Under an earlier post by Bil Browning, there is a debate going on which speaks directly to a type of Judicial partisanship that should dishearten every Hoosier, let alone those who are its victims. A fundamental guarantee of Indiana's Constitutional demand to equal protection is threatened.
INDIANA'S CONSTITUTION (101)
Indiana's Constitution reads:
Section 23. The General Assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens.
Pretty simple, isn't it? Pretty black and white? Well, Indiana's gay community thinks so, too, and as a matter of justice and fairness, asks that their households enjoy the protections of the same privileges and immunities that the General Assembly has granted all other citizens. Because the General Assembly has refused to abide by its Constitutional obligation, some gay couples were so bold as to ask a court to enforce the black and white text of the Constitution.
The couples' request was unfortunate for two reasons. The second reason was that it was precipitous, for prevailing in Indiana today is a prejudice against gays that is so deep and broad that its popular wave would upend the Constitution's guarantees before it would ever apply them to gays. But the first reason was that their request relied on a confidence that this prejudice would not also infect the bench to which these couples directed their petition. That judge shirked the obligation and the call of our forebears to subject Indiana law to the rights enumerated in the Indiana's Constitution.
Demonstrating the worst qualities of conservatism, that conservatism which has resisted every extension of liberty and equality, whether to blacks or to women, that judge argued only that it had never been done, that the state had no interest in it, and that to do so would create an uncomfortable precedent. As if equality under the law guaranteed to every class of citizen under the Constitution is applied only where it is already in place, only when the state agrees that it has an interest, and only when it creates no broader precedent.
Under such conditions, what need have we for a Constitution? If this is not judicial activism, what is? The Judge is not merely "legislating from the bench"; the Judge is personally re-writing the Constitution's guarantees.
THE YARD SIGN
Now Bil Browning on Bilerico.com has posted a picture which, for citizens who already feel abused and unprotected, is disturbing. The Judge who refused to enforce the Constitution's requirement that every class of citizen be granted the same privileges and immunities, is backing a candidate who supports amending the Constitution so that its guarantees don't apply at all. Indeed, in answer to the Constitution's explicit demand that all citizens enjoy equal privileges and immunities, that candidate is supporting an amendment that says that only people who marry may have the privileges and immunities of civil marriage, and prohibits gays from entering into civil marriage.
So we have a judge refusing to enforce the Constitution's guarantees and "refusing to legislate" promoting the career of a candidate who opposes equal protection and would legislate accordingly. If the gay community cannot depend on the Judiciary or the Legislative to preserve, protect and defend the guarantees of the Constitution, and if each branch supports the other blatantly in this dereliction of Constitutional duty, then what legitimacy remains to our Constitutional form of government? What defense remains against the tyranny of the majority our founding fathers feared?
(From Principles of the First Republicans: FIRST REPUBLICANS BELIEVE the United States Constitution and its Bill of Rights is the bedrock of American freedom. The individual rights and freedoms established in federal and state constitutions must be protected from amendment and defended from encroachment.
FIRST REPUBLICANS BELIEVE in the absolute importance of separation of powers. The Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches of government must all be respected. The balance between these branches is our primary defense against tyranny.)
(Cross-posted from the First Republicans Forum.)