NAACP/Civil Rts Orgs say Court should overturn Prop 8

I am not sure if anyone has mentioned this, but the NAACP, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and other organizations (Asian, Mexican and several others) petitioned the California Supreme Court today to overturn Prop 8.

Here's the link:

http://equaljusticesociety.org/prop8/

The reason why this is important is that these boosters the position of gay groups, Democratic legistaslators, the GOP governor and several cities in California that if allowed to stand- Prop 8 would have grearter implications than gay marriage or gay people.

"We would be making a grave mistake to view Proposition 8 as just affecting the LGBT community," said Eva Paterson, president of the Equal Justice Society. "If the Supreme Court allows Proposition 8 to take effect, it would represent a threat to the rights of people of color and all minorities."

This is now the heart of the matter. It is not just that it affects gay people. Its that this is, as I have said comments, a conservative assault on all minorities, gay, people of color or whatever other suspect class that the majority can think of to attack.

This does not lessen the fact that gay rights are critical. This is to point out the law of unintended consequences that no one understood going into the voting booth. This is why outreach was critical. Voters being selfless would be great, but if not, then self interest would have also been a major way to defeat the proposition. This is why we should not have allowed this debate to remain abstract.

The press release continues:

"Proposition 8 contradicts the most basic protection guaranteed by the California Constitution, which is the right to equal protection of the laws," said John Trasviña, President and General Counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. "We can not allow the Constitution to sanction discrimination against one group of people."

"Direct democracy cannot override the California Constitution, which requires more than a majority vote to deprive a minority group of their fundamental rights," said John A. Payton, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

"We cannot become a society that picks and chooses who is entitled to equal rights," said Alice A. Huffman, president of the California State NAACP. "We should include all people from all walks of life in the entitlement to all freedoms now enjoyed by the majority of our population As a civil rights advocate, we will continue the fight of eliminating roadblocks to freedom."

"Consistent with core equal protection principles, minority communities must not be stripped of their fundamental rights by bare majority rule," said Karin Wang, Vice-President of Programs for the Asian Pacific American Legal Center. "California went down this path before when the majority population chose to bar interracial marriages involving an unpopular minority: Asian immigrants. The state Constitution exists exactly for this reason - to protect the fundamental rights of minority communities."

This is at the heart of this debate- whether we will allow a bare majority to destroy the basic premise of equal protection analysis or will we require something more substantive and deliberative such as is required with the revision process. This is a conservative assault on greater progressive principles about the rule of law and how it has traditionally worked in this country over the last 200 years, including the role of the judiary in that process. Gays are just the latest skirmish in a decades old battle.

Tags: California, civil rights, gays, NAACP, Proposition 8, Supreme Court (all tags)

Comments

20 Comments

Minority rights in a democracy is not subject to

a vote by majority. That is contrary to the basic foundation of democracy...

by louisprandtl 2008-11-15 07:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Mob rule

Mob rule is one of authoritarian.  Many of Christians who so quickly attack minorities here do not realize the same mob rule abroad leads to the presecution of Christians in places where they are in the minority. It is extremely shortsighted. It is also a very conservative frame.

by bruh3 2008-11-15 08:09PM | 0 recs
At some point,

on one day, the Equal Protection clause will be sensibly applied to the LGBT persons' right to marry.

The Equal Protection clause will be read to mean that denying a citizen the right to marry, in defiance of equal protection under the law, is about as sensible as the reasoning in Plessy.

Sounds like the California Constitution is ahead of the game in judicial policymaking on the national front, but nationally the US SC will catch up.

The inequality is staring us in the face.

by MAL Contends 2008-11-16 03:53AM | 0 recs
Re: At some point,

No when you have even so called liberals saying they can see the conservative argument about direct democracy not realizing that its the antithesis of liberal democracy. I think a lot of people read gay, and their brains shut down to be quite honest like it used to do with race.

by bruh3 2008-11-16 07:20AM | 0 recs
Re: At some point,

this is not a problem of direct democracy - the US needs more of that! - rather a better understanding of what issues are appropriate for direct democracy.

by swissffun 2008-11-16 09:13AM | 0 recs
Re: At some point,

We do no tneed more direct democracy precisely because most Americans neither have the time or inclination to understand the issues as you described. This is why we were set up as a represenative democracy. To allow time for deliberation. The failings of represenative democracy can not be overcome by direct democracy. They can be overcome by making the representative actually a) represent and b) uphold constitutional principles that are bigger than the momentary representation.

by bruh3 2008-11-16 09:23AM | 0 recs
Re: At some point,

huh? so you're saying that Americans have always been dense nitwits incapable of understanding anything remotely complicated????

nope, don't agree. the founders based large parts of the constitution on the Swiss federation, by way of the CH-FR enlightenment sources. sadly they didn't see the wisdom of direct democracy - not even direct election of the president or senators!

direct democracy is not well represented by the US example where getting signatures puts something on the next ballot. important issues should be discussed in the States, Congress and then put to the people. Of course not everything, but the main issues.

by swissffun 2008-11-16 09:47AM | 0 recs
Re: At some point,

First, you aren't describing the U.S. Like I said, most of you who argue these things are not basing them on rule of law since as ou admit that's not our sytem.

However, let's point out the practical, rather than moral danger of what you describe.

I am applying information theory. People are living their actual lives. It doesn't matter how smart someone is. Time prevents them from ever being able to do as you describes because they can not as a practical matter devote time to issues to remotely do what a direct democracy requires.

Representative democracy allows for division of labor that reflects the reality of time and human behavior. Direct democracy like communism is a fantasy predicated on what people should be, not what they are.

by bruh3 2008-11-16 09:54AM | 0 recs
Re: NAACP/Civil Rts Orgs say Court should overturn

Listen....if the lower-level courts overturn prop 8.....don't it run the risk of being appealed to the US Supreme Court.

I don't know if SCOTUS is as progrssive and I would hate to have them set a precedent by confirming Prop 8.  Until Obama starts appointing replacements....it may be a danger to have the SCOTUS weigh in.

I think Californians are better serve to put another ballot initiative on the ballots overturning Prop 8 by using democracy to do it.

by newmexicodem 2008-11-16 12:42PM | 0 recs
Re: NAACP/Civil Rts Orgs say Court should overturn

Read the post.

by bruh3 2008-11-16 12:46PM | 0 recs
Re: NAACP/Civil Rts Orgs say Court should overturn

I understand your point that Prop 8 is being used to take away the rights of a group of people.  Direct Democracy shouldn't be used to take away rights.  I also believe Califronia Supreme Court may eventually overturn Prop 8.

My fear is the appeal process.   What happens if the UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT takes the appeal and creates a precedent(kinda like Roe v. Wade).   Can we trust Kennedy to side with Ginsburg, Stevens, Seutor, and Breyer?

by newmexicodem 2008-11-16 12:52PM | 0 recs
Re: NAACP/Civil Rts Orgs say Court should overturn

That's not an issue here so I now find your post confusing. The terminus here is the California Supreme Court (as per the discussion of my diary) not the U.S. Supreme Court. There is no federal issue involved in this case. this is strictly a question of interpretation California  state constitutional law. Again- the subject matter of my diary.

by bruh3 2008-11-16 12:57PM | 0 recs
Re: NAACP/Civil Rts Orgs say Court should overturn

It will not be bought up to the US Supreme Court, the lawsuits are just based in the CA Constitution, also, with DOMA no dtates has to recognize a gay marriage done in another state, so that route is not available if someone wanted to go to SCOTUS.

by el mito 2008-11-16 02:00PM | 0 recs
Democracy or Judicial autocracy?

Prop is being used to take away rights?

The majority voted in California and 3 judges decided they would overrule the majority.

Then the majority ruled again.

To say that Gay marriage was a right in California other than in San Fransisco which openly flaunted the california law or in as much as the 3 Judges said so is false.

Honesty is important.

If you are not honest about the little things people on the fence about this issue will totally completely decide they want to oppose you.

by dtaylor2 2008-11-16 07:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Democracy or Judicial autocracy?

You are an amazing phenomena.

by mikeinsf 2008-11-17 06:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Democracy or Judicial autocracy?

Its called reality look into it

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me- gaymarriage16-2008may16,0,6182317.story

by dtaylor2 2008-11-17 08:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Democracy or Judicial autocracy?

What they are referring to is your frame that judges are not suppose to protect the minority from the majority- the basis of equal protection analysis. The basis of why the NAACP among other orgs find Prop 8 problematic. Because they know Brown v Board among other case law rests on the basic tenets of which our democratic constitutional republic stands. You don't, of course, care because bigots rarely do. George Wallace certainly didn't when he evoked the same arguments you are now evoking. But you know this, and this is why you are an idiot wasting everyone's time. If you want to play games, do so else where. You aren't on Fox News . And your version of reality is neither fair or balanced.

by bruh3 2008-11-17 09:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Democracy or Judicial autocracy?

What I am saying is that if the democratic party things that we are ruled by judges then they will find a sizable portion who support them now will not in the future.

I was not nearly as motivated to vote to ban gay marriage as I was to vote against 4 judges telling the majority of California that they were unfit to rule themselves.

by dtaylor2 2008-11-18 04:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Democracy or Judicial autocracy?

Do you understand what the Supreme Court does?

by Jess81 2008-11-19 04:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Democracy or Judicial autocracy?

Your reality.

by mikeinsf 2008-11-17 10:21AM | 0 recs

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