You’re not the only one filing a brief before the CaliforniaSupreme Court in the Proposition 8 case this week, Jay. Americans United hasjoined with more than two dozen other civic groups to file our own brief. Notsurprisingly, our argument is quite a bit different than yours.
This dispute revolves in part around some fairly esoteric questionsof Californialaw. I won’t get into all of that. Suffice to say, I do not believe a slimmajority of Californians (or Pennsylvanians, Mississippians, Oregonians, etc.)should be able to strip a minority group of its basic rights by any vote.
Our brief makes this point. It reads in part, “IfProposition 8 were a proper subject for an initiative vote, then so would be ameasure seeking to amend the California Constitution to bar interracial orinterfaith marriages, to exclude women from certain occupations, to limitfreedom of speech only for certain racial or national groups, or to suspendprotections against unwarranted searches and seizures for members of certainnational groups. As this Court and its federal counterpart have recognized, noperson should have such fundamental rights – even one of them – subject to thevicissitudes of a bare majority of voters.”
As you know, Jay, there was a time in America whenmajorities were greatly offended by the idea of interracial marriage and soughtto curb it through laws. Had it been put to a vote as a constitutionalamendment in, say, Alabama,there’s no doubt it would have passed easily. That does not make it right. Itwas a grotesque violation of basic rights, and the U.S. Supreme Court was rightto nullify such bans in Loving v. Virginia. (I should point out that plenty of misguided clergysupported these bans, and even cited scripture in framing their argument.)
In short, majority rule is great for determining who sits onthe school board; it’s less effective in determining basic rights.
There is another issue here that deserves a hard look: therole of the Mormon Church and other religious groups in passing Prop. 8. TheMormons say they donated only a few thousand to the effort, but now reports aresurfacing that it might have been a good deal more. The church sponsored Websites, ran phone banks and undertook other activities to promote Prop. 8. Itdoes not appear that this activity was reported to state officials, as California law requires.
When well-heeled religious groups spend mega-bucks to writetheir pet theological notions into law for everyone else to follow, we have achurch-state problem on our hands – whether you recognize that or not.
Religious groups have the right to speak out on the socialissues of the day, but I believe they have no right to skirt neutralcampaign-reporting laws that their secular counterparts must follow to the letter.These groups are trying to effect public policy, and the people who would beaffected by that policy have a right to know about it. I discussed this issuerecently with the American News Project. Our readers can see the video here.
Another Blog To Enjoy!!! Thank you for visiting LynnvSekulow. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy:
Jay Sekulow: Faith and Justice
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Another blog to enjoy!!! Thank you for visiting Lynn V. Sekulow. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy:
Jay Sekulow's Faith and Justice
Happy Reading!!! ...
More to Come Barry,
It's hard to believe that we've been debating these constitutional issues for more than two years now in this space. I have tremendous respect for you and wish you all the best in your new endeavors.
My friend, I'm ...
Thanks for the Memories Well Jay, the time has come for me to say goodbye. Note to people who are really happy about this: I'm not leaving the planet, just this blog.As I noted in a personal email, after much thought, I have decided to end my participation and ...
President Obama: Does He Get It? Barry,
I would not use that label to identify the President. I will say, however, that President Obama continues to embrace and promote pro-abortion policies that many Americans strongly disagree with.
Take the outcome of ...
Please note that in discussing political issues, candidates’ positions and political party statements, the Rev. Barry Lynn and Jay Sekulow are offering analysis in their individual capacities as lawyers and commentators. They are not speaking on behalf of Americans United for Separation for Church and State or for the American Center for Law & Justice. Those organizations do not endorse or oppose candidates for public office. Nothing contained in this dialogue should be construed as the positions of the respective organizations.