I'm all for it, IF we can get Congress to do it, and then not renege on 
it 10 years down the road under a liberal president. But how does this 
affect state courts who are legislating the same things from the bench?
States would still be forced to draft amendments to their Constitutions, 
wouldn't they?


Steven Montgomery wrote:
> Congressman Ron Paul on the Gay Marriage issue (just remember where you 
> saw 
> the "limit the jurisdiction of federal courts" idea first <grin>):
> http://www.thenewamerican.com/tna/2004/03-22-2004/marriage.htm
> Gay Marriage Quicksand
> by Congressman Ron Paul
> Nationalizing marriage laws will only grant more power over our lives to 
> the federal government, even if for supposedly conservative ends. A far 
> better approach is for Congress to exercise its existing constitutional 
> power to limit the jurisdiction of federal courts.
> The President's recent announcement that he supports a constitutional 
> amendment defining marriage has intensified the gay marriage debate. It 
> seems sad that we need government to define and regulate our most basic 
> institutions.
> Marriage is first and foremost a religious matter, not a government 
> matter. 
> Government is not moral and cannot make us moral. Law should reflect 
> moral 
> standards, of course, but morality comes from religion, from philosophy, 
> from societal standards, from families, and from responsible 
> individuals. 
> We make a mistake when we look to government for moral leadership.
> Marriage and divorce laws have always been crafted by states. In an 
> ideal 
> world, state governments enforce marriage contracts and settle divorces, 
> but otherwise stay out of marriage. The federal government, granted only 
> limited, enumerated powers in the Constitution, has no role whatsoever.
> However, many Americans understandably fear that if gay marriage is 
> legalized in one state, all other states will be forced to accept such 
> marriages. They argue that the Full Faith and Credit clause of the 
> Constitution essentially federalizes the issue; hence a constitutional 
> amendment is necessary.
> But the Defense of Marriage Act, passed in 1996, explicitly authorizes 
> states to refuse to recognize gay marriages performed in other states. 
> Furthermore, the Supreme Court repeatedly has interpreted the Full Faith 
> and Credit clause to allow Congress to limit the effect of state laws on 
> other states. In fact, federal courts almost universally apply the 
> clause 
> only to state court judgments, not statutes. So a constitutional 
> amendment 
> is not necessary to address the issue of gay marriage, and will only 
> drive 
> yet another nail into the coffin of federalism. If we turn regulation of 
> even domestic family relations over to the federal government, 
> presumably 
> anything can be federalized.
> The choices are not limited to either banning gay marriage at the 
> federal 
> level, or giving up and accepting it as inevitable. A far better 
> approach, 
> rarely discussed, is for Congress to exercise its existing 
> constitutional 
> power to limit the jurisdiction of federal courts. Congress could 
> statutorily remove whole issues like gay marriage from the federal 
> judiciary, striking a blow against judicial tyranny and restoring some 
> degree of states' rights. We seem to have forgotten that the Supreme 
> Court 
> is supreme only over lower federal courts; it is not supreme over the 
> other 
> branches of government. The judiciary is co-equal under our federal 
> system, 
> but too often it serves as an unelected, unaccountable legislature.
> It is great comedy to hear the secular, pro-gay left, so hostile to 
> states' 
> rights in virtually every instance, suddenly discover the tyranny of 
> centralized government. The newly minted protectors of local rule find 
> themselves demanding: "Why should Washington dictate marriage standards 
> for 
> Massachusetts and California? Let the people of those states decide for 
> themselves." This is precisely the argument conservatives and 
> libertarians 
> have been making for decades! Why should Washington dictate education, 
> abortion, environment, and labor rules to the states? The American 
> people 
> hold widely diverse views on virtually all political matters, and the 
> Founders wanted the various state governments to most accurately reflect 
> those views. This is the significance of the 10th Amendment, which the 
> left 
> in particular has abused for decades.
> Social problems cannot be solved by constitutional amendments or 
> government 
> edicts. Nationalizing marriage laws will only grant more power over our 
> lives to the federal government, even if for supposedly conservative 
> ends. 
> Throughout the 20th century, the relentless federalization of state law 
> served the interests of the cultural left, and we should not kid 
> ourselves 
> that the same practice now can save freedom and morality. True 
> conservatives and libertarians should understand that the solution to 
> our 
> moral and cultural decline does not lie in a strong centralized 
> government.
> --
> Steven Montgomery
> <html>
> <a href="http://www.stoptheftaa.org/?af=linktous3";>
> <img border="0" 
> src="http://www.stoptheftaa.org/_images/linktous/sftaalogosmall.jpg"; 
> width="406" height="100"></a>
> </html>
> http://www.stoptheftaa.org

Gerald (Gary) Smith
geraldsmith@ juno.com

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