Saturday, February 05, 2005

Liberals Against Judicial Activism

The Moose warns progressives about judicial over-reach.

Once again, a judge a handed down a ruling that could have a significant political impact. The New York Times reports today -

"A New York State judge in Manhattan ruled yesterday that a state law that effectively denied gay couples the right to marry violated the state Constitution, a decision that raised the possibility that the city would begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples as soon as next month."

Although this ruling only applies to New York City, expect the Republicans to cynically exploit it for all its worth. But this is not just an issue about gay marriage. The GOP also understands that it represents an example of the courts overruling the people's will as expressed through the legislature - judicial activism.

The Moose is not necessarily commenting on the merits of the issue of gay marriage - although he does believe that the institution should be limited to a man and a woman with an option for civil unions. However, there is a separate question of liberal over reliance on the judiciary to achieve their political ends. As the Moose has previously pointed out, progressive political muscles have atrophied because of dependence on the courts.

And conservatives have been able to falsely pose as populists taking on an elite judiciary. Ironically, in the next few years, we may witness activist conservative courts.

Can progressives play against type and address the progressive dependence on the courts?
-- Posted at 4:02 PM | Link to this post | Email this post