Comments about ‘In our opinion: Judicial tyranny’

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Published: Friday, Dec. 20 2013 11:00 p.m. MST

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I think the editorial board and many other institutions will look back in ten years at their statements today regarding gay marriage and be embarrassed.

Salt Lake City, UT

"The essence of judicial tyranny is when a single, unelected federal judge declares the laws and constitution of an entire state null and void with an opinion clothed in the barest of legal precedent"

Except that there's plenty of precedent (striking down interracial marriage bans for instance) and the laws and constitutional provisions of a state are supposed to be struck null and void if they are in violation of the federal constitutional. That is the entire point of judicial review.

"That Supreme Court decision, Windsor v. U.S., dealt with the federal definition of marriage.
The Windsor case, however, pointedly did not impact state laws defining marriage."

Wait, you're using the DOMA case and not Prop 8? Uh... if the court overturned state laws during a challenge to a federal law, that'd be much more of an overreach than today's decision is being claimed to be.

"sex discrimination even though there is no difference between the way men and women are treated under Utah marriage law."

The discriminated sex is partners of the same sex. This applies to both men and women. Interracial marriage bans were racist even though one could marry their own race.

Wilf 55

Sometimes respect for basic rights oblige a judge to rule against the will of the majority. And time and experience will show that the decision was right. It has been the same with other discriminatory laws in the past. Some day our grandchildren will wonder what all the fuss was about in 2013: a small group of gays and lesbians wanted something as simple as equal rights. It was granted and with time the matter became a non-issue. Like interracial marriage.

Provo, UT

The 14th Amendment is hardly a scantly legal precedent.

Do Utahns want Utah to be remembered as the Mississippi of marriage reform/evolution? Do Utahns want Utah to be on marriage equality in the 2010s what Mississippi was to the civil rights movement in the 1960s?

Amusing that when heterosexuals corrupt marriage most Utahns will call it "progressive." But when homosexual corrupt marriage, most Utahns will call it a "sin." Heterosexuals have over the years done the most damage to marriage.

Billy Bob
Salt Lake City, UT

I agree completely with this opinion piece. It is judicial tyranny. It doesn't matter what you think about the issue at hand. A single judge should not have the power to make such a decision for an entire state. End of story. I would say the same thing if it was a decision I agree with. Horrible, horrible, horrible decision. Judges should not (and constitutionally don't) have the power to make such decisions all by there selves, based on their own bias when an entire state has made the opposite decision. I am all for citizens trying to change laws and work for causes they believe in (even if it is a cause I disagree with). But it should be done in the proper way. This is not the proper way. Shame on the judge.

American Fork, UT

In our opinion: Triumph of the constitution over religious tyranny.

Salt Lake City, UT


'Poll: New High Of 58 Percent Support Same-Sex Marriage' – By TOM KLUDT – By Talking Points Memo – 03/18/13

'At a time when the Supreme Court prepares to take up same-sex marriage and the Republican Party determines the best approach to the issue going forward, an ABC News/Washington Post poll released Monday showed a new high-water mark in support for the right of gay and lesbian couples to tie the knot. 
The poll found 58 percent of Americans now believe marriage should be legal for same-sex couples, while just 36 percent said it should be illegal.'

'A Majority of Young Republicans Support Gay Marriage' - —By Tim Murphy – Mother Jones – 03/08/2013

' On Thursday, Jan van Lohuizen and Joel Benenson, top campaign pollsters respectively for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, released a new study on attitudes toward marriage equality, based on 2012 exit poll data. The short of it: Even young Republicans think conservatives are fighting a losing battle.'

I don't think that word means…

what you think it means.

Salt Lake City, UT

'Poll: Majority in US back same-sex marriage' - Live Science – 05/20/2011

'Gallup shows 53 percent say it should be legal, up from 44 percent last year'


the judge in question was appointed by George W. Bush.

A Scientist
Provo, UT

Wow! Rarely has there been strung together a more pathetic collection of legalistic whining and petty parliamentary proceduralism masquerading as argument.

Only trained legal mind simultaneously blunted and blinded by religious dogma could possibly blow so much impotent hot air as this.

Bigotry is crumbling across this great, freedom loving country, and all the puny hands of hyperbole and religious objection in the world will not stop the rising tide of marriage equality from sweeping the nation from coast to coast.

St. George, UT

Judicial tyranny = a judge made a ruling that we disagree with.

Hate to break it to you, conservatives, but the whole purpose of the judicial branch of government is to check legislation, drafted by officials elected by the majority, against the constitution, and the constitutionality of a law is not a function of its popularity.

Glendale, AZ

@ThinksIThink I think that certain opinionated people will find one day that they will be more than just embarrassed.

@Pagan Your points are totally irrelevant to this issue. It makes no difference if a "majority" of the nation are for SSM and it also does not matter if a majority of the nation are against SSM. It also doesn't matter who appointed the judge--who cares? The point is that Utah voted with a supermajority to amend their constitution. A judge should not have power to overturn that amendment. Court rulings are not based on majority electorate opinion. It should be based on law and the constitution.

St. George, UT

"Gays and lesbians are not deprived of any rights they are due in a liberal democracy when a state, like Utah, through open democratic processes insists that marriage is between a man and a woman."

It's fine if you say the don't deserve the rights. But how can you say with a straight face that they are not deprived of them under the previous law?!

Salt Lake City, Utah

Last time I checked "Judicial Tyranny" doesn't have an appeal process allowing you to try and argue that the outcome should have been different.

And before you blame "Liberal out of touch judges"

Just remember Senator Mike Lee, and Orrin Hatch submitted this name to the President of the United States and he nominated this justice to the court.

Equality is just that. EQUAL. Across all Genders, Skin Colors, Sexual Orientation.

Always Two Steps Ahead
Vancouver, WA

I agree wholeheartedly with this editorial. The judge has short circuited the legal process to craft an opinion molded to fit his own personal social views and pulled the overused cry of "unconstitutional" out of thin air. The judge's opinion uses poor logic and is indefensible and irresponsible. Let's hope wiser heads prevail on appeal.

Brigham City, UT

Wow. This is happening even faster than expected. Will be interesting to see how soon the rest of the story begins to play out.

mid-state, TN

Ummmm....DN. Have you guys noticed that every court to which this question is brought -- in states all across the nation -- is uniformly deciding on the side of the 14th Amendment and equal rights for all citizens?

That should be a clue.

This isn't a matter of judicial tyranny. It's a matter of the US Constitution protecting a minority from the tyranny of the majority. And that's an important part of what our Constitution was created for.

Vancouver, WA

I'm trying to reconcile the judge's opinion with the Proclamation on the Family's encouragement to responsible citizens and leaders of government to protect the traditional definition of marriage. A judge who can't follow such simple directions probably shouldn't be on the bench.

Boise, ID

The issue is about right versus wrong and who gets to decide. In a truly moral nation judges follow the law strictly. In our nation, the politically correct minority gets to choose and everyone with a pet cause is a victim with a cavalcade of wrongs which demand redressing. We have a Congress which makes laws. Judges do not or are at least they are not supposed to. But that no longer seems to make any difference. Think I am wrong? Just ask any Democrat.

Salt Lake City, UT

It is clear the Ag's office gets a fail x 2. (both marriage rulings)

Agree or not with the policies, the AG. should have properly defended our state constitution and laws. Not having a stay/appeal ready and waiting today would not have happened, in my opinion, or would not of occurred if the Gov had appointed one of the top 2 nominees on Mon, Tues, Wed, or even yesterday. Christmas is coming.

Tell me why Brian should be appointed now? Sean and Bob are looking better and showing why they were the SCC first 2 choices. Bob specifically warned about being flat footed on this.

Salt Lake City, Utah

From the editorial, "That would seem to apply even more forcefully in a review of how Utah defines marriage given that the enabling act that permitted Utah to join the union in 1896 specified that our state adopt constitutionally a traditional definition of marriage."

No, actually - the Enabling Act says nothing about a traditional definition of marriage - it only states polygamy must be prohibited. The exact verbiage is, "... polygamous or plural marriages are forever prohibited."

If you cannot make your point without lying, perhaps there is a problem with the point you are trying to make?

Additionally, you mention the State's request for Summary Judgement and imply a decision supporting it would have been valid - while at the same time criticizing the judge as overstepping his bounds by finding in favor of the Plaintiff's request for summary judgement instead of having a trial.

The judge made the only decision available to him based on the paucity of the State's arguments. And you present no factually compelling reasons for why the decision should have been different.

Laws prohibiting same-sex marriage fail judicial review because there are no legally compelling reasons to support them.

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