As if the battle over federal judges and “judicial activism” were not superheated enough, a ruling Thursday by U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon to scrap Nebraska’s constitutional definition of marriage has added new fuel.That pesky constitution. It just keeps standing in the way of the tyranny of the majority. Maybe we should just throw it out.
Bataillon’s decision – the first time that a federal judge has struck down a state constitutional provision limiting marriage to heterosexual couples – comes just a few days before the Senate begins its long-awaited debate on filibusters of President Bush’s judicial nominees.
Bataillon’s decision pits the life-tenured judiciary against direct democracy: who is more powerful, one federal judge, or the 477,571 Nebraskans, 70 percent of the voters, who cast ballots in favor of the constitutional provision back in 2000?
For now, the answer is Bataillon.
Friday, May 13, 2005
Marriage ruling sets stage for Senate debate
It had to happen eventually. A judge strikes a blow for equality.