Image: President Bill Clinton Signs Defense of Marriage Act
The distinctive mark of the American political experiment is that we are a nation of laws, not men. And what we mean by a “law” is something enacted by the elected representatives of the people or by the people themselves, whether at the state level or federal level.
A corollary to the maxim that we are a nation of laws is that we are decidedly NOT a nation of “rulings.” A court ruling is not a “law,” it is a “ruling.” It may have the force of law due to the abject acquiescence of a meekly compliant people, but it is not a law. A “law” is not a “law” unless it is enacted according to constitutional procedure. Under our Constitution, courts have no power to make or change law, none whatsoever.
A second mark of American jurisprudence is that no one is above the law. No one. This means the president of the United States is not above the law, as both Richard Nixon and the disbarred Bill Clinton discovered. But it also means that the Supreme Court of the United States is not above the law either.
In Kentucky, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis is refusing to issue licenses to individuals wishing to enter into a sodomy-based marriage. She has every legal and constitutional right to do so, even though an activist judge is threatening to frog march her to jail in handcuffs for having the effrontery to follow both the law and her own conscience.
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The Constitution could not be any clearer. The very first words, after the Preamble, are these (emphasis mine throughout): “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”
If ALL legislative powers have been vested in Congress, how many legislative powers does that leave for the Supreme Court? None, zip, nada, zilch. The Supreme Court has not one ounce of legitimate authority to write law, to overturn law, or to amend law. None.
To paraphrase Martin Luther King, Jr., an unjust ruling is no ruling at all.
So the Court had precisely zero authority to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which was passed by overwhelming and bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress, and signed into law by by a Democrat president, Bill Clinton. DOMA makes it expressly clear that the business of defining marriage is an issue that belongs exclusively to the states. That is the LAW, passed by the elected representatives of the people in the constitutionally prescribed manner.
If DOMA is to be amended or overturned, there is only one body on earth which has the legitimate power to do so, and that is Congress. The Supreme Court has absolutely no moral or constitutional authority to tamper with it at all.
So if Congress by law has reserved to the states the right to define marriage, what has the state of Kentucky done about it? The people of Kentucky, according to the prescribed method outlined in its state constitution, have defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman, period. Kentuckians enacted their marriage amendment in 2004 with an overwhelming 75% of the vote.
Here’s how the Kentucky constitution reads:
Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Kentucky. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.
Thus, in Kentucky, according to the rule of law, marriage licenses can only permissibly be extended to couples consisting of one man and one woman. A “marriage” between two people of the same sex is “not valid or recognized.”
Thus Kim Davis would actually be breaking the law and violating the constitution of the state of Kentucky by issuing same-sex licenses.
Bottom line: Kim Davis is the only one in this sorry saga who is following the law and the Constitution.
When she took her oath of office, it was an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the constitution of the state of Kentucky. She did not take an oath to uphold the rulings of the Supreme Court, especially when submitting to such rulings would require her to violate her oath to uphold the Constitution.
The federal judge who is threatening to throw her in jail is certainly not following the law. The braying hounds of the homosexual lobby who are threatening her life for obeying the law most certainly are not.
Is Mrs. Davis guilty of fomenting anarchy? Hardly. The lawless ones in this sorry business are the five members of the Supreme Court who imposed their moral views about sexual deviancy on the entire nation. Anarchy already exists, because of an out-of-control judiciary.
Kim Davis is challenging the lawlessness of the Court and seeking to return this land to the rule of law. She’s not guilty in the least of civil disobedience. She is in fact practicing civil obedience in the highest sense, obedience to the Constitution and the law.
If we are to get out from under the despotism of our judicial oligarchy, somebody has got to lead the way and strike the first blow against the chains of tyranny. Kim Davis may make an unlikely Joan of Arc, but Joan of Arc she may be. May her tribe of law-abiding, conscience-driven, public officials increase. Rapidly and soon.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.