Two rogue activist judges on lower courts in the states of New York and Georgia got the surprise slapped out of them this week.
It's about time!
Judge Doris Ling-Cohen of New York and Constance Russell of Georgia were sent stinging rebukes by their state's highest courts, and in cases that will be watched by other high courts in New Jersey, California and perhaps most importantly Washington. These women were given very clear lessons in judicial clarity and "We the People" rejoiced!
Judge Ling-Cohen knew when she issued the decision to allow marriage to be redefined in New York City that she had stirred up a hornet's nest. The very same afternoon my radio show organized communications with some of the 8000 church leaders in the New York metro to begin aggressive opposition to her unilateral mandate that defied the state's constitution. Mayor Michael Bloomberg also felt the sting; thousands of phone calls pouring into his office finally forced him to begrudgingly acknowledge that it was the city's responsibility to attempt to have the decision overturned. He also then promptly went to several homosexual advocacy groups and made it clear that he preferred the ideas that Judge Ling-Cohen had put forward.
In addition, at the beginning of PRIDE month, the Mayor went on-air for his weekly radio address and promised quick compliance if the state high court returned a verdict that defended the radical activists seeking changes in the state law. He promised that the city would "immediately begin performing so called 'gay' marriages." He also then added that should the decision go against the activists and for the families of New York, he would begin working to craft legislation in the state assembly to get voters to approve the redefining of marriage. (Good luck with that, Mayor.) I played the arrogant comments over and over the following Monday on my radio show and again thousands of calls poured into the Mayor's office.
The Court of Appeals, the highest court in the Empire State, answered all the involved parties with a 4-2 spanking of the activists and made perfectly clear that only the people of New York have the ability to redefine the institution of marriage, clarifying the division that exists between the judiciary and the legislature. It is notable that this case mirrored nearly to perfection its predecessor in the Massachusetts courts that eventually legalized a redefinition of marriage.
Less than two hours later, the Georgia Supreme Court sent a much more recent decision by lower court Justice Constance Russell packing as well. In Russell's flimsy decision to overturn the will of seventy-six percent of the electorate in the state of Georgia, she attempted to assert that no single piece of legislation could address both the idea of "marriage" and "civil unions that bear an uncanny resemblance to marriage" in the same bill. She found that perhaps Georgia voters had been confused about what nearly 8 out of 10 of them had voted to approve.
Nice try—but no dice.
The Georgia Supreme Court ruled unanimously to overturn Russell and found that, in fact, Georgians were very well-informed about what they had decided to vote for. (You know that old fashioned idea of one man and one woman before God for eternity silliness ...)
Of course, both decisions are hated by liberals and therefore received spotty coverage in the media, but make no mistake, these decisions portend large in the upcoming decisions in New Jersey (which can't even seem to stay open), California (which seldom ever makes sense), and Washington. The Washington case being the biggest one of all.
In Washington there is no residency requirement for marriages to be performed. Simply put, if Washington courts go all Massachusetts on their voters—suddenly couples from every state in the union could apply for marriage licenses, be pronounced man and husband, or woman and bride, and return to their state to then test the federal statute called the Defense of Marriage Act.
The sides who have lost in each of these cases have pledged to work night and day to get legislative approval to redefine marriage. In New York—if Elliot Spitzer is elected governor, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg does throw in the millions of dollars and manpower to conduct a grassroots efforts—who knows what could happen! But at least such a scenario would still have to drive millions of voters to voting booths to get such a result. A good test of such a drive might be seen this fall in Massachusetts as the voters there will be allowed to weigh in on the issue for the very first time.
As you can easily see, the fight isn't over. It's barely just begun.
But it's always a good day to see activist judges get their lunch handed to them.
And for Ling-Cohen and Russell all you can say is, "...Ouch! That's gonna leave mark!"