Utah Sen. Stuart C. Reid’s Dec. 24 Tribune op-ed ("Massacre of marriage endangers republic") contends Judge Robert Shelby’s ruling requires the majority to "give up its constitutional rights for judicial activism."
Reading Sen. Reid’s opinion, I couldn’t help but wonder to which constitutional rights he is referring. Are they the same rights trampled on in the equally controversial marriage decision Loving v. Virginia, where the United States Supreme Court found unconstitutional a democratically enacted law that stripped interracial couples of their right to marry? Perhaps Sen. Reid feels the federal judiciary should simply rubber stamp laws enacted by the states. That was the result of the decision in Hammer v. Dagenhart, in which the court upheld states’ authority to pass laws permitting child labor.
But I must be mistaken. I’m certain Sen. Reid understands that the Constitution charges the federal judiciary with ensuring the will of the majority does not strip the minority of its rights to life, liberty, and equal protection of the laws.
An opposite conclusion would reveal Sen. Reid’s opinion to be nothing more than an emotionally charged, thinly veiled call to arms for those who feel their personal views about tradition and morality are supreme to those very constitutional rights about which Sen. Reid appears so concerned.
West Valley City
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