Friday, August 6, 2010

Marriage Unconstitutional, Judge Walker Says

All these centuries, marriage was unconstitutional. But it took an expert gay superman like Judge Walker to figure it out for us. In clarifying the agenda of the enemies of marriage and the family, his goofy decision supasses even my hopes.

Bill May of Catholics for the Common Good called the decision "Radical, But Instructive." Bill quietly stated "He may have overreached," then expanded:

"Judge Walker gutted foundational principles of democracy by seeming to say that citizens have no right to organize civil society using common sense unless it can be supported by scientific or sociological evidence. He decided mothers and fathers did not matter for children because other people could do just as good of a job raising them. He came up with a whole new definition of marriage as merely a committed relationship for the private interests of adults."

The bizarre ruling of course drew wide comment. As Carrie Severino, from the Judicial Crisis Network wrote:

"Judge Walker’s 138-page opinion overturning California’s definition of marriage presents such a target-rich environment that the hardest part about discussing its flaws is knowing where to begin."

I agree. So many scholars and writers are shredding Walker's opinion, it is hard to choose what to post, but here's a taste:

Cardinal Francis George, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

“Marriage between a man and a woman is the bedrock of any society. The misuse of law to change the nature of marriage undermines the common good. It is tragic that a federal judge would overturn the clear and expressed will of the people in their support for the institution of marriage. No court of civil law has the authority to reach into areas of human experience that nature itself has defined.”

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage:

“Citizens of this nation have uniformly voted to uphold the understanding of marriage as a union of one man and one woman in every jurisdiction where the issue has been on the ballot. This understanding is neither irrational nor unlawful. Marriage is more fundamental and essential to the well being of society than perhaps any other institution. It is simply unimaginable that the court could now claim a conflict between marriage and the Constitution.”

Rich Lowry in National Review:

"Judge Walker’s decision is such a raw exercise of judicial imperiousness, he might as well have gone all the way and sentenced the defenders of Proposition 8 to suffer, Chinese-style, a parade of shame through the streets of San Francisco wearing placards emblazoned 'I Support Bizarre and Retrograde Social Practices.”

The social practice in question is traditional marriage defined as a union between a man and a woman, which Judge Walker finds dangerously passé. Sure, it had a good run during the past couple of millennia or so, but in August 2010, we’re beyond age-old parameters of fundamental social institutions — no matter what a majority of California voters might say, or the voters of the 29 other states that prohibit gay marriage in their constitutions....

All of that has been settled, and if you don’t believe it, well, Judge Walker said so. He describes traditional marriage as “an artifact of a time when the genders were seen as having distinct roles in society and marriage.” Behold the boundless power of Judge Walker — even gender distinctions can’t survive the awesome finality of his pronouncements."

Professor Gerard Bradley:

"We can now look at Judge Walker’s opinion and ask: is this the handiwork of an impartial and open mind on the subject of same-sex marriage?

Or does the opinion rather resemble an ad hoc rationale for conclusions reached by its author – Judge Walker – on other grounds?

You do not have to be a legal expert to conduct this experiment. You can even try it at home. Slog through Judge Walker’s 136-page opinion and then ask yourself: why does this document read like the battle report of a search-and-destroy mission?

One would think, for example, that there are some rational bases for saying that marriage is what our society and our law have understood it to be for a few hundred years: the union of a man and a woman. Not in Judge Walker’s court.

One might think, too, that some (and perhaps a lot) of what the plaintiffs’ “expert” witnesses against traditional marriage would be branded by a fair-minded judge as the fruit of passionate political advocacy, and not dispassionate scholarly analysis? Not in Judge Walker’s court."

And of course a number of articles by Ed Whelan, who was on to Judge Walker from the beginning.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

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