Monday, November 08, 2004

More political commentary

A top aide to Bush today made a statement about gay marriage, saying that the President was really hot to enshrine the ban in the Consitution so that "activist judges cannot make decisions without the people's input". Now, maybe its just me, but isn't the job of a judge to interpret the law without the people's input? The judges make sure that the law is followed, and act (or are supposed to act) as a non-biased arbitrator in matters of the law. The people, on the other hand, are completly biased, and thus cannot really be trusted to interpret the law. This all sounds horribly right wing in thinking, but when you minimalize the role of the judicial branch and start specifically making laws so that judges cannot state the illegality of them, then you're getting perilously close to giving the government absolute control over the laws and their interpretation. You end up like Rome under the dictators and Emperors: each one trying to gain all their power (at least for a while) democratically with the stated aim of "restoring the republic".

So will that excuse be rehashed by the Bush government, stating that they want to "ensure safety and decency"? I wonder if we will, thus, see increasing powers given to the government over the judicial branch, with more laws that Bush wants put into place passed right over the courts' heads to keep judges out of it.

Funny story: defense attornies during the McCarthy/HUAC trials were subject to investigation and prosecution by HUAC.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely right, Mr. Bard. The United States (and the United Kingdom and possibly other countries I'm unaware of) have a legal system called "Common Law." What this means in the day-to-day is that Judges have the authority to make rulings on the cases brought before them and those rulings count as law. Put another way, judges have the power of interpretation.

Not so much in the legal system used by most of the rest of the world, which is a "Civil Law" system, as based on what the Romans had. Therein a judge only deals only in fact, only in the letter of the law. He does not have the ability to read into the law's intent. If a law is unclear, someone in the legislative body needs to fix it.

Of course, what Dubya's talking about is a Constitutional Ammendment. The reason for that is... well, the obvious one. If it's written into the Constitution that homosexuals can't marry, there's not much a judge of any stripe can do about that.

- jason

11:04 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're already getting a reverse brain-drain. Maybe we'll get people running to Toronto(as opposed to Las Vegas) to get married. NOT happy about having Dubya back in office. Not that there's a damn thing I could have done about it...

3:28 p.m.  

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