On Wed, Nov 18, 2020 at 11:33 PM Josh Triplett <j...@joshtriplett.org> wrote:
> I do not believe it falls within the scope of the technical committee
> to override a decision already decided by a project-wide GR

In the State of California we follow such a strict interpretation of
ballot measures. While consistent with direct democracy, it is also
widely blamed for a dysfunctional state government. [1] But even here,
courts enjoy some leeway.

Please consider Proposition 8. Widely publicized in 2008, it was a
successful ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriage by amending
the state constitution (yes, California can be conservative). A
Federal District Court later ordered the State to ignore the people.
While the appeals failed on narrow grounds, the original opinion that
ended up standing was described as ruling that "the amendment was
unconstitutional under both the Due Process and Equal Protection
Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, since it removed rights from a
disfavored class with no rational basis." [2]

In Debian, users of 'sysvinit' strike me as such a "disfavored class".
Personally, I find it outdated and would never use it again, yet based
on how often the topic reappears, there are clearly people who think
differently. Now similarly to Proposition 8, I believe the GR should
bind the DPL and all delegates—but not the Technical Committee. It is
our supreme court.

Like Josh's message, I make a point of procedure. The Technical
Committee should be free to rule. They could also decline, for example
by citing the GR.

As an aside, the Debian Constitution lacks any elevating language that
by itself would make such daring projections of universal justice
possible. In fact, our constitution mentions no "rights" whatsoever
(except for a copyright notice at the bottom). That is why I had to
resort to an outside precedent to make my point. The constitution's
text also leads me to renew my call: Let's rewrite Debian's
foundational documents together to promulgate inspiring ideals we can
hold up in the sky.

[1] https://openlibrary.org/works/OL16420003W/California_crackup
[2] https://guides.ll.georgetown.edu/c.php?g=592919&p=4182204
[3] https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2014/11/msg00174.html

Kind regards,
Felix Lechner

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