Jeb BushJeb Bush has been making headlines with his comments about same-sex marriage, and his subsequent attempt to walk back those comments. Any way you look at them however, is bad news for Democracy and America. It’s as if he doesn’t grasp the importance of the Constitution. I suppose he could simply be trying to drum up a following among the Far Right Religious, but I’m not sure that is really much of a stretch for him. He isn’t quite as moderate as that last major Republican Presidential candidate, even though some are suggesting that he is.

Actually, I’m not sure what his final statement about Florida’s same-sex marriages is, but he really captured my attention when he seemed to voice the position that since the State’s voters had passed a marriage ban, the courts shouldn’t be a part of it. I think he, like many conservatives need a basic Civics lesson. Here’s why same-sex marriage is in the courts.

Yes, by all means, States have the right to set their own policies regarding marriage, and when that policy is created via referendum vote and state constitutional amendment, it has some meaning. But what ever the state does do and what can become part of the state constitution cannot be a violation of the Federal Constitution. The Federal courts exist, in large part, specifically to weigh in about the constitutionality of laws and efforts by governmental entities. That’s why the courts are there– what their job is all about. They issue judgements about the constitutionality of laws.

On one hand, one would hope that nothing would become a law in the first place it if violated the US Constitution. But that would mean that everyone would have to be Constitutional experts, and see things exactly alike, and democratic countries welcome differing ideas and efforts, so it isn’t much of  a stretch to see that the value of the courts as the judicial body that looks at constitutionality makes a ton of sense.

So, in my states across the country, peopled who felt harmed by laws banning same-sex marriage took their grievances to court, and judges ruled, and the cases were appealed to that point that they have made it to various levels of the Federal Judiciary, and as attorneys have argued for and against the Right to Marriage for all including same-sex couples, the courts have agreed that to deny them marriage is a violation of the Constitution.

In other words, the courts aren’t forcing anything upon anyone. Rather the courts are stopping some from forcing their unconstitutional beliefs onto others. The justices have protected the constitutional rights for all Americans. The courts are saying that the state cannot withhold a marriage license simply because the the couple requesting it is of the same sex. Period.

When a case is taken to a court to look at the constitutionality of something, the court makes a decision, and those who the decision is against have a right for it to be re-heard at the next level of the courts. Additionally, same types of cases can arise in different areas of the country and all work their way through the courts. That way, judges may agree with other judges or not, but no one judge or panel of judges has too much say by themselves. This way the constitutionality is reviewed over and over again by many as a way to keep checking and affirming that the decision is in the best interest of the American people and aligned with the constitution. Higher levels of the courts determine if the lower courts did an adequate job reviewing the case. As it goes higher through the judiciary process, justices may stop agreeing to review the decision if they feel the lower court did a thorough job and if there seems to be agreement across a number off jurisdictions. This stops wasteful appeals and adds another level of checks and balances.

Suggesting that a state can do whatever it wants, including act in ways that violate the US constitution is just un-American. It runs across everything upon which this country is based. And there is no excuse for any elected official– someone who ought to understand the constitution to not accept this process.

In summary, courts do not decide to implement same-sex marriage and force it upon states. Courts do rule on the question of if the states laws or constitutional bans are a violation of the Federal constitution.

Jeb Bush Says Gay Marriage Should Not Be Something for Courts to Decide

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