Everything I know about the law I’ve gleaned from a handful of undergraduate classes, To Kill A Mockingbird, In Cold Blood & every version (including the British) of Law & Order. In other words; I know very very little. But why should that get in the way? As the Supreme Court is considering equal marriage it occurs to me to question why? Why are we pinning our hopes on the Supremes?
The Supreme Court is rarely at the forefront (or even midway) in changing our nation’s narrative. There are few decisions (that come to mind) made that the populace had not already thoroughly considered. So why then is it the Supreme Court we look to to settle this matter once and for all? What would happen if the body that decided (in 1996) that marriage was only legal for couples of opposite genders did a do-over? Before the signing (by President Clinton) and the passing of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) there were no gender specifications in regards to legal marriage.
What would prevent President Clinton from launching an enormous mea culpa campaign? He is an incredibly influential man who no doubt has favors to call in. What would prevent him from lobbying congresspeople and senators to overturn what he created? The benefits of clearing his conscience notwithstanding, it would be an efficient method of eradicating the illegality of equal marriage.
Would the Supreme Court (or any court) even need to be examining the legality of any marriage had DOMA not been signed into law? Does anyone want to put their basic civil liberties in the hands of nine appointed people? Wouldn’t it be more appropriate for elected officials to make those decisions for their constituents? If the polls are even remotely accurate it would seem that the majority of Americans support equal marriage. The (seemingly) vocal minority is similar to most vocal minorities who value their personal beliefs/views more than the public good. It is in the best interest of the public to have the people we’ve elected represent us.
“I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.”
― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird