Romney says let the people vote; O’Malley responds

Romney says let the people vote; O’Malley responds

Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts says that the people should be allowed to vote on matters of public policy and not have it imposed on them by judges or legislators against their wishes, and the media act as if Romney was calling for the return of the Jim Crow laws.

At a press conference today, along with Cardinal Sean O’Malley and others, Romney said that the Constitution—state or federal—does not disallow such a popular vote.

“We have a Constitution. We can look in there and say, ‘Does it say here you can vote on matters unless someone can define them as civil rights?’ No,” said the Republican governor, a graduate of Harvard Law School who is mulling a presidential run. “It says you vote on all matters in this country and we’ll decide what is a civil right and what’s not. So, fundamentally, we come back to the principle that the people speak.”

He added: “Is there anything more fundamental to the commonwealth and this country than the principle that the power is reserved for the people, that government is the servant, not the master?”

I like the little dig about Harvard Law School. The clear implication we’re supposed to draw is, “This guy went to Harvard Law and still has the backward ideas.”

Government of the people, by the elite, for the protected

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bk_keywords: Abraham Lincoln, Dred Scott.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
7 comments
  • Sean H.
    Romney is NOT absolutlely correct on this.  While I am glad to see him supporting the marriage amendment (because something has to be done to prevent the illegal conduct that has been happening in Massachusetts), it is quite hypocritical of Romney to act like he is in favor of protecting marriage, when the only legal thing needed to end same-sex marriage is for Romney to revoke his illegal order to town clerks.  This simple act would prevent same-sex marriage until the Massachusetts Constitution was (if ever) amended to allow such rights. 
    Same-sex marriage exists in Massachusetts, because Mitt Romney has violated the higher law of the Massachusetts Constitution. 

    There is no need to amend the Constitution because it already protects marriage.  Unlike any other Constitution in the United States, our forefathers had the foresight to protect marriage by codifying it and removing it from the jurisdiction of the judiciary.  By doing that two things happend.  1.  The definition of marriage that existed at the time of the signing of the Constitution was locked in and is unchangeable (a plethora of case law in Massachusetts supports this), but by means of a Constitutional amendment.  So we don’t need an amendment to define marriage as it already is defined in the Constitution—making the current attempt the amendment somewhat foolish, although excusable.  And 2.  they left the policy decisions about marriage in the power of the people through the legislative process. 

    We only need this amendment because Governor Romney has ignored the Constitution AND he has made an executive order that ordered town clerks to give out marriage licenses and ordered JP’s to solemnize marriages IN VIOLATION of c.207 §50 (which makes it a crime to certify or solemnize a marriage not authorized by the marriage statute).  The marriage statute in Massachusetts has never changed (and therefore does not permit same-sex marriage—see the Goodridge case.)

    I wish Romney would be honest and stop supporting things that make him “look” like he is in favor of protecting traditional marriage and instead simply revoke his illegal order and truly protect marriage.

  • “Once again, I’m left wondering why proponents of gay marriage in this very liberal state are using every means at their disposal, including intimidation of foes and backroom political machinations, to avoid a popular referendum that will settle this once and for all.”

    Hey, Gay marriage even failed at the ballot in California in 1999 or 2000.

  • Louis E. 
    I think I understood your comment and i think I agree with you.  However, think of the lack of logic.  Yes the Mass. Constitution prevents a petition initiative (not a constitutional amendment but only one initiated by the citizens) from “overturning” a Judicial decision.  But what if the initiative petition does not in fact “amend” the constituion,but rather simply confirms that the word “marriage” (which has existed in the Constitution from its original signing in 1780) means what it always has meant. 

    Logically, then this is not overturning a Judicial decision (the Goodridge case) because the Constituional meaning of marriage has always meant marriage between one man and one woman.  Guess what that means:  to the extent that the Goodridge case somehow “changed” the longstanding meaning of the term marriage codified in the constitution, the Goodridge case itself is UNCONSTITUTIONAL.  However, a careful reading of Goodridge, clearly shows that the SJC DID NOT attempt to change the Constitutional meaning of the word marriage, the SJC simply changed the “common law” meaning of the term marriage.  This has no real legal affect (but clearly a very effective duping PR effect on the constitutionally uneducated citizenry and intellectually lazy lawyers). 

    The SJC suggested that the legislature change all of the various laws starting with the marriage statute (c. 207).  But the legislature never did change the statutes (and indeed, had they, the changes would have violated the Constitutional meaning of marriage).  The Goodridge case essentially says that a word that exists in the Massachusetts Constitution is itself unconstitutional.  This is flawed legal reasoning and a real problem for the shelflife of the Goodridge case in the Federal courts.

  • As we live in a constitutional republic, not in an oligarchy ruled by judges, we do not have to automatically bow to whatever judges say. If judges declared the ownership of slaves to be a civil right (a la Dred Scott), that wouldn’t make it a civil right.

    Of course, I said this in the blog entry.

  • Jesus lover
    You have no idea what you are talking about.  Mitt Romney doesn’t either.

    Of course, every right, is up to the people through our laws and our constitutions.  You know of the people, by the people and for the people.

    Guess what.  Ever heard of the 19th Amendment.  It WAS NOT a judicial decision.  IT was an AMENDMENT to the Constitution which previously DID not allow women to vote.  Sorry.  We live in a constitutional democracy where the constitution, not a judicial opinion IS the final say.  WOMEN DID NOT HAVE A RIGHT TO VOTE UNTIL THE CONSTITUTION WAS AMENDED.  The Constitution can be amended to say whatever the people want it to say.  If the people want to reaffirm that marriage (which is protected by our current Constitution—but simply being ignored by the SJC and Mitt Romney) is to be only between one man and one woman we the people can do so.  It cannot be prevented.  And it is going to happen.  So you better buckle your seatbelt. 

    There is no “civil rights” trump card.  That is a falsehodd and Mitt Romney either knows it and is afraid to say it or he is an idiot.

    MAK said:
    No.  We are left with only this option.

    Not exactly MAK.  Passing a constitutional amendment that reaffirms the current words of our constitution is one option.  But an even better, more effective, and more appropriate option is to demand that Mitt Romney meet his sworn and constitutional obligation to enforce Massachusetts law.  That would be to recall his illegal order to town clerks and justices of the peace.  Mitt Romney has no right (constituional or otherwise) to order town clerks and JP’s to violate their conscience and hand out “marriage” certificates in violation of c.207 the marriage statute.  The constitution says a law remains on the books until the LEGISLATURE REPEALS IT.  Mitt Romney has no authority, nor does the SJC have authority to repeal the marriage statute. 

    So the best available option is to demand that Romney revoke his illegal executive order.  That would instantly end gay “marriage,” and probably instantly send Romney to the white house.  He would be a hero for democracy.  Right now all he is is a fencepostriding politician trying to play both sides of every issue.

    The truth is however, athird option is for the people to stand up and ignore gay “marriage.”  As I said, the current Massachusetts Constitution PROHIBITS same-sex “marriage.”  Just exactly like the US Constitution prohibited women from voting.  As a result, the marriage certificates that are being handed out ARE ILLEGAL and the GOODRIDGE CASE IS ILLEGAL.  The people have no duty, indeed, they have a constitutional duty to ignore these illegal acts.  That is also a great option, but the Globe won’t tell you that it is available.  Only educated people, who understand democracy would understand the truth (and power) in this option.

  • So you can follow . . .
    You said:  We do NOT vote on civil rights.  The SJC of Mass has decided that this is a matter of civil right.

    i.e…The Courts granted women the right to vote.  Even if the majhority of voters agree that women SHOULDN’T vote….the court has said that the right can’t be taken away by voters.

    I said:
    You have no idea what you are talking about. . . . WOMEN DID NOT HAVE A RIGHT TO VOTE UNTIL THE CONSTITUTION WAS AMENDED.

    It was not a court who gave women the right to vote.  It was the people through a constitutional amendment that gave women the right to vote. 

    It is only your opinion, that the SJC is the final arbiter of the Massachusetts Constittuion and simply because they claim it to be.  But they are not.  THE PEOPLE ARE.  If the people change the Constitution, that change CANNOT be unconstitutional, because it is the Constitution.  The only way to interpret the Constitution would be to interpret it to NOT PERMIT SSM.  Any other interpretation would be UNCONSTITUTIONAL. THE PEOPLE WILL DECIDE WHAT IS AND WHAT IS NOT A CIVIL RIGHT.  Not the SJC.

    Finally,
    you said:
    **WOMEN DID NOT HAVE A RIGHT TO VOTE UNTIL THE CONSTITUTION WAS AMENDED.  **

    Exactly my point!

    No it was exactly the opposite of your point.  The people can and will change the Constitution to protect SSM and once that happens the only way to change it back is not for the SJC to “interpret” those words out of the Constitution, but rather to amend it to read differently.

    Welcome to democracy. We are not ruled, rather we rule.

  • a.  it is not 51% of the people, it is whatever the Constitution deems is the process for the people toi amend the constitution

    b.  For the third time.  It was the people amending the constitution who gave women the right to vote; not some court affirming that.

    c.  You need to read your own statements, because they are silly.  The amended words of the Constitution cannot change the constitution???  Where did you come up with that.  The Constitution, has in it ways of amending it.  The framers put those processes in place.  Therefore, the framers of the constitution, if the people are allowed to follow those ways (which is not clear that in Massachusetts the legislators will permit them to), have laid out the way in which it is to be amended.  Thus, nothing . . . NOTHING . . . that the people do to amend the Constitution, if they follow the proper procedures, can prevent the constitution from being amended.  Not wishful thinking.  Not confusion.  Not angry personal opinions.  It is easy.  Read the Constitution.  Follow its words.  Amend the Constitution.  Then you have a brand new constitution.  If you don’t then ALL OF THE CHANGES REMOVING CHRISTIAN VALUES IN THE PAST ARE NULL AND VOID.  In Massachusetts, the Constitution required the teaching of Christian doctrine and prayer in schools.  Those amendments would violate the original framers intent.  Do you really believe that those amendments do not apply because they violate the original framers’ intents???  Of course not,  they are in effect because they meet the framers’ intent because they followed the proper procedure to AMEND the constitution.

    Like it or not words (and therefore Constitutions) have meaning.  To amend is to change for the bbetter or to alter.  I hope we don’t have to now go look up “change” and “alter.”

    a·mend   Audio pronunciation of “amend” ( P )  Pronunciation Key (-mnd)
    v. a·mend·ed, a·mend·ing, a·mends
    v. tr.

      1. To change for the better; improve: amended the earlier proposal so as to make it more comprehensive.
      2. To remove the faults or errors in; correct. See Synonyms at correct.
      3. To alter (a legislative measure, for example) formally by adding, deleting, or rephrasing.
      4. To enrich (soil), especially by mixing in organic matter or sand.

    P.S.  Please don’t flatter me by calling me names.

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