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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

On the events in Alabama.... (Revised on 2/13/15)

Or, as I prefer to call it, watch the right wings nutjobs contort themselves into some weird positions to accommodate their homophobic and bigoted views.

Regardless of what anyone says, the matter is really simple.  Article VI, Clause 2 of the US Constitution says:

                            This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which
                            shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made,
                            or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United
                            States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges
                            in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the
                            Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary
                            notwithstanding.

Pretty straightforward.  Any law, decision, state constitution, etc. that conflicts with a federal law or court decision is null and void.  Therefore, Justice Moore's decision declaring that the Probate Judges may not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples is unconstitutional and not binding on any judges.  In fact, they are duty bound to oppose the illegal and unconstitutional order by Justice Moore and uphold the Constitution of the United States.

People are saying that there is a "constitutional crisis", but this is not true.  The law on this, as shown above is perfectly clear.  What we have is a case of a bigoted and hate-filled man who is trying to force his religious views (remember the Ten Commandments issue?) onto everyone, something that is also unconstitutional.  Justice Moore needs to be reprimanded and removed from any sort of judicial office.  I would also love to see him disbarred because he is clearly unfit to be a lawyer or judge because he cannot separate his personal biases from the law.

*******Below Added 2/13/15********

I need to issue a mea culpa.  Based on what I have been taught and read, I thought the above was true.  Today, I read this post from the National Constitution Center which indicates that my understanding is wrong and that the above only applies to Supreme Court decisions.  Honestly, I don't read it that way, but apparently I read it wrong.  So I apologize for inadvertently misleading people.

To summarize the blog post, if a federal decision is aimed squarely at a state official, then that official is bound by it, but other officials are not.  I maintain that this does not make sense given the clear meaning of the clause about, but then again, often the law does not make sense, it just is.