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Old 10-13-2007, 01:15 AM   #16
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Originally posted by INDY500

But if "activist judges" is such a myth, why the contentious partisan fights over judicial nominees in the Senate? Why is it we now have something called a "swing vote" on the Court? Swing between what? And why is the future makeup of the Supreme Court now one of the main issues every 4 years when we elect a president.

Not what the Framers envisioned.
That's a great question.

My personal opinion is that it's all about abortion.

I do think it's a myth, cooked up by the wingnuts.
Business formula, the Limbaugh method.
No matter what, the opposition is ALWAYS wrong and nefarious.

It's more menacing to tell the American people that these judges are making laws up from the bench than to just say, well the Democrats (read: Dem nominated Judges) want to keep abortion legal. The public already knows that.

Soooo, you've got to make it salacious and hateful and maybe make it seem a bit un-American.
At the least, second guess their patriotism. There you go! Winner!

Whatever works, right?
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Old 10-13-2007, 01:22 AM   #17
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yes, this of course makes sense because we don't allow atheists to get married.
Missing the point completely, notice the "using your logic." A-Wanderer's logic being that any argument made about law on the basis of a religious belief is invalid. More than invalid, dangerous. And any statute with it's roots in religious law, is unconstitutional.

I disagree. The ideal was not to establish a Church (singular) to make law, not that those that go to church cannot help make the law.

And I certainly don't see how A_Wanderer sees our current law as it pertains to same-sex marriage to be a clear violation of the Establishment Clause. There are secular arguments against it as well.
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Old 10-13-2007, 01:52 AM   #18
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Secular arguments that have been very lacking because they are so very laughable; the use of pseudoscientific arguments to justify the harm of homoseuxality have been stripped away and they are continuing to be stripped away. Homosexuality is not a mental illness, homosexuality occurs in other species and the act of homosexual sex has at least one less concequence than heterosexual sex (given the transmissibility of intelligently designed STDs God must prefer sapphic unions).

Opposition that makes an appeal to religious doctrine is justified by nonsense, secular arguments against legal recognition for homosexual relationships while heterosexual ones may have it are invariably at odds with the rights and liberties of homosexuals. Last time I checked gays pay their taxes and are citizens of our countries, they should expect the same treatment from the government as everybody else without discrimination.

If laws are sanctioned on the basis of a religious belief then it is explicitely endorsing that religious belief (also called promoting religion). It is something else altogether in those few instances that religious texts somehow manage to eek out a scrap of morality that is also coincident with law to protect individuals, their rights and their liberties (murder for instance) on non-religious grounds.

I have an issue with murder of people, hurting people as well as stealing and fraud; all things which violate the rights that individuals accept to be guaranteed when they engage with society. These are not given or protected by God but by "the people" as a whole and the laws and institutions that have been created to protect them.
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Old 10-13-2007, 02:14 AM   #19
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Originally posted by INDY500



And I certainly don't see how A_Wanderer sees our current law as it pertains to same-sex marriage to be a clear violation of the Establishment Clause. There are secular arguments against it as well.
I want the drugs you are on...








Please tell me one, just one.
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Old 10-13-2007, 02:17 AM   #20
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I want the drugs you are on...

Please tell me one, just one.
My reality based arguments are built on ergoline alkaloids and alcohol
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Old 10-13-2007, 07:58 AM   #21
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On one point, I agree with Indy.

The Framers would not have approved of the extent to which judicial review is used today. Many were wary of any branch becoming too powerful (though it seems they worried more about the executive and less about the judicial).

But here's the thing, the Framers were not perfect beings who created The Perfect Document, whose every intent was holy and unassailable. Honestly, some of those on the Right treat the Constitution and those who wrote like the Bible and the prophets.
The reality is that the Constitution was not (and is not) a perfect document (one egregious example--the Framers agreed to the 3/5 compromise that continued to accomodate slaver). The Framers knew this. In fact there were a lot of Framers who were very dissatisfied with the Constitution (George Mason even refused to sign it). So what I think the Framers would be horrified by today, is the amount of sanctity we award their "intent." Their "intent" was never even unanamious, much less unassailable.
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Old 10-13-2007, 09:34 AM   #22
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Originally posted by INDY500

Not what the Framers envisioned.
Who gives a shit what they envisioned? In Canada, we approach constitutional issues from the "living tree" doctrine - i.e. the constitution is a living tree which is meant to grow and expand as times change.

Certainly legislative intent is an important thing in intepreting a given law. But there is a difference in interpreting the will of the legislature regarding a bill they passed 6 years ago and a constitutional document which was written over 2 centuries ago and which may simply have little if any continuing relevance.
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Old 10-13-2007, 10:57 AM   #23
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Things change. The Constitution was written in the eighteenth century. We had slavery. Thomas Jefferson was a slave owner. We need to adjust to modern realities.
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Old 10-13-2007, 11:22 AM   #24
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And I certainly don't see how A_Wanderer sees our current law as it pertains to same-sex marriage to be a clear violation of the Establishment Clause. There are secular arguments against it as well.
Uh, because people pound their Bible and say "homosexuality is a sin! we can't have same-sex marriage!" and that somehow makes sense to people? Maybe that's where?

I've yet to hear a single secular argument about it. Not a single, solitary one.
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Old 10-13-2007, 11:24 AM   #25
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Not what the Framers envisioned.
The Framers envisioned a lot. They were against imperialism. Should we give Louisiana back? Alaska? Hawaii? Should we go back to slavery?
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Old 10-13-2007, 11:52 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by INDY500


Missing the point completely, notice the "using your logic." A-Wanderer's logic being that any argument made about law on the basis of a religious belief is invalid. More than invalid, dangerous. And any statute with it's roots in religious law, is unconstitutional.

I disagree. The ideal was not to establish a Church (singular) to make law, not that those that go to church cannot help make the law.

And I certainly don't see how A_Wanderer sees our current law as it pertains to same-sex marriage to be a clear violation of the Establishment Clause. There are secular arguments against it as well.


honey, marriage is a secular institution in the eyes of the state. God has nothing to do with the benefits you receive. hence, when you (the royal you) say things like "allowing marriage equality violates my freedom of religion" or "my being unable to fire people on the basis of being gay violates my freedom of religion," you are violating the Establishment Clause. shall we go through and take out the quotes tossed around by the Republicans in the House?

i agree with your distinction about not wanting a singular church -- i wonder how we'd feel if our Baptist children suddenly had to say "hail mary" every morning and pray the rosary after lunch -- and, yes, those that go to church are certainly free to make the laws. but what you're advocating is quite a different thing altogether, and it's thoroughly Christian in it's view -- are those who go to Mosque allowed to make the laws? those who go to synagogue? those who are atheists?
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Old 10-13-2007, 12:09 PM   #27
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Originally posted by anitram
Who gives a shit what they envisioned?
It's funny, because the American approach to the "Founding Fathers" reminds me of something that Icelandic historian, Snorri Sturluson (1178-1241), theorized regarding the origin of the Norse gods. That is, these mythological gods began as ancient kings or war heroes, who, through the passage of time and legend, develop into cults. As the early Norse tribes entered battle or overall hardship, they would call upon the memory of that dead king for strength. Finally, enough time passes that they are remembered solely as gods.

Is George Washington the "Óðinn" (chief god of the "Æsir," who signified "war" and "power") of our day? Thomas Jefferson, I imagine, would be "Njörðr" (father of the "Vanir," who signified fertility, wealth, and pleasure). After all, it seems that even Norse deities divided themselves into opposing political parties.
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Old 10-13-2007, 12:26 PM   #28
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The Framers envisioned a lot. They were against imperialism. Should we give Louisiana back? Alaska? Hawaii? Should we go back to slavery?
Imperialism? I thought we bought Louisiana from the French, Alaska from the Russians and the residents of Hawaii actually voted to become a state.

Slavery was abolished in the United States by the Thirteenth Amendment. Notice the Constitution was AMENDED by Congress and state legislatures, not reinterpreted by judges to fit the mores of the day.

Just as the Framers envisioned.
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Old 10-13-2007, 12:36 PM   #29
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Originally posted by INDY500
Slavery was abolished in the United States by the Thirteenth Amendment. Notice the Constitution was AMENDED by Congress and state legislatures, not reinterpreted by judges to fit the mores of the day.

Just as the Framers envisioned.
You should remember another amendment that was passed at the same time:

Quote:
14th Amendment

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
The latter is particularly important, because the intention was to prevent laws from being created that targeted a specific, unpopular minority. In the 19th century, that meant passing laws with the intent of singling out the African-American population. Unfortunately, this amendment had been "reinterpreted by judges to fit the mores of the day" (those "mores" being a deep hatred of blacks and support for segregation) for close to 100 years, before actually being enforced properly in the 1950s and 1960s.

And now here we go, in the 21st century, passing laws with the specific intention of singling out and discriminating against an unpopular minority of gays. According to the 14th amendment, passed by those same state and federal legislatures "as the Framers intended," these laws are unconstitutional. But, as you can see regarding all those laws supporting racial segregation for nearly 100 years after the 14th amendment banned them, it takes judicial courage to uphold the law, rather than cave in to popular political pressure. The United States, unfortunately, is not known as a courageous leader in civil rights, from a global historical standpoint.
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Old 10-13-2007, 12:48 PM   #30
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the residents of Hawaii actually voted to become a state.
Did they vote to be overrun by American business interests before they were a state?
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