California Circumventing Democracy

Prepare to be chilled to the core. And be afraid. Be very afraid.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Democratic legislators are asking the state Supreme Court to void Prop. 8, regardless (or because) of the fact that it won a majority vote among California’s citizens.

Forty-three Democratic legislators, including leaders of the California Senate and Assembly, filed a brief Monday urging the California Supreme Court to void Proposition 8.

Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata and incoming President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg signed the friend of the court brief, filed with the state Supreme Court.

No Republican legislator signed the petition, though Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, denounced the anti-gay marriage measure over the weekend.

With almost 11 million ballots tallied, Proposition 8 had 52.3% of the vote to 47.7%. Although many ballots remain to be counted, the 500,000-vote spread is viewed as insurmountable.

“The citizens of California rely on the Legislature and the courts to safeguard against unlawful discrimination by temporary, and often short-lived, majorities,” the legislators said in the document, written by attorneys at the firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

The measure won with 52.3% of the popular vote, nearly the same percentage of votes won by Barack Obama in the presidential election.

Two questions:

  1. Should Congressional Republicans hire Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher to write a petition to the Supreme Court to “safeguard” against “temporary, and often short-lived, majorities” and usurp the presidential election?
  2. Are legislators – who write California’s laws – incapable of writing their own petition?

This is patently absurd and should amount to a Constitutional crisis in California if successful.

Check that. It would be absurd if usurping the vote through the courts was patently implausible. Instead, it is nothing short of alarming.

It’s affects will reach beyond California. You know how the US Supreme Court loves precedent, even European precedent, when “interpreting” the US Constitution.

Americans should care not a wit what the vote was about – gay marriage or the election of a local dog catcher. Democracy is being circumvented.

California voters are under siege by a legislative majority and judicial oligarchy, and a majority state-wide vote can be discarded on the grounds that it is deemed by the oligarchy as merely “temporary.” Can we, too, in turn deem Democrats in the legislature a “temporary majority”?

These are stories you expect to read about in the former Soviet Union, not in America. Not even in the Peoples Republic of California.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Obama and the Veterans 2008
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