Actually, that isn’t completely fair. With the way the Supreme Court has been ruling lately, we, in truth if not in name, have nine unelected dictators decreeing what the law of the land should be. Today, it was the ruling on same sex marriage.
The Supreme Court ruled Friday that same-sex couples have a right to marry nationwide, in a historic decision that invalidates gay marriage bans in more than a dozen states.
Gay and lesbian couples already can marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia. But in a 5-4 ruling, the court held that the 14th Amendment requires states to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples and to recognize such marriages performed in other states.
The ruling means the remaining 14 states that did not allow such unions, in the South and Midwest, will have to stop enforcing their bans.
Justice Kennedy was the swing vote, and with one sweep, declared his interpretation of the 14th Amendment to be the new law of the land. From his majority opinion:
The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times. The generations that wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimensions, and so they entrusted to future generations a charter protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning. When new insight reveals discord between the Constitution’s central protections and a received legal stricture, a claim to liberty must be addressed.
While many will celebrate this ruling, even many within the Republican party, it cannot be argued that this was a democratic process. The democratic process was contained within the votes of the states who passed laws either for or against same sex marriage. This is lawmaking by judicial fiat, by nine people who were appointed to their jobs for life. Last I checked, that sounded like a dictatorship.
And just because the emperors on high may have ruled in a way that you like this time, doesn’t make it any less dangerous for the next time.