Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Nullification Returns

Iowa Republicans simply want to ignore the Iowa Supreme Court's ruling striking down the gay marriage ban:

“If I have the opportunity to serve as your next governor,” Bob Vander Plaats told a crowd of about 350 people at a rally, “and if no leadership has been taken to that point, on my first day of office I will issue an executive order that puts a stay on same-sex marriages until the people of Iowa vote, and when we vote we can affirm and amend the Constitution.”
Co-founder of Everyday America, Bill Salier, told the crowd that state lawmakers need to thank the Supreme Court justices for their opinion but say it’s merely opinion and the law is still on the books.

Salier said: “(Lawmakers) can face down the court and say, ‘We passed DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act. You claim that it is stricken. And yet unless some magic eraser came down from the sky, it’s still in code.’”

Anyone who knows a pittance about legal doctrine knows this is flagrantly illegal. Whether that includes any Republicans is an open question.

Speaking of nullification, ousted Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore -- who rose to prominence by attempting to defy the federal courts and keep his 10 Commandment monument on courthouse grounds -- may take another crack at Alabama's governor's mansion.


PG said...

You'll find that when you get into an argument with a conservative who hasn't gone to law school, drilling down into a discussion about same-sex marriage often will end with his effectively declaring that Marbury v. Madison was wrong. It's because they believe that anyone can read the Constitution and thereby discern what constitutional law really is, and when you point out to them that Art. III doesn't actually say that the Supreme Court can declare laws to be unconstitutional, they figure that judicial review of statutes therefore is unconstitutional. It's sort of like how one ends up convincing these people that Loving v. Virginia was decided wrongly too.

I had the experience recently on Facebook when a high school friend of one of my law school acquaintances reacted to said acquaintance's celebration of the Iowa decision with a screed about how unconstitutional it was.

PG said...

BTW, I see it as a good thing to get conservatives to declare their belief in politically unpopular ideas because it makes it so easy to Bork 'em. Yes, under Robert Bork's theory of constitutional interpretation, separate but equal was just fine. Now who wants to defend that?