and legislators in every State that has adopted same-sex marriage democratically to include accommodations for religious practice. The majority’s decision imposing same-sex marriage cannot, of course, create any such accommodations. The majority graciously suggests that religious believers may continue to “advocate” and “teach” their religious views of marriage. The First Amendment guarantees, however, the freedom to “exercise” religion. Ominously, that is not a word the majority uses.”
“The majority’s inversion of the original meaning of liberty will likely cause collateral damage to other aspects of our constitutional order that protect liberty…. Aside from undermining the political processes that protect our liberty, the majority’s decision threatens the religious liberty our Nation has long sought to protect. . . . The majority appears unmoved by that inevitability.”
“By imposing its own views on the entire country, the majority facilitates the marginalization of the many Americans who have traditional ideas. Recalling the harsh treatment of gays and lesbians in the past, some may think that turnabout is fair play. But if that sentiment prevails, the National will experience bitter and lasting wounds.”
“[T]he public debate over same-sex marriage must be allowed to continue. But the Court ends this debate, in an opinion lacking even in a thin veneer of law…. This is a naked judicial claim to legislative—indeed super-legislative—power; a claim fundamentally at odds with our system of government.”
Legislation from the bench
According to the Constitution, The Supreme Court is just that – a court, not the legislative branch of the government. In recent years, their decisions have gone from case by case interpretations of the Constitution to legislative actions across the board. This ruling has literally deleted the States’ ability to make laws, as well as denied the full extent of religious freedom in America (10th and 1st Amendments).
How many churches will now be forced to close if they refuse to do a same-sex wedding? How many businesses have already been intimidated into capitulation? America is now the land of intimidation, the people who rule not by law, but by complaint.
States rights was a main issue in the Civil War. When the people of each state no longer have the right to dissent, or even to legislate the values of their own constituency, it may be the spark that brings about a catastrophic split.
Samuel Adams said that we are “guardians of our own liberties.” It appears that the Supreme Court has just up-ended that severely.