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Supreme Court Perverts Power of Initiative Process
Tuesday, May 26, 2009 : In 1964, Stanley Kubrick produced the Cold War film Dr. Strangelove, or “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.” By upholding Proposition 8, the California Supreme Court has learned to stop worrying and love the initiative process. It’s an apt analogy, because today’s decision leaves an unchecked power of the voters to strike a “bomb” through our basic Constitutional protections.
Not only did the Court minimize Prop 8’s effect on the right to marry, using logic that contradicted last year’s decision on the same subject. It set up a dubious distinction between “amendments” and “revisions” to the state Constitution, which will allow virtually any ballot measure to pass as a mere “amendment.” Without adequate safeguards that a “revision” was meant to place, equal protection is no longer sacred – because the power of the ballot is supreme. At the same time, the Court ruled that the 18,000 same-sex couples who legally wed last year are still married – because to invalidate these licenses would be an undue violation of due process and property rights. While that was a wise decision, it remains a mystery why such a right is more important than equal protection.Read More