This past Friday (March 21, 2014), a federal judge sitting in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan struck down a provision of the State of Michigan’s Constitution that was duly enacted by the “people” and which provided, as a matter of state law, that marriage is “the union of one man and one woman.”
This decision is nothing short of judicial anarchy. It has no basis in law. Indeed, rather than acting as a jurist whose role is bound by the U.S. Constitution—which reserves the marriage question to the states and the people (we refer here to the Tenth Amendment)—the judge assumed the role of a quasi-super-social-scientist expounding upon all of the “data” collected by so-called “experts” to conclude as a matter of law . . . and pause here for one moment to take this in . . . that Michigan’s marriage amendment “does not advance any conceivable legitimate state interest.” Read that again, according to this single judge, the People of Michigan have no “conceivable legitimate state interest” in protecting the foundation of society: the family. Really? NO conceivable state interest in defining marriage as between one man and one woman? So, is there a “conceivable state interest” in preventing bigamy, or adult incest, or bestiality? After all, these “unions” similarly represent the sexual choices (or “orientation”) of the parties. The marriage amendment plainly prevents the legal recognition of these “relationships.” Is that one not good enough for you judge? How about this one: the State of Michigan’s definition of marriage, which is grounded on the complementarity of the sexes, reiterates a truth that is evident to right reason and recognized as such by all the major cultures of the world. Marriage is not just any relationship between human beings. It has its own nature, essential properties, and purpose. No ideology can erase from the human spirit the certainty that marriage exists solely between a man and a woman, who by mutual personal gift, proper and exclusive to themselves, tend toward the communion of their persons. In this way, they mutually perfect each other, in order to cooperate in the procreation and upbringing of new human lives. Game over. That is a rational basis as a matter of law.
And while the judge claims that it was “unnecessary to address whether [the marriage amendment] burdens the exercise of a fundamental right” (apparently even he was not willing to go that far), in effect, that is precisely what he has done . . . and he has done so not on any legal basis but by substituting his judgment and will for the judgment and will of the People of Michigan—which he has no power to do. Indeed, the Michigan Attorney General should take a page from the Obama playbook and refuse to enforce this lawless decision . . . At least the Attorney General would have a legitimate reason for doing so, unlike Obama’s lawlessness which is based on nothing grounded in the Constitution.
And finally, what is utterly offensive (and rather revealing) is the judge’s concluding comments in which he improperly chastises the “state defendants”—and thereby indirectly chastising all of the “people” of Michigan who supported the amendment—by stating, “In attempting to define this case as a challenge to ‘the will of the people,’ state defendants lost sight of what this case is truly about: people.” No judge. It was you who lost sight of what this case is about—it is about our Constitution and the rule of law—which prohibit judges like you from making public policy decisions for the “people.” If this decision is not overruled, the State of Michigan should refuse to enforce it. “We the People” rule this country, not princes, emperors, or judges.