Saturday, March 7, 2009

Tyranny by Another Name

On March 4th news that the Virginia state central committee was pressuring Jeff Frederick to resign as RPV chairman hit the blogosphere.  The following day the California Supreme Court held oral arguments on Proposition 8.  While most would argue that these two events have nothing in common, I would like to disagree.

Last November California voters approved a state constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman.  In a state that voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama, this measure passed by 52.1% with Barack Obama on the ballot.  After Prop 8 passed the opponents of the measure argued that a majority of the people have no right to take away the rights of the minority.  They argued they have a right to homosexual marriage.  If this is true the measure clearly removed that "right".  In an attempt to win on this argument they appealed the measure to the courts which resulted in the oral arguments on Thursday.  If the California State Supreme Court overturns the voice of the people, it will be yet another example of judicial tyrrany.  Judicial tyranny occurs when the courts override a decision of the legislature or the people for political reasons, and not because it is legally unconstitutional.  Conservatives would argue that Kelo vs. New London and, the two biggest thorns in the sides of social conservatives, Roe vs. Wade and Texas vs. Lawrence are examples of judicial tyranny.  Judicial tyranny occurs when unelected judges make the law instead of the people and their elected representatives.

In California we are faced with the possibility that a few judges will of over five million voters will be overturned.  In Virginia we are faced with the possibility that sixty plus members of the state central committee will overturn the will of the Virginia grassroots at the 2008 RPV State Convention.  The last convention was attended by over 4,000 activists from across this commonwealth.  Over the course of the campaign they were presented with two different visions for the RPV and were able to vote on the vision they agreed with.  The Virginia grassroots overwhelmingly supported Jeff Frederick for chairman of the RPV.  Instead of respecting that fact, members of state central have been opposing Jeff Frederick at every turn, and now it appears that in under a month a little over sixty party insiders will overturn the will of the Virginia grassroots as expressed last May.  We went to Richmond last May to make our voices heard, and we thought they were heard.  Now the party leadership says we don't care what you said we will ignore your voice.  It makes you wonder why we should have voted at all last year.

In California the voters are faced with the possibility that their votes for prop 8 last November will be overturned by a couple judges.  In Virginia Republican politics, we are faced with the possibility that our vote at last year's convention will be overturned.

This may not be judicial tyranny, but that is only because judges aren't involved.

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