Day By Day

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The New Jersey Gay Marriage Non-decision

So the New Jersey Supreme Court has declined to make a decision regarding gay marriage -- OK. The courts should stay out of these things. But what the Hell were the Justices thinking when they ordered the State Legislature to either rewrite marriage laws or create civil unions within 180 days? [here]

First, as Don Surber notes [here] such an order is blatantly unconstitutional. The courts cannot compel the legislature to do a damn thing. They are co-equal branches of government. I agree that sensitive issues should be settled through the political, not the judicial process, but if the legislature decides not to act, as it has done so far, that is their prerogative, and there is nothing the Court can do about it.

And, in case you hadn't noticed -- the justices clearly haven't -- we are in the final days of an election campaign. What the court has done, in essence, is to hand a huge issue to the Republicans. Tom Kean is already affirming his opposition to gay marriage [expect every Republican to do the same], and now every Democrat will be questioned on the issue and have to take a stand that either alienates his base and suppresses turnout, or really tees off the majority of the voters.

Stay tuned.... Things are getting interesting in the Garden State.

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