At some point, did they stop teaching civics in schools?

So, Rick Santorum wants to overturn any decision the Supreme Court makes declaring bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

Mr. Santorum, you can’t do that.  The Supreme Court gets to decide what’s constitutional, you do not.  Now, you can drag your feet and nitpick and try to get similar bans through by narrowing the scope of the ban, but that is a different matter.  Those tactics have a long and dishonorable history, reaching back to Andrew Jackson and his role in Indian removal from tribal lands in the South to foot dragging by the Eisenhower and Kennedy administration regarding segregation to the Bush and Obama regimes’ fight over the fate of Guantanamo detainees.

It is quite disturbing that you — and so many others — have this bizarre idea that the Constitution, specifically the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment, has anything to do with supporting “the will of the people.”  The will of the people is frequently dead wrong, not to mention dangerous: “the people” have been in favor of, among other things, slavery (in the South), segregation (supported more widely than just in the South), and against not only allowing same-sex marriage but interracial marriage .

No, the Bill of Rights does not exist to protect the majority from “judicial tyranny,” but to protect the minority from the tyranny of majority opinion.  That so many people misunderstand this simple fact makes me wonder when we stopped teaching about the Constitution in school.

And it does not help that the writer in this case also does not understand the way the Court works.  In non-constitutional matters, Congress can legislatively overturn a Supreme Court decision.  The first bill signed by President Obama upon taking office was the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, which specifically corrected the Supreme Court decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear. The President can push Congress in those cases.

And this idea of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage? It might be successful.  I have lost a lot of faith in my fellow citizens. More than that, I have lost much faith in both Congress and state legislatures to follow the actual will of the people.  According to a 2011 Pew Research Center poll, 46% of Americans support ending bans on same-sex marriage, more than the 44% who favor continuing them. Given the margin of error was 2.5 %, that amounts to a dead heat. However, both the national and state legislatures have shown themselves willing to kowtow to pressure from smaller but very vocal interest groups.

But more to the point, why is this such an issue with you? Contrary to what you and your fellow fundamentalists claim, gays being allowed to marry will have not one bit of significance to your own heterosexual marriage, or those of others. At its heart, this an attempt to force the rest of us to submit to your religious convictions. Which really is against the Constitution, namely the First Amendment.

And if what you say is true, if same-sex marriage really does imperil the sanctity of your own, then your marriage is a weak and easily broken reed.  If that is the case, you had no business getting married in the first place.

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