Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

George on marriage, courts, and the culture wars

If the Supreme Court imposes same-sex marriage, it will exacerbate, not heal, "culture wars" and divisions, writes Robert George in The Wall Street Journal:

We are in the midst of a showdown over the legal definition of marriage. Though some state courts have interfered, the battle is mainly being fought in referenda around the country, where “same-sex marriage” has uniformly been rejected, and in legislatures, where some states have adopted it. It’s a raucous battle, but democracy is working.

Now the fight may head to the U.S. Supreme Court. Following California’s Proposition 8, which restored the historic definition of marriage in that state as the union of husband and wife, a federal lawsuit has been filed to invalidate traditional marriage laws.

It would be disastrous for the justices to do so. They would repeat the error in Roe v. Wade: namely, trying to remove a morally charged policy issue from the forums of democratic deliberation and resolve it according to their personal lights. . .

As it happens, our own Michael Perry has argued in a new book that, while federal judges usually should defer to political actors' judgments on the subjects of moral controversy, they should, in the case of same-sex marriage, rule that it is unconstitutional to refuse to recognize same-sex marriage. 

Michael, do you have any reactions to Prof. George's WSJ piece?


Garnett, Rick | Permalink

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