Saturday, December 20, 2008

Jerry Brown to whip out his invisible ink decoder ring

California Attorney General Jerry Brown changed course on the state's new same-sex marriage ban yesterday and urged the state Supreme Court to void Proposition 8.

In a dramatic reversal, Brown filed a legal brief saying the measure that amended the California Constitution to limit marriage to a man and a woman is unconstitutional because it deprives a minority group of a fundamental right.

Brown, whose office requires him to defend state laws unless he cannot find legal grounds to do so, earlier had said he would defend the ballot measure against legal challenges, even though he personally opposed Proposition 8.

But Brown said he reached a different conclusion “upon further reflection and a deeper probing into all the aspects of our Constitution.”

“It became evident that the Article 1 provision guaranteeing basic liberty, which includes the right to marry, took precedence over the initiative,” Brown said in an interview last night. “Based on my duty to defend the law and the entire Constitution, I concluded (that) the court should protect the right to marry even in the face of the 52 percent vote.”

We’re assuming the AG meant Article 1, Section 1 which states:

All people are by nature free and independent and have
inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and
liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing
and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy.

See it? Neither do we.

(For those of you curious, the section that Brown finds in conflict with the invisible ink portion of Article 1, Section 1 is Article 1, Section 7.5)

But do you know what we did find while doing some searching around? This from a commentary on the state’s constitution with a historical perspective for how we, the people, got to do swell things like, cap our own property taxes, kick governors out of office and define marriage:

In 1910, the Progressive candidate for governor, Hiram Johnson, won the Republican primary and the general election. Victory was most sobering to Johnson. During the campaign, he had remarked to an aide that he had no idea what he would do if he was elected governor. The aide replied that “they could institute a system of direct legislation… so that when they were defeated at some inevitable date in the future, the old machine would never again have the power over the people of California it once enjoyed. Johnson … confessed that he did not know what direct legislation was… (and asked for an explanation) how the initiative, referendum and recall worked. It is hardly surprising that “the chaplain opened the first session of the 1911 California legislature with an extraordinary plea: “Give us a square deal for Christ’s sake.”


B-Daddy said...

Dean, you've been linked. I also posted about the twisted logic of Jerry Brown's position.

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Dean said...

Stanford... Oxford...! Sweet! But who is this Notre Dame you speak of?