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shellyindallas So now the California Supreme Court has agreed to review cases that claim voters should not have the power to interpret/alter the Constitution. I don't disagree with this, but my question is, then, why was this issue put to the voters in the first place? Anyone know?

Books Ring Mah Bell democracy?

needed to fill blank spot on ballot?


good question, Shelly.

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Not that I agree with the outcome, but why wouldn't voters be able to alter the Constitution, isn't it by the people for the people? Or do I have my documents confused?

message 4: by shellyindallas (last edited Nov 20, 2008 06:34AM) (new)

shellyindallas Well, I would imagine that a large majority of voters haven't even ever fully read the Constitution, if at all. I would wonder if many people have even glanced at it, to be honest.

Books Ring Mah Bell I have extra copies if someone would like to read it!

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Probably true but there seems to be so much dissatisfaction with the political process as it is. Sometimes you are only allowed to vote for the lesser of two evils. This was allowing people to take ownership in what governs them. Thanks to the amount of distrust that we have with the individuals that we vote into office, it make sense to me to allow items like this to be voted on by the masses, not by individuals who can be swayed by lobbyists, or by someone who says I'll vote for this for you if you vote for this for me. Now if we could put spending limits in, and get rid of lobbyists we would be heading in the right direction. My writing sucks, and I wander in my thought process, but hopefully this makes sense.

message 7: by Arminius (new)

Arminius I am sure this is a California constitutional issue. I believe that their constitution allows for recall and referendum. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

Also, I like it because otherwise you have a one person rule on a decision. The masses are not always correct but I trust them more than one person.

message 8: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments David brought that question up a couple days ago. Can you imagine if the people of the south were asked to vote whether or not the slaves would be free? I agree, not everything should be up for popular vote, but I have a hard time articulating what should and shouldn't.

message 9: by Arminius (new)

Arminius Randomamthony, you might be surprised at the answer to your question if it ever occurred.

shellyindallas Really, Arminius? Do you think Southern voters would've opted to free the slaves?

message 11: by Arminius (last edited Nov 20, 2008 07:54AM) (new)

Arminius Slavery was relegated to the extremely wealthy farmers. These people were less than 1% of the population. Most farmers in the South were poor and struggling. They could not afford slaves.

They went along because the Civil War was partly a tariff war. The North wanted tariffs on cheap textiles being dumped in America costing northern jobs.

The South was heavily exporting cotton. They understood that there would be a reciprocating tariff placed on their cash cow. And Southeast Asia was emerging in the cotton market at this time.

So, it looked as if the congress was going to enact the tariff as a result hurt all southern farming. You also had a society that was very loyal to their home state.

message 12: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Mmkay, but even if you're right, who would have been allowed to actually vote at the time? Probably just that 1%, and anyone else they could intimidate into agreeing with them. Its not like this is the first time we've heard of corrupt voting practices keeping things from happening. No way in hell the rich few allow the slaves to be freed. They had the money to prevent it, and they would have.

message 13: by Meen (last edited Nov 20, 2008 08:11AM) (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments California citizens can amend their own constitution which is not necessarily a bad thing, but state constitutions cannot violate the federal one. Prop 8 violates the 14th Amendment.

Arminius for all the wonder and glory of libertarianism's individual autonomy, many of us individuals are not real keen on supporting the rights of all the other individuals, so no, the will of the people should not be sacrosanct. And as someone who is from "the people" of Mississippi, I can say with some assurance that not only would most of my "people" not have voted to free the slaves (b/c regardless of their economic interests or lack thereof, slavery allowed them to have racial privilige), they consistently voted against integration at any level, and they would gladly reinforce segregation today given that option.

message 14: by [deleted user] (last edited Nov 20, 2008 08:10AM) (new)

Even if we allow Arminius's argument above, do you really believe that enfranchised American voters would have chosen, via referendum, to afford equal civil liberties to African-Americans prior to the 1960s? (And even during the 1960s, it's questionable.)

Some principles must remain above and beyond the purview of the masses, otherwise we have mob rule in every respect. We want our nation's constitution (and those of its states) to protect the rights of minorities, not to subject them to the circumstantial whim of the majority.

For instance, how about a referendum effectively ending democracy? It's certainly been done before historically.

Unfortunately, the masses are generally woefully ill-equipped to make logical, far-sighted decisions about civil liberties, justice, and rule of law -- that is why we require experts to interpret the law and the constitution. Surely, they are subject to error, but mostly I believe they are committed to preserving the integrity of the foundation of American society. At the very least, I believe their response is not gutteral or vitriolic.

message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Around here, we don't say elitist, Donnie Boy. We say Nietzschean.

All of these pesky untermensches need to be kept in their place.

message 16: by Dave (new)

Dave Russell I think you mean untermenschen.

message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Good point, D. Russ. Damn, I hate when you invalidate my viewpoint with your mad spelling skillz.

message 18: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) It's really simple, folks.

The US Constitution (or what's left of it) is supposed to prevent the majority from taking away the reasonable, legitimate rights of individuals. Prop 8 sets a very bad precedent in that it does just that. I'm with Mindy in that Article 14 should rule.

There is no legitimate argument for preventing anyone from being married to whomever they choose. I mean, who does it hurt? Reasons behind Prop 8 are vague and arbitrary -- and based mostly in ignorant religious dogma.

I remember arguments around the table when I was growing up concerning inter-racial marriages. The reasons given were just as specious as those provided for this issue.

message 19: by Arminius (new)

Arminius Should we use the 14th Amendment I would agree but there is also the 10th that comes into play.

message 20: by Meen (last edited Nov 20, 2008 02:00PM) (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments Supreme Court has already decided that state marriage laws fall within the purview of the 14th. (Most applicably in this case with Loving v. Virginia which I talked about somewhere else here.) Supreme Court very rarely uses the 10th and when it does it's usually about states being forced to comply with federal law. (Most recently, re: gun control, the argument about which has been going on and on and on for a while in True North.) (It's funny that the folks who are probably the most ardent about states' rights are the ones who wanted a Federal ban on gay marriage.)

message 22: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Yes!

message 23: by Arminius (last edited Dec 05, 2008 12:18PM) (new)

Arminius Reply to message 14.

Mindy, I am not saying you are wrong but Mississippi did elect the first black U.S. Senator- Hiram Revels of Mississippi in 1870. That is just 5 years after the end of the Civil War.

message 24: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) Mindy wrote: "Prop 8-The Musical!!!!


I saw that video a few days ago on one of my friends' Facebook site. Love it. Neil Patrick Harris, get thee back to Broadway!

message 25: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Yeah it was called reconstruction, fertile ground for growth of the KKK and all that lovely stuff.

message 26: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments Oh dear jeebus, Arminius, let's just call that the exception that proves the rule.

message 27: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments Neil Patrick Harris, get thee back to Broadway!

I know! He was fabulous!

message 28: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) He's very talented, for a gay guy. Oh, I'm only kidding everybody. Don't jump all over me.

message 29: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments I know you love the homasexshuls, Larry!

message 30: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Larry wants the homosexuals to jump all over him.

message 31: by Sarah (last edited Dec 05, 2008 12:37PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) I have always liked him. I had a major thing for him when I was eleven.

EDIT: Neil Patrick Harris, that is. Not Larry.

message 32: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) It's two words, Mindy: homa sexshuls.

message 33: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments You got that from a reliable source, right, Larry?

message 34: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Yup.

message 35: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments :)

message 36: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) RA: No, actually I said don't jump all over me. But I'll not be goaded into a homa phobic response. Not ever.

message 37: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Forewarned is forearmed.

message 38: by Cyril (new)

Cyril Remember Prop 182 in California? It was passed by the voters but struck down by the courts. I would provide more information, but the font of knowledge that is the Internet fails me.

message 39: by Dave (new)

Dave Russell Cyril, are you thinking of Prop 187?

message 40: by Cyril (new)

Cyril That would explain a lot.

message 41: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Support for gay marriage grows, according to Newsweek...


The connection between gay marriage support and knowing gays/lesbians makes sense to me....

message 42: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Yup -- takes it out of the abstract.

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