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In response to “Judicial activism amiss in Utah case” (by Kasey Shores, Jan. 15)

I’m getting tired of same-sex marriage opponents’ new argument, which seems to be everywhere these days and essentially runs like this: “Whether you believe marriage should include gay couples or not, it should be up to the people of the states.”
For one thing, the argument is disingenuous from the very first clause. Only if you believed that there is no constitutional protection for queer folks, only if you wholly rejected the civil-rights arguments at stake — only then could you ever argue that marriage equality is a law that has to justify itself by winning a majority of support. It’s an argument that only an opponent of marriage equality could ever make.
Same-sex marriage opponents, Ms. Shores included, should stop trying to skirt the argument with this talk of “the will of the people” and instead start at the beginning, by explaining why they think that so-called “traditional” marriage isn’t unconstitutional sex discrimination that the court is obligated to overturn. Anything less demonstrates a lack of understanding about the role of our judicial system and the balance of minority and majority rights in a constitutional republic.
Jacquelyn Oesterblad (Jacquelyn is a former columnist with the Daily Wildcat)

The majority do not have the right to rule with no regard to the Constitution. The case of gay marriage is being tested in the courts under the equal protection clause, it may be tested under many other clauses also. Calling a court “activist” is nothing more than name calling.
There was a time where mixed race marriages were not legal and were held to be that way under the majority of the states. Supreme court “activism” ended that.
The way this will eventually go is that under the equal protection clause all marriages will be recognized in all states. Then a couple will try to get married in a state with laws on the books where same sex couples cannot be married. They will go to court and the state will lose as it has to recognize marriages as valid in another state with those folks who married there and are living in their state.
Mike C

The law school is right across the street. Your failure to talk to even one law professor about judicial activism is exceptionally lazy journalism.…
Worse: there isn’t even a good definition of judicial activism in this article. Instead, you just say that, “He has decided to change a law based on his individual interpretation of the constitution.”
Finally, the government’s decisions should NOT necessarily revolve around the opinion of the people it serves. Were that the case, we would not have Brown v. Board of Education, Lawrence v. Texas, or any number of correct constitutional decisions that invalidated laws that were passed by the people or their representatives.
twentythirtyone


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