Tag Archive: judicial activism

Another reason for Garrett not to like those activist judges

We told you last week about Scott Garrett’s conversion on the courts. Instead of trying to strip the power from those judicial activists in the federal courts, he was going to get them to rule in his favor and overturn the DC Marriage Equality vote. The court has not gone along with Garrett’s plan:

A D.C. Superior Court judge ruled Thursday that same-sex marriage opponents do not have a right to call for a referendum to determine whether such unions should be legal in the District.

The decision, a major victory for gay rights activists, makes it more likely that the District will begin allowing same-sex couples to marry in March.

It’s interesting to note why the court ruled the way it did, as a constant argument from opponents of Marriage Equality is that it should go to a referendum before the voters:

In the 23-page ruling, Judge Judith N. Macaluso affirmed a D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics decision that city law disallows the ballot proposal because it would promote discrimination against gay men and lesbians. Macaluso also concluded that previous court decisions outlawing same-sex marriage in the District are no longer valid.

Of course opponents plan to file an appeal of the decision, but the clock is ticking:

Despite opponents’ plans to appeal, they are running out of time to block same-sex marriages in the District. Congress has begun the required 30-legislative-day review of the same-sex marriage law.

City leaders said that, barring intervention by Congress, marriage licenses will be available to same-sex couples around the first week of March.

Garrett may wait to try and take the power from the judges again until they rule on an appeal holding out hope, but no doubt he’ll be back to stopping those activist judges as soon as they don’t rule his way the last time.

Now Scott Garrett supports Judicial Activism

In an effort to make sure gay people cannot share the love, members of Congress – notably New Jersey’s Scott Garrett – are ready to hit the courts in order to overturn the recent passage of Marriage Equality in Washington, D.C. It amazes me how they will set aside core principals in order to fit an ideology:

Thirty-nine congressional Republicans, including House Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio) and Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.), have filed an amicus brief in D.C. Superior Court calling for a voter referendum on whether to legalize same-sex marriage in the District.

Joe Sudbay made this note over at Americablog about how Republicans are now moving to the courts to get the results they want here:

Just leave it to Republicans to think a public vote to strip away the rights of citizens is a good idea. Funny, in a hypocritical way, how Republicans are always bashing lawyers and lawsuits, but run to the courts when they can thwart equality.

It’s kind of ironic he’s joining them in the effort when you look back at this legislation Congressman Garrett has sponsored:

A quicker and more effective solution was published here a few issues back by Congressman John Hostettler. It would use Congress’ Article I, Section 8 and Article III, Sections 1 and 2 powers to limit the jurisdiction of inferior federal courts and to set exceptions to the Supreme Court’s appellate jurisdiction. His bill, H.R. 3313 (co-sponsored by congressmen Mike Pence, Nick Smith, Scott Garrett, Virgil Goode, Todd Aikin, Gil Gutknecht, Dave Weldon, Walter Jones, Roscoe Bartlett, Michael Forbes and Ron Paul), would remove federal court jurisdiction over the issue of marriage. This goes directly to the root problem and sends a shot across the bow of judicial activism everywhere. Massachusetts legislators could follow the same path if inspired by national leaders and solve their problem now, whereas even a state constitutional amendment would come too late to stop the courts from legalizing same sex marriages. And the bill only needs a majority in the House and 60 votes in the Senate to go into effect.

If I’m following along correctly, Garrett wants to go to court to ask them to do something he wants to take away their power to do? So the moral of the story for Republicans like Scott Garrett is that activist judges are bad, bad, bad, unless they’re being active for things you believe in.