Pat Buchanan

"John Marshall has made his decision. Now let him enforce it," thundered Andrew Jackson of the legendary chief justice.

From the sublime to the ridiculous, we have one Margaret Marshall, chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, ordering the state legislature to enact, in 180 days, a law giving homosexuals the right to marry. What is to be done with this Justice Marshall?

The legislature and Gov. Mitt Romney should ignore the court, defy the order and submit to Massachusetts voters a constitutional amendment declaring that marriage is between a man and woman, as God and nature intended.

Massachusetts has been given an opportunity to lead the nation as it did in the 1770s, in breaking the power of a tyrrany. If Bay State legislators will refuse to pass the law demanded by the court, and Romney will refuse to sign such a law and orders the bureaucracy to ignore the court, what could the court do? Order his arrest? Declare him in contempt. So what? Reasonable people already hold the Massachusetts court in contempt.

It is time for elected representatives to take back powers that were never constitutionally granted to any court. For the issue here is not, "What is decided?" but, "Who decides?" In a republic, the power to write laws is given to elected representatives, not judges or justices.

In every state, marriage has been between a man and woman and restrictions have been set by the legislature. One cannot practice bigamy or polygamy or polyandry. One cannot marry children. One cannot marry a member of one's own family.

What the Massachusetts court did was to declare that, from now on, it would decide such matters. The Massachusetts court has just usurped the power of the elected branches, and they should slap the court down.

This is an issue of power as well as law. Gov. Romney can make himself a national figure by refusing to propose or to sign any law regarding marriage that he and the people of the Bay State believe to be rooted in ignorance, illogic and immorality.

The opportunity afforded by this absurd decision is not confined to Massachusetts. Legislatures across America should enact laws defining marriage as between a man and woman. Voters should petition to have identical referenda put on the ballot.

Congress should re-enact the Defense of Marriage Act and amend it to deny the Supreme Court any right of review. Congress' power to restrict the appellate review jurisdiction of the Supreme Court was granted in Article III of the Constitution for a purpose. This is it.

Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative magazine, and the author of many books including State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America .
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