|George Wallace blocking entry to
the University of Alabama
On June 11, 1963, George Wallace, governor of Alabama, stood in the doorway of of the University of Alabama to block court-ordered integration. We all know how that ended up. We also know Wallace’s place in history.
Today, in a piece written for American Family Association’s new blog, Bryan Fischer states:
I believe the only way this runaway judiciary can be stopped is if a governor of a state that has passed a marriage amendment will stand up to the federal judiciary, stand up to this tyranny and say Look, your ruling is not going to be considered valid in our state.
According to John Eastman, chairman of National Organization for Marriage (and official NOM-recipient-of-hugest-legal-fees-while-losing-cases):
Abraham Lincoln took a similar position in his first inaugural address when he said in response to the Dred Scott decision: If
we’re going to let the Supreme Court be the final matter on such basic
questions as policy, we will cease to be our own rulers to that extent,. And Lincoln was right … people need to
stand up to this and the courts need to hear and see people standing up
to this judicial tyranny.
With respect to Fischer I have concluded that he is a moderately smart guy who happens to be (obviously) insane. Monday’s action by the Supreme Court has driven him apoplectic-bat-shit. No governor is going to submit to a huge distraction (including massive expense for the state, litigation and liability) to thwart a small percentage a very small percent of marriages that he or she doesn’t like. States have more important issues that actually affect many of their citizens.
As for the credibility troubled Mr. Eastman, Lincoln never said that! What Lincoln did say in his first inaugural address was quite different:
And while it is obviously possible that such decision may be erroneous
in any given case, still the evil effect following it, being limited to
that particular case, with the chance that it may be overruled and never
become a precedent for other cases, can better be borne than could the
evils of a different practice. At the same time, the candid citizen must confess that if the policy of
the Government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be
irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they
are made in ordinary litigation between parties in personal actions the
people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent
practically resigned their Government into the hands of that eminent
tribunal. Nor is there in this view any assault upon the court or the
judges. It is a duty from which they may not shrink to decide cases
properly brought before them, and it is no fault of theirs if others
seek to turn their decisions to political purposes.
Lincoln’s view is that the Court had grave responsibilities. He was not suggesting some form of resistance. Mr. Lincoln notes that bad decisions can be reversed (presumably through congress or a subsequent review by the Court) and that abandonment of the constitutional process is a greater evil than bad decisions. Lincoln is quite clear that decisions of the Court should not be used for political purposes.
Ever-the-victim, Eastman seems not to understand the Dred Scott affirmed the notion that, once enslaved, the man or woman lost all civil rights. On the other hand, the Courts actions in the marriage cases permit lower courts to assert that gay couples, and their children, have constitutional rights of equal protection and due process.