Tuesday, May 27, 2008

James Wigderson and his critics

As you may have gathered from the comments on this post, my views on the proper limits of the courts were not exactly unanimously supported. Dave Fabie, a former Wisconsinite now living in San Francisco, takes special umbrage at my blog post and column.

Okay… So apparently the biggest “fear” that was facing the state of Wisconsin prior to 2006 was the looming terror of being “forced” to accept two consenting adults of no direct family relation living together in a committed and legally binding relationship?


Now granted, it has been a few years since I lived in Wisconsin, but I was born there, and I did grow up there. Strangely enough, I don’t recall people living in “fear” about that.

As to the claim that "activist judges" are rewriting our laws circumventing the democratic process, this is nonsense. Very easily packaged nonsense, sound byte-ready nonsense, but still nonsense.

If in 1860 you had put emancipation to a popular vote, it would have failed. If in 1960 you had but integration to a popular vote it would have failed. For that matter if in 1776, you had but independence to a popular vote it would have failed. The reason we have a judicial branch is balance of powers, remember that one from social studies?

Let me point out that I certainly did not indicate any priority list of fears, only that we have established that it was a fear with good reason that the courts could have compelled Wisconsin to recognize a definition of marriage it certainly did not prefer had it not passed an amendment to it's constitution.

Then my friend dismisses out of hand my concerns over activist judges by pointing to three particular instances of when government acted possibly contrary to the popular will. I would remind my friend that this precisely why we have a republican form of government, representational rather than direct democracy. After all it was representational government that acted on emancipation and independence rather than the courts.

If anything, instead of worrying about Wisconsin's worries, I suggest Dave concern himself with the balance of powers in his adopted state. Not only is it out of whack, but the surrender of republican government has been acquiesced in by those elected to defend it.

As for the rest, certainly irrelevent to the point I made, no?