Tuesday, April 14, 2009

There are the courts, and then there is the law

I have been avoiding this issue on purpose. On one side, we have the religious zealots wanting to go back 2000 years, and on the other side we have gay rights zealots that want to circumvent the process and use an oligarchy to make law. What everyone seems to be ignoring in this struggle for cultural supremacy is that courts aren't supposed to make law. The Iowa Supreme court was in its right to declare an existing law unconstitutional that would define a marriage as between a man and a woman, but making that law unconstitutional does not create a new law that says gay marriage is constitutional. The legislature creates laws. That's where this argument should have gone back to. Instead, we have 7 people making law, 7 unelected people. This is a dangerous precedent that will effect everyone negatively eventually.

What should have happened was that while the law was overturned, the people should ask the legislature to pass a new law either banning gay marriage or affirming it. That way the people have recourse if an elected politician does something that his or her constituency does not agree with. To add insult to injury, the state attorney general ordered county clerks to obey the ruling. The AG does not have the authority to do that, it is the authority of the county attorneys, and honestly, the court can't make law for anyone to follow.

I am purposely not taking sides here. I believe that making law is a political process that should be left to elected officials where the people as a whole have a greater voice. It would be no different than if the governor enacted law based on executive order. On one hand he is elected, but on the other, the legislature is supposed to make law, and do you want your rights riding on the conscience of one person? We did away with that 233 years ago. The power should come from the people, not one elected person or seven appointed people.

Thank you for reading this blog.

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