Activist Courts Are Bad, Unless They’re Good

How many times have you heard this? “Gay marriage is an issue for the legislature, not the courts, to decide.” 

Here’s one example, Mitt Romney, in 2004:

No matter how you feel about gay marriage, we should be able to agree that the citizens and their elected representatives must not be excluded from a decision as fundamental to society as the definition of marriage. . . .

The Legislature is our lawmaking body, and it is the Legislature’s job to pass laws. As governor, it is my job to carry out the laws. The Supreme Judicial Court decides cases where there is a dispute as to the meaning of the laws or the constitution. This is not simply a separation of the branches of government, it is also a balance of powers: One branch is not to do the work of the other. It is not the job of judges to make laws, the job of legislators to command the National Guard, or my job to resolve litigation between citizens.

That’s what he said when the SJC mandated gay marriage. Back then, it was all about separation of powers, and deferring to the legislature. But now the legislature is reluctant to ban gay marriage. So does ol’ Mitt still believe in separation of powers and deference? Of course not:

Gov. Mitt Romney said Sunday he would ask the state’s highest court to order an anti-gay marriage amendment question onto the ballot if legislators fail to vote on the matter when they reconvene in January.

Wow. Legislature good, Court bad. Until Legislature displease Mitt. Then Legislature bad, Court good.  

Honesty is the best policy. If his goal is eliminating the gays by any means possible , he ought to just say so and quit hiding behind high minded principles. Then he’ll just be an idiot, instead of an idiot and a flip-flopping hypocrite.

Explore posts in the same categories: National Politics

2 Comments on “Activist Courts Are Bad, Unless They’re Good”

  1. Willie Says:


  2. wheeler Says:

    yeah, it’s not too obvious is it?

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