Monday, June 29, 2015

SCotUS and Rainbows and Constitutional Abuses, Oh My!

This post is a half baked mishmash of ideas that I threw into words in about 20 minutes. I'm posting it in its current and pitiful state because I want to force myself to refine these ideas into something approaching readable upon my return to the United States.

To the people freaking out over SCotUSes decision regarding same sex marriage: You lost this fight decades ago.

To the people gloating over SCotUSes decision regarding same sex marriage: You had more states than my Texas CHL is good in. You had the overwhelming majority of the American people behind you. It was only a matter of time before you had all 50 states the proper way: by putting it before a vote. Hell, it wasn't even all that much time: In 2000 you had zero states. In February 2015 you had thirty eight!  That's about as fast as the gun rights movement has advanced concealed carry on the state level!

But no. That wasn't good enough. You had to go to the Supreme Court, and five of them had to torture the 14th amendment beyond recognition in order to invent for you a new constitutional right. You had 198 million Americans behind you but you let 5 of them decide it.

You see, I don't particularly care if the people decide to legalize gay marriage. That's the people's prerogative. But what I do very strongly care about is the legal process taken when doing so. Why? Because it is the process, not the laws, that protect our rights. You abuse the process and you get abusive laws.

It is process, not laws, that prevent the abuse of power.

Americans are sick and tired of war, yet we get more and more of it. Why? Congress could put a stop to it tomorrow by impeaching the president for waging war without Congress's declaration. But they don't because no one cares that the Constitution invests the power to declare war in Congress. The process is being willfully ignored. Why? Because the outcome of ignoring the process is beneficial to both the president (he gains more power) and Congress (they lose political risk).

We live in a culture that values outcomes over process, and such a mindset is a fundamental threat to liberty. If outcomes are all that matters, and if processes designed to restrain that power get in the way of the desired outcome, suddenly anything goes. There's no longer anything to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority.

Americans enjoy their liberty not because of their democracy.

No, Americans enjoy their liberty because some very smart men realized that democracies have a tendency to oppress their minorities and wrote a specific list of things that our democracy was not allowed to do. The Bill of Rights is nothing more than a list of things we idiots don't get to vote on!

So while I am impartial to the *outcome* of the SCotUS decision, I am very much against the fact that this even went to the Supreme Court, and that the Supreme Court majority took it upon themselves to invent a new right. As Thomas said in his dissent:
The majority's inversion of the original meaning of liberty will likely cause collateral damage to other aspects of our constitutional order that protect liberty.
And as Roberts stated in his dissent:
If you are among the many Americans—of whatever sexual orientation—who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision. Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.
So, yeah. That's about where I stand. By all means go out and get married. But how about when we get around to legalizing polygamy we do it the old fashioned way and bring it to a vote?