Is You Is or Is You Ain't a Constitutional Republic?
Just to follow up on Chris's spot-on observations, I find it amusing that conservatives, who are supposedly the defenders of a constitutional republic, now are the biggest supporters of direct democracy. Here they are complaining that the Constitution puts limits on what "the people" can do at the ballot box. Voters decide that marriage means a man and a woman. Suppose the Supreme Court says otherwise, implying that there are some rights that the ballot box can't override. What's the problem? Isn't this the whole point of having a constitution, so that legislatures do not have total power? And let us examine the shoe on the other foot: where's the applause when "the people" decide that the right to bear arms should not be rammed down people's throats by activist judges, or that Fifth Amendment protections for property rights shouldn't be forced on people by the courts? I hardly think conservatives would rejoice in hearing "the people's voice" the next time the democratic process produces laws at odds with those constitutional rights.
Yes, one can have a legitimate debate over whether the Constitution's equal protection and due process clauses make the case for same-sex marriage (I think they do), but to cheer on legislative attempts to define fundamental rights seems a tad at odds with conservatives' self-professed love of a constitutional republic.
comments powered by Disqus
- Poll: Majority Of Americans Say Obama Is Mixed Race, Not Black
- New technology helps paleontologists see Ice-Age bee in intricate detail
- History textbooks in crosshairs of Australia's curriculum wars
- Archaeologists' findings may prove Rome a century older than thought
- 150 years of medical journals to go online
- She Came All the Way from Melbourne to Attend the OAH
- The 7 Most Popular HNN Videos from the 2014 OAH
- U.Va. Historian Alan Taylor Wins 2014 Pulitzer for Book on Slaves and War -- His second Pulitzer!
- UW Professor Stephanie Camp, 46, feminist historian, dies
- Italian forces in WW2 were not soft and Mussolini wasn't a clown, British historian claims