Nothing much new here. Radical Centrist noted earlier that the Legislative Council meets Friday morning at Br’er Rapert will be back with his demagoguic resolution to reaffirm legislative support for Amendment 83 and its legalized discrimination against gay people who wish marriage equality and to otherwise ignorantly proclaim that Circuit Judge Chris Piazza abused his oath of office by doing precisely what judges are empowered to do — indeed are sworn to do — uphold both the state and U.S. Constitutions.
Will a majority of the legislative council really declare judges in Arkansas have no power to interpret the Constitution? Mind you, this isn’t expression of a difference of opinion on interpretation. The Rapert resolution flatly states the judge has abused his authority and violated the separation of powers doctrine. If that’s so, Piazza has joined dozens of judges around the country who’ve reached precisely the same constitutional decision on the constitutionality of attempting to legalize discrimination against a group of people on account of their sexual orientation. It is a precise parallel to the judges who overrode the “will of the people” and said states could no longer segregate black children or prevent mixed race couples from marrying. They, too, in the Rapert School of Law violated their oaths and defied the separation of powers doctrine.
At least one putative lawyer, Bullet Bob Ballinger, signed this nonsense. Many others on there should have some familiarity with Marbury v. Madison.
Might there be some pushback in going too far with Rapert’s demagoguery? Sigh. Probably not. It was remarkable that a handful of Democratic legislators threw up a procedural hurdle to passage on his first judicial necktie party. The fear of the demagogues and the appeal of discrimination remains too strong in Arkansas for such courage in the Arkansas legislature in an election year. David Sanders, a good student at OBU, knows better than to bundle up sheer ignorance of our constitutional form of government with whatever his heartfelt feelings might be about same-sex marriage. Les Carnine, a former school superintendent, knows better. Ann Clemmer, who allegedly teaches politics, knows better. But they are Republicans. And divergence from the party line is not permitted in today’s GOP. The handful of Democrats who signed this nonsense will someday join the ghosts of the segregation era in being embarrassed about standing in the way of equality under the law so close to the demise of legalized discriminations. The Republicans? They’ll be brushing up their Faubusisms.