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A Dred Scott Moment?

Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the decision of an inferior court Judge, Vaughn Walker, who declared California’s Proposition 8 law “unconsitutional.” Walker, a practicing homosexual, issued his decision last year, in which he sought to overturn the will of the people of California, who had passed an amendment to protect marriage as between one man and one woman. Now, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, long a stronghold of secular progressivism, has come to the aide of Judge Walker, affirming his efforts to nullify a state law, in direct violation of the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Supporters of Proposition 8 are appealing the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, placing the fate of marriage in this free republic in the hands of nine unelected justices.

The fact that the Supreme Court of the United States will decide whether or not the people have the power to decide public policy in their respective states is deeply disturbing. As a majority of states, my state of South Carolina included, have passed laws and / or constitutional amendments protecting marriage, the Court’s decision on the California law will, ultimately, determine the validity of state marriage laws in a majority of the states in this Union. At a time that the Obama Administration is abdicating its Constitutional obligation to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, thus aiding and abetting same-sex marriage advocates from the Federal level, this is starting to look like the Left’s dream of a checkmate to traditional marriage. The deeply held and time-honored belief that marriage should be between one man and one woman may now be subverted by judicial activism, in defiance of the Nation’s commitment to the separation of powers. It wouldn’t be the first time the U.S. Supreme Court sought to subvert the will of the people, thus destroying the nation’s cultural and economic fabric. A startling example of judicial activism came in 1857 with the Court’s decision in the Dred Scott case.

Dred Scott was born a slave in Southampton County, Virginia, but was later taken by his master to the Wisconsin Territory (present day Minnesota) and Illinois, where slavery was not permitted. When his master died, Scott was living in Missouri, a state that was not a free state, but permitted access to the court system whereby slaves had a legal avenue to obtain their emancipation. Scott sued for his freedom, claiming that his presence in free state territory nullified his status as a bound slave and that, as a result, he ought to be granted his liberty. The Missouri Court denied his petition and the case was appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. By the time the case reached the Supreme Court, the so called “Missouri Compromise” had already been made, wherein new states added to the Union would, by popular sovereignty, determine their own status as slave or free. To me, this is one decision that should not have been left to the states, as the U.S. Constitution is considered the supreme law of the land. As such, in our Federal system of government, the Constitution is designed to protect certain American Principles, regardless of state laws. An example would be the rights to freedom and personhood. I believe that each American has the inviolable right to each, and that any state law passed that violates these commonly held freedoms, guaranteed by the Constitution, must be negated. Instead, the Court in Dred Scott struck down state laws that protected citizens’ unalienable rights, in favor of a policy that undermined their constitutional protections.

The Supreme Court’s decision in the Dred Scott case not only upended social order in American Society, forcing the expansion of slavery, but had dire economic consequences as well. The expansion of the West was driven by migrating low and middle income workers, who were seeking economic opportunity in the new states being carved out of the American Frontier. This trend, which was supported by the belief that slavery would not be permitted in the western states (slavery drives down wages for lower to middle income workers, for obvious reasons), drove the expansion of American railroads in the western territories. The hot stocks of the 1850’s were railroads…they were the equivalent then to the stocks of the 1990s. When the Supreme Court opened the door to slavery in western lands, the western migration dropped to a trickle, and railway stocks hit the ditch. The same sort of “unintended consequences” will take place if the U.S. Supreme Court decides to destroy marriage as we know it. If they decide to uphold the ruling of the Ninth Circuit Court, then marriage in America will be a memory. Almost immediately, challenges will be brought against every other state law protecting the sanctity of marriage, which will radically undermine the cornerstone of American Civilization. The economic consequences will be a lagging indicator, but will be no less real. Broken homes already cost the American People $ billions annually in the form of social welfare programs, one can scarcely comprehend the cost if marriage is completely undermined.

If marriage is destroyed, then the nightmare of Aristotle will have been fulfilled: the nucleic family will be replaced by the “family of the state.” Big government will be our parent, and the people its children. Freedom in America will be lost, and nanny state paternalism will be the norm…more so than than it already is. My friends, we must be prepared to challenge the Supreme Court’s ruling if it rules against the rights of the states to implement laws protecting marriage, claiming that such laws are unconstitutional. We must encourage our Members of Congress to be prepared to support a Federal marriage amendment, which would codify the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman as part of the supreme law of the land. If a constitutional amendment is not obtainable, then the House needs to be prepared to impeach the members of the Supreme Court who dare to trample the rights of the people of the sovereign states. These justices are not worthy of their robes, and ought to be removed from the bench due to their failure to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America that reserves rights to the states not expressly delegated to the Federal government.


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