Tuesday, August 24, 2004

States' Rights

From Drudgey
During a rally in Davenport, Iowa on Tuesday, Vice President Dick Cheney was asked by a woman "What do you think about homosexual marriage?"

"Lynne and I have a gay daughter, so it's an issue our family is very familiar with. With the respect to the question of relationships, my general view is freedom means freedom for everyone... People ought to be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to.

"The question that comes up with the issue of marriage is what kind of official sanction or approval is going to be granted by government? Historically, that's been a relationship that has been handled by the states. The states have made that fundamental decision of what constitutes a marriage."

Cheney then went on to blast the courts for interfering in the matter and not allowing for the states to decide the issue:

"I think his perception was that the courts, in effect, were beginning to change, without allowing the people to be involved. The courts were making the judgment for the entire country."

People can differ on what is and isn't appropriate judicial action, but Cheney isn't espousing some sort of coherent legal theory here. The consitutions of the United States - Federal and State constitutions - function, in part, to protect minority rights against the tyranny of the majority. While that doesn't defend any particular judicial ruling along these lines, Cheney's complaint that they "were making the judgment for the entire country" is ridiculous.

Brown v. Board of Education and Loving v. Virgina are a couple of cases where Courts made decisions which made "the judgment for the entire country" which I find sound on both moral grounds and constitutional law.

If Big Time Dick wants to argue a legal critique, that's fine. But, he hasn't - he's just thrown out some red meat for the bigots, while exploiting his daughter in the process.