Reading from the cookbook

Regarding the same-sex marriage challenge underway in California, I want to comment on this argument from the Alliance Defense Fund‘s legal brief:

If a public official that is part of an administrative agency believes a statute is unconstitutional, he or she may not challenge it by open defiance. If any government official may ignore laws at will, laws have no force, and there is no liberty.

I’ve already expressed my views on this, so I’m not going to rehash them. I’m amused that their lawyers wrote such a poorly thought out brief. Allow me to pick a few nits with those two sentences.

First, “if a public official that…” is incorrect. Public officials are people, not things. “That” should be “who”.

Second, any government official ignoring the law doesn’t imply that laws have no force. Anyone can do anything at any time. I can speed while driving on the highway. You can steal Danielle’s TV and dryer while she’s traveling. The distinction they ignored is that there may be consequences.

Civil disobedience has brought about change when rational arguments couldn’t. This act by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom may work. It may fail. The point is that he believes he is upholding California’s constitution. Now that some of the citizenry disagrees, the courts will decide.

Third, when laws have no force, there is liberty, contrary to the Alliance Defense Fund’s argument. Without laws, we’re all free to do everything without repercussions. However, when laws have no force, we’re likely to have anarchy. That would’ve been the logical conclusion to the argument, not the absence of liberty.

Now consider this:

Randy Thomasson, founder of Campaign for California Families, called the marriages “a political stunt by an out-of-control mayor who obviously wants to make law by bending the constitution.”

“This is as much about protecting our system of government and respect for the law as it is about the protection of marriage,” Thomasson said.

Again ignoring my beliefs on this issue, I think our system of government is working as designed. San Francisco saw an act of civil disobedience that many believe to be wrong. What response did they give? Did they march on San Francisco’s City Hall and burn it down? Did they tar and feather Mayor Newsom?

None of this happened. No coup, no chaos, no anarchy. The courts will decide, which is how disagreements are resolved in America when both sides can’t agree.

I can’t figure out how this is destroying America.

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