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March 07, 2005

The Constitution as a chess board

From The Christian Post:

U.S. Representative John Hostettler (R-Indiana) reintroduced the Marriage Protection Act (H.R. 1100) on Thursday, seeking to protect the Defense of Marriage Act from further challenges at the federal level.

The House of Representatives passed the bill last July by at 233-194 vote. The Marriage Protection Act restricts federal courts from hearing cases against the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). DOMA allows states to not recognize out-of-state marriage licenses that violate their state laws. The reintroduced bill also prevents the hearing of challenges against the Marriage Protection Act by federal courts.

Since the passage of the Marriage Protection Act last year by the House, constitutional marriage amendments have been approved by 13 states. Currently, legislators in several states are debating marriage protection amendments to define marriage explicitly as a union between a man and a woman. Approval by state legislators will move the amendment to a public vote before changes can be made to the constitution.

The courts have been reluctant to allow the legislator or the President (or governors whichever the case may be) to exercise any power outside of what they (the court) allow them. Pretty much in defiance of the principle of the balance of powers. When the threat of a proposed Amendment to the Constitution becomes real, then they'll back off and let the legislator or the executive branch enjoy the illusion of power so that the idea of an Amendment can be pish-poshed by Liberals. The trouble is that too many lower courts in their gleeful lust for power are defying the law in order to mandate their own activist agenda.

A Federal action like this seems to me to test the waters, so to speak, of a potential Constitutional Amendment. If the higher courts allow such an act (The Marriage Protection Act) to stand, unopposed, it possibly creates the precedence needed to prevent any eventual turn-over by the courts. On the other hand, if the courts do act to turn the legislation over it signals the unarguable need for a Constitutional Amendment.

Posted by Jack Lewis at March 7, 2005 09:25 AM

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