A Constructionist Judge (Updated)

Here’s another misconception – that conservatives want to only appoint conservative judges. Wrong. Conservatives want to appoint justices that do the following:

Justice Carol Corrigan opens her dissent (Updated):

In my view, Californians should allow our gay and lesbian neighbors to call their unions marriages. But I, and this court, must acknowledge that a majority of Californians hold a different view, and have explicitly said so by their vote. This court can overrule a vote of the people only if the Constitution compels us to do so. Here, the Constitution does not. Therefore, I must dissent.


History confirms the importance of the judiciary’s constitutional role as a check against majoritarian abuse. Still, courts must use caution when exercising the potentially transformative authority to articulate constitutional rights. Otherwise, judges with limited accountability risk infringing upon our society’s most basic shared premise — the People’s general right, directly or through their chosen legislators, to decide fundamental issues of public policy for themselves.

Judicial restraint is particularly appropriate where, as here, the claimed constitutional entitlement is of recent conception and challenges the most fundamental assumption about a basic social institution.

The majority has violated these principles. It simply does not have the right to erase, then recast, the age-old definition of marriage, as virtually all societies have understood it, in order to satisfy its own contemporary notions of equality and justice.


The principle of judicial restraint is a covenant between judges and the people from whom their power derives.  It protects the people against judicial overreaching.  It is no answer to say that judges can break the covenant so long as they are enlightened or well-meaning.

The process of reform and familiarization should go forward in the legislative sphere and in society at large.  We are in the midst of a major social change.  Societies seldom make such changes smoothly.  For some the process is frustratingly slow.  For others it is jarringly fast.  In a democracy, the people should be given a fair chance to set the pace of change without judicial interference.  That is the way democracies work.  Ideas are proposed, debated, tested.  Often new ideas are initially resisted, only to be ultimately embraced.  But when ideas are imposed, opposition hardens and progress may be hampered.

We should allow the significant achievements embodied in the domestic partnership statutes to continue to take root.  If there is to be a new understanding of the meaning of marriage in California, it should develop among the people of our state and find its expression at the ballot box.”

Plain and simple. It is not the business of the court to impose legislature. That’s the very point of the Legislative body. If that’s not the case, then why bother voting? Appoint seven or so dictators and let them decide everything.

Essentially – the Justices have said, “We really don’t care what Californians want, we will define Marriage – we won’t let the people do it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: