Guest editorial: State won’t win this battle
It’s now national news that 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Robert Shelby has declared Utah’s law banning same sex marriage unconstitutional. Yes, that’s right, to quote MSNBCs Rachel Maddow; "In freakin’ Utah."
Joyous couples rushed to their respective county seats all over the state and obtained marriage licenses, and many tied the knot. Mayors and clergymen all over the state performed boat loads of marriage ceremonies and the apocalypse did not come.
Governor Gary Herbert, in fit of pique, declared it a "shame that an activist judge" would overrule the will of the people. But after all, Governor, "the will of the people," vote was almost 10 years ago. I believe the latest polls show a much different, "will of the people," these days. Well, I for one implore you, Governor, to just let it be.
You’ve already tried to get a temporary stay of the decision, but you would have had to prove that the decision caused "irreparable harm" to the State of Utah. Appellate Judges Robert Bacharach and Jerome Jones waited for your AG to explain just how the harm done would be irreparable and determined that they heard nothing of the sort.
Each state is assigned a Supreme Court Justice and for the 10th circuit that’s Sonia Sotomayor. She will determine whether to consider Utah’s request herself, or to refer it to the full court. For her to intervene the state would have to prove that the appeals court "clearly and demonstrably" erred in refusing to halt same sex-marriage in this case. I think we can guess how that’s gonna go.
I know you’re afraid of not looking conservative enough, which could cause the Tea Party to go after you, like they did Bob Bennett, and you could be right. But look at this way; you have the cover of the Federal Courts on this one. You can blame the activist judge, the liberal media, Constitutional Attorneys, and heck even Rachel Maddow.
As a member of the big business, create jobs party, you can point out how florists, jewelers, photographers, and caterers are making a killing on this decision. Sadly, the divorce lawyers will eventually profit as well, but what can you do. So it’s a JOB CREATOR. How can that be a bad thing?
You might also consider the Constitution. Read the Fourteenth Amendment again. All that stuff about equal protection under the law. I know you already know this, but it was designed as a restraint on state action that tends to discriminate, or deny our citizens due process. I’m pretty sure that’s how Justice Sotomayor is going to see it.
When the Federal Government lost the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), it was really just a matter of time before it trickled into the states. It seems it’s more of a gusher than a trickle, but none-the-less, here we are.
Ah, but you already know this. You know you’re going to lose this fight. And that’s how it should be. In this great nation, freedom trumps bigotry. It hasn’t always been so, but these are special times.
So again, please don’t waste our tax dollars battling this particular windmill. Because after all there really isn’t any "irreparable harm" is there, Govenor?