Supreme Court Logic: Knoll and Void
By redefining marriage, the Supreme Court’s five justices did more than undermine democracy. They undermined their profession too.
And for principled judges across America, that was just as offensive. The country’s confidence in the courts was already in a freefall — slumping to its second lowest score (32%) since 1973, when SCOTUS made its other great mockery of justice in Roe v. Wade.
Now as the highest court in the land chases the cultural winds, the rest of the bench is left to clean up the mess. In Louisiana, justices at the state supreme court reflected the deep division the June 26 decision caused when its effects made their way to the justices’ doorstep this week. Soon, what should have been a routine order certifying the ruling became anything but. In one of a thousand cases sure to trickle down, Louisiana’s court was asked to recognize the gay adoption of two women “married” out of state. It did — but not without unloading on the Supreme Court for putting them in this position first.
In a fiery dissent, three of the seven judges erupted over the high court’s unconstitutional farce on marriage and eviscerated whatever rationale the majority used to justify it. Justice Jeannette Knoll led the charge, with a blistering criticism of “five lawyers” playing the “super-legislators” who imposed their “will over the solemn expression of the people.”
“Unilaterally,” she wrote, “these five lawyers took for themselves a question the Constitution expressly leaves to the people and about which the people have been in open debate — the true democratic process.” Calling it a “mockery of rights” and an “utter travesty,” Knoll warns of the “horrific impact these five lawyers have made on the democratic rights of the American people to define marriage.”
In Louisiana, where the 2004 marriage amendment won in a 78% landslide, you can’t blame the justices for blasting SCOTUS’s stampede over voters. “Simply stated,” Knoll vented, “it is a legal fiction imposed upon the entirety of this nation because these five people think it should be.”
Her colleague, Justice Jefferson Hughes took it a step further and said that his bench should flat-out defy the Supreme Court. “Judges instruct jurors every week not to surrender their honest convictions merely to reach agreement. I cannot do so now… [Marriage’s] definition cannot be changed by legalisms.”
What’s more, there is obvious disagreement on this bench — and elsewhere — about whether court-created same-sex “marriage” automatically legalizes gay adoption. As Hughes argued, the two questions are linked, but distinct. “While the majority opinion of Justice Kennedy leaves it to the various courts and agencies to hash out these issues, I do not concede the reinterpretation of every statute premised upon traditional marriage.”
Once again, states like Louisiana are pushing back on the media’s suggestion that the marriage debate is over. Like the Louisiana and United States Supreme Courts, most Americans are still very much divided on the issue — and that gap will only intensify as more people see the fallout for things like adoption, parents’ rights, and religious liberty. Both The Barna Group and Rasmussen pointed to razor-thin margins on the marriage issue after the Court’s overreach — 49-45% (which is hardly the stuff of consensus).
Meanwhile, liberals are running around pointing the finger at Louisiana’s justices, suggesting they’re the biased ones. What hypocrisy!
If they would have applied that standard to the two members of the Supreme Court who officiated same-sex “marriages” before the final decision, this kind of lower-court questioning wouldn’t even be necessary!
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