2009-05-06 02:09 pm
Entry tags:

Maine's OK!

“It’s not the way I was raised and it’s not the way that I am,” the governor said in a telephone interview. “But at the same time I have a responsibility to uphold the Constitution. That’s my job, and you can’t allow discrimination to stand when it’s raised to your level.”


I could do without the "ASDFJK! I'm not gay!" language, but it passed. He gets respect in my book.

There is, of course, a catch. According to the article, there could be a "people's veto", which would require the legislature to put the whole issue on hold until there can be a question on a ballot. In order to do so, they (they being the uptight moral majority who think they're above the law /rant) need to get 55,000 signatures within 90 days. (If Google is correct, and the population of Maine is roughly 1,316,456, then that's a little over 4%.) How likely is this to happen? I'd like to think not very, but never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

I also think that even if they DID decide to pull this stunt, it would have to be unconstitutional.

Maine's Constitution states:
Section 6-A. Discrimination against persons prohibited. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor be denied the equal protection of the laws, nor be denied the enjoyment of that person's civil rights or be discriminated against in the exercise thereof.
(from http://janus.state.me.us/legis/const/)

It seems to me that if they wanted to take away those rights, they'd have to amend the state constitution. But this, is, of course, my amateur "am-about-to-graduate-law-school-and-so-I-have-opinions-on-EVERYTHING" opinion.

I suppose, if I'm being "reasonable" (or, rather, playing "devil's advocate") it could be stated that marriage is not a civil right? I don't know -- I'm trying to puzzle this out. There's a chunk of case law that states marriage is a fundamental right (and therefore cannot be denied because of being a deadbeat parent, or because the person is in jail).

Yes, the power is with the people. But -- the people can't just up and deny people rights guaranteed in the constitution without amending said constitution. Some might argue that the people are allowed to put parameters on those rights. For example: You can tap my phone because I'm a-scared of the big bad terrorists, even though the Constitution says no unreasonable searches and seizures. (This, of course, is an extremely whittled example, and in many ways not well thought out.)

Well, that was interesting, and took much more of my time than I meant it to. Ooops.