Dear Justices: Don't pull a Roe v. Wade on same-sex marriage
Ten years ago, David Brooks wrote a rather profound column. It was in the context of a Supreme Court nomination. This is what he wrote:
Justice Harry Blackmun did more inadvertent damage to our democracy than any other 20th-century American. When he and his Supreme Court colleagues issued the Roe v. Wade decision, they set off a cycle of political viciousness and counter-viciousness that has poisoned public life ever since, and now threatens to destroy the Senate as we know it.
When Blackmun wrote the Roe decision, it took the abortion issue out of the legislatures and put it into the courts. If it had remained in the legislatures, we would have seen a series of state-by-state compromises reflecting the views of the centrist majority that's always existed on this issue. These legislative compromises wouldn't have pleased everyone, but would have been regarded as legitimate.
Instead, Blackmun and his concurring colleagues invented a right to abortion, and imposed a solution more extreme than the policies of just about any other comparable nation.
Mr. Brooks is right on.
Every judicial nomination is now a national debate about abortion.
Will you uphold Roe v. Wade? Will you overturn it?
If the court "creates" a right to same-sex marriage, then every future nomination to the Supreme Court will turn into a debate about the definition of marriage.
This is why issues like abortion, or same-sex marriage, should be settled in the political arena. Let the voters argue and force their legislators to vote up or down on the issue.
By the way, the supporters of same-sex marriage say that the polls are with them. So why are they afraid of a debate? Wouldn't they win if the wind were blowing in their direction?
I have no idea what the Supreme Court will decide. My sense is that there are four "yes" votes. My sense is that there are three "no" votes. It leaves Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Roberts up in the air.
Let's hope that five justices do the right thing and send it back to voters. Let "same-sex marriage" happen at the legislatures.
Why? It will be more legitimate, or sort of the way that you accept that the other guy won the election!
I hope that every justice reads Mr. Brooks's column and ponders what they are about to do with same-sex marriage.