Judge or king?

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  • Wadyaknow Baltimore, MD
    Dec. 31, 2013 11:46 a.m.

    When bigots becomes kings whose opinions can wipe away the civil rights of millions of gay citizens, then goodbye to America.

  • Sharkkat in Deer Valley Deer Valley, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 4:23 p.m.

    @Mr. Bean

    If 99% of your comments aren't posted that means they are not worth posting.

  • Sharkkat in Deer Valley Deer Valley, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 4:21 p.m.

    HA! An 'activist' Senator like Mike Lee is ok?

    The judge is to be commended for choosing the right.
    He did the correct, legal, and moral thing.

    God bless him, and all of those who would deny all humans equal rights should take a hike.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 2:19 p.m.

    President Putin would love to have all those opposing equal rights to LGBT's living in Russia. As one often hears living in Utah, if you don't like it you're free to move.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 1:45 p.m.

    Salt Lake City, UT
    1:11 p.m. Dec. 30, 2013


    Great comment,
    the problem is there are some people who SAY they read, love and defend the U.S. Consitutiton,
    but spend 24/7 listening to their AM radios and then trampling it under their feet.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 1:11 p.m.

    Well Tyler, I asked you if you had any argument indicating Judge Shelby's ruling was judicial activism. You said this:

    "does he just consult a dictionary or his own ideas to make that determination?"

    You indicated that this is judicial activism. Okay, fine. Do you have any evidence, whatsoever, that this IS what Shelby did? Yeah, I didn't think so. (Just consult a dictionary indeed.)

    Let's look at the pertinent area of the Constitution. I'll quote it accurately, unlike another person:

    No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; . . . nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    This is very clear, even without a dictionary. States cannot pass laws, or enforce laws, that "abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens". A law must not be in conflict with the US Constitution. And states may not deny the equal protection of the law to ANY person.

    A state issues a license applied for by two people. They cannot deny that license based on the gender of one of those people. The law is clear.

  • Mr. Bean Phoenix, AZ
    Dec. 30, 2013 1:06 p.m.

    @Mike in Sandy: "Kudos to the Deseret News for allowing all opinions to be voiced here."

    Are you kidding? I posted about many times on this thread and 99% were denied.

    "Gay marriage hurts nobody..."

    I think they should be allowed to marry... so they can feel the angst, vicissitudes, and disappointment when divorce rears it's ugly head. Just like their counterparts, heterosexual marriages who've decided to break it off. Right now, if two homosexuals want to break off a relationship all they need to is... go their separate ways. This may influence decision-making re gay marriage.

    @Tyler D:
    "Again, I am not disagreeing with the outcome – it is one I share and I think it’s high time gay people enjoy the same privileges as everyone else."

    Do your thoughts for gay people also extend to other people who wish to marry... such as polygamists, incestuous people, mother/son, father/daughter, siblings, and juveniles?

  • cavetroll SANDY, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 1:03 p.m.

    RE: higv
    Dietrich, ID
    @freedomfighter and real maverick Arms are mentioned in the constitution Marriage isn't.

    I couldn't agree with you more. Extrapolating from your logic, nobody has the right to get married. Am I correct? That includes you and your spouse, your kids, your parents, friends, siblings, etc.

  • HaHaHaHa Othello, WA
    Dec. 30, 2013 12:20 p.m.

    Exactly right Anti Bush-Obama

  • Jeffsfla Glendale, CA
    Dec. 30, 2013 11:22 a.m.

    Sorry...No law passed by the executive branch, the legislative branch nor voter initiated legislation is exempt from judiciary review. This is what makes our country so special. So yes. A judge through his rulings can override millions. This is needed to protect the minorities for being supressed. Dont worry...there will be many of our finest judicials scholars looking at the this ruling before it is all over. I hope then you will be at piece that we are not being ruled by some fictious king.

  • Anti Bush-Obama Chihuahua, 00
    Dec. 30, 2013 10:44 a.m.

    I laugh when the LGBT people compare themselves to Black people as if they were some kind of race. My wife finds it highly offensive that something like the civil rights movement is even comparable to Gay Marriage.

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 9:09 a.m.

    I understand your concern about self-governance. But what is a judge to do? The case is filed in his courtroom. He hears arguments. Does he then say "In my heart of hearts, I believe this law is unconstitutional, but the majority voted for it, so I will uphold it?" We may as well not have judicial review under that scenario.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Dec. 30, 2013 8:54 a.m.

    @mark – “Actually, Tyler, he is not making social policy. He is interpreting the law.”

    And how does he do that exactly? Does he give any deference to what the intent of the law was or does he just consult a dictionary or his own ideas to make that determination?

    If he is not doing the former then he is creating rather than interpreting the law, and that is judicial activism – which is an admittedly nebulous term: one’s man’s activism is another man’s sound judicial ruling (please Google judicial activism vs. judicial restraint).

    Again, I am not disagreeing with the outcome – it is one I share and I think it’s high time gay people enjoy the same privileges as everyone else.

    @micawber – “most egregious recent examples of judicial activism are
    Bush v. Gore and Citizens United.”

    I agree and would also add DC v Heller and Roe v Wade to the list.

    The point is NOT whether we like the outcome or not – the point is judicial power and how that power is used to ultimately take away our rights of democratic (republic) self-governance.

    Reached comment limit…

  • Mike in Sandy Sandy, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 8:47 a.m.

    Kudos to the Deseret News for allowing all opinions to be voiced here.
    The reality here is that gays are NOT going away.
    They are human beings.

    They deserve every single right that ALL people enjoy.
    Religion and painful puritanism have no place in the courtroom, or in law.
    The judge did the right thing, and no amount of griping, threats, throwing ones hands in the air,
    and complaining will change that.

    Gay marriage hurts nobody, and all these homophobes are just going to have to accept it.

    Happy New Year!
    TJ "Mike" Michaels

  • Mike in Sandy Sandy, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 8:42 a.m.

    Hey Gary...
    Too bad.
    Deal with it.
    It's the way it is, and the judge is a noble and decent human being, unlike everyone who rails against him, and shows their bigotry and intolerance by wishing to deny equal rights for all.
    This is the real world,

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 6:47 a.m.

    Tyler D:

    In my opinion, the two most egregious recent examples of judicial activism are Bush v. Gore and Citizens United. I did not like either decision. But somebody has to make the final decision. And implicit in that decision-making authority is the possibility that the majority view might be overturned.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 12:38 a.m.

    Actually, Tyler, he is not making social policy. He is interpreting the law. I think his finding is very sound. Nevertheless, it will be appealed and another court will look at his ruling. They will either uphold it, or not. And then the Supreme Court might look at it. If the Supreme Court ultimately does take the case and agrees with Judge Shelby, people who do not agree with the ruling can attempt to amend the US Constitution. All of it is how the sytem works. It is all within the bounds of the Constitution.

    Judges do not make policy, they interpret the law and make rulings based on this. There have been judicial rulings I disagree with. So what? I respect the law and the Constitution. And I know that the Constitution establishes as one of the branches of government the judicial branch.

    Again, I do not think you understand the Constitution, nor the judicial process.

    Can you make a sound argument that this ruling was "Judicial activism"? I see it as an obvious interpretation of the law and feel that the Judge could rule no other way, because of the equal access clause.

  • Alfred Phoenix, AZ
    Dec. 30, 2013 12:33 a.m.

    "Whatever your views are of inter-racial marriage, whatever your views of women voting, whatever your views of public school integration ..."

    You forgot --- whatever your views of polygamy, whatever your views are of incestuous relations, whatever your views are of father/daughter, mother/son, siblings marriages.

    "Wait for it ... The 14th amendment."

    The 14th Amendment has nothing to do with marriage. In fact there is nothing in the Constitution about marriage.

    The 14th Amendment is about state law: '... nor shall any STATE deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the LAWS.' Did you get it? state/laws! And state law on marriage says that all can marry provided the meet certain criteria... are of age, sound mind, are one man/one women. There's more but that should give you an idea of the STATE LAW on marriage. These rules apply equally to all... so, if gay marriage becomes legal all other limiting rules will have to be tossed to be fair to all.

    The Judge erred re State Constitution 3. Furthermore, the marriage laws are still on the Utah's books. They have not been removed. Accordingly, the SSM's are all illegal.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Dec. 29, 2013 10:29 p.m.

    @mark – “Tyler, not to be rude, but do you understand how the Constitution works, and the role of the judiciary?”

    Of course Mark…

    But whether or not his ruling is or is not outside the bounds of the constitution is a matter of interpretation, and again I think misses the larger point.

    The judge is making social policy, pure and simple – whether we agree with it or even if we feel his interpretation of the constitution is the correct one, I still find that sort of power disconcerting.

    Just imagine a judge making policy you (and the majority of you fellow statesmen) vehemently disagree with – wouldn’t you find that the least bit disturbing?

    Not to get too hyperbolic, but if judges have this much power what do we even need to have elected representatives for?

    Sorry, but I’m just not a fan of judicial activism whether liberal or conservative. I think it gives far too much power to far too few individuals in a democratic republic.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 10:19 p.m.

    Asking conservatives to actually back up their talking points with facts is like trying to drain the Pacific Ocean with a straw.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 10:01 p.m.

    Tyler, not to be rude, but do you understand how the Constitution works, and the role of the judiciary?

    NOTHING Judge Shelby has done has been outside the bounds of the Constitution.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 9:58 p.m.

    procuradorfiscal, can you back up ANY of your claims? Can you provide a source that would indicate you are correct in ANY of the things you are saying?

    Badger, same question to you. Can you provide a source to back up your claim that the Judge is trying to make a name for himself?

    In fact, could either of you even pick Judge Shelby out of a crowd?

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Dec. 29, 2013 9:37 p.m.

    Despite my sense that you are not referring to me (I’ve never been mistaken for an “extra-conservative” or even a low-cal conservative), I felt it necessary to respond since your comment appeared directly below/after mine.

    In this case I don’t think the description (king) is far from accurate. I doubt a judge could have us beheaded for insulting him, but the ability for one individual to make sweeping law is an immense power, and I say that in spite of agreeing with the judge’s views on gay marriage.

    If a judge has this kind of power to create a right then it follows they have the same power to take away a right. This particular issue notwithstanding, I simply find this fact chilling and struggle to reconcile it with either a democracy or a republic.

  • Sven Morgan, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 9:32 p.m.

    Attempting to try and normalize this deviant lifestyle is nothing to celebrate. I'll wager you, the next group of deviants who will demand that their sick perversion be given the title of "Marriage" will be pedophiles.

    When an activist judge can confer the title of marriage on those who engage in homosexual relations, well, anything is fair game after that. We are watching our society rot away at break neck speed.

    Homosexuality, has always been, and always will be, a detestable perversion. Only a society that has lost it's moral foundation applauds this attack on traditional marriage between a man and woman.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 9:16 p.m.

    This judge just wants to make a name for himself by making an outrageous ruling.

    I plan to forget 'what's his name' immediately, unless of course he is up for confirmation somewhere. I hope the State of Utah is successful in undoing his 'historic' ruling, thus eliminating him from enjoying any positive effects of his power grab activism.

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 9:17 p.m.

    Once again, procuradorfiscal, I'd like to see some evidence of forum shopping in Utah. And, Utah's federal bench is not liberal.
    Judge Benson was Chief of Staff for two years for Orrin Hatch.
    Judge Stewart was Chief of Staff to Mike Leavitt. His brother is a Republican Congressman.
    Judge Waddoups was a well-respected civil litigator with prestigious law firms, first in California, then in Utah.
    Judge Nuffer was in private practice and has been a magistrate or a district judge since 1995. He is an adjunct professor at BYU law school.
    Judge Shelby was a commercial litigator before taking the bench. He was also in the Utah Army National Guard and was on active duty during operation Desert Storm.

    Each of these judges tries to apply the law to the facts. In my experience before them, I have never found them to be agenda driven.

    So please, unless you have specific reason to support your accusations, show a little respect.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 8:28 p.m.

    I believe no one on left has actually read the 14th amendment.

    If you had you would know how egregiously wrong the judge is.

    But then the progressive left has been all about destroying any real meaning the constitution has.

    Without any real meaning there is nothing to stop a tyrannical government.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Dec. 29, 2013 8:14 p.m.

    I am starting to see the "king" theme from the extra conservative crowd often enough that to quote "Princess Bride"... " I don't think that means what you think it means".

    We have presidents as kings..... we have judges as kings.... or dictators.... or what ever. Either way, what ever it is we have, it isn't either of those.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Dec. 29, 2013 6:57 p.m.

    I believe gay people should be able to marry any other consenting adult they love, period.

    That said, I regretfully agree with this letter and the unarticulated dangers for self governance. Judges should not be making our laws - if we give them this much authority, combined with unelected lifetime appointments, we are creating a group of mini-kings & queens.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 6:23 p.m.

    Actually there are almost exactly the same number of Democratic and Republican appointed judges to federal courts. There's also 90 vacancies which is why Republicans were blocking Obama appointments at unprecedented rates (talk about gaming the system...).

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 29, 2013 5:34 p.m.

    @ Procur: Yes, eventually a Constitutional Amendment was required to give women the right to vote - but initial efforts involved protests, marches, efforts state by state, and many women being arrested.

    You can white-wash history all you want, but ignoring the facts won't change them.

    The 14th Amendment specifies nothing about equality only on the basis of race - it mentions equality and places no restrictions on it.

    Your interpretation limiting the 14th Amendment is no more or less activist than an interpretation that doesn't limit the 14th Amendment.

    You would think we, as a society, had progressed enough to recognize the value of all humans without demanding specifying their humanity in constant Constitutional Amendments.

    But if you think the only way homosexuals will get equal rights is through a Constitutional Amendment, we can do that - but my guess is the Courts won't buy your limitations and will get there first.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Dec. 29, 2013 5:14 p.m.

    @freedomfighter and real maverick Arms are mentioned in the constitution Marriage isn't.

  • Bob K porland, OR
    Dec. 29, 2013 5:10 p.m.

    Tooele, UT
    Re: "[Shelby] is an activist with an agenda."
    Hear, hear.
    The first rule of statutory or constitutional construction is that judges should give effect to the intent of those promulgating a law.

    ... Yes, Judge Shelby and every other jurist who has handled these issues saw clearly that they had no choice but to agree with the cases presented to them
    Every single case showed only prejudice or animus toward Gays, created by narrow religious, rather than legal, views, was behind these bad laws.

    "LGBT activism, on the other hand, consciously and cynically chose to cheat, rather than follow the Constitution.
    It's the difference between upholding the Rule of Law, and cynically using it as cover for one's personal dodge or hustle."

    ...This seems very personal, as well as contrary to the facts. It's a pretty far stretch to call someone's desire to live in love with a partner and have the full benefits of marriage, as a "dodge or hustle"

    I personally experience a "hustle" in 2008, living in California and being deluged with mormon-funded TV ads that twisted the issue in order to scare parents into voting for hate.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 5:05 p.m.

    Re: "Typically, judge assignments in our federal court are made by random computer selection."

    So, the tactic liberals use to corruptly beat the computer is to conspiratorially have people file in as many districts with Democrat-appointed judges as possible. Sooner or later, one will get the doctrinaire, liberal judge they seek. I've even heard of several plaintiffs filing in the same jurisdiction -- those not drawing the "right" judge simply dismiss and join the luckier filer's action.

    It's just as corrupt as putting a thumb on the judge-selection scale -- which has also happened, though I'm unaware of evidence, to date, regarding this issue in the District of Utah. That's why I mentioned that cheaters shop for "judges," not this particular judge.

    Point being -- there are way too many liberal-appointed, reliably corrupt, agenda-driven judges out there. Liberal LGBT, tree-hugger, homeless, abortion, anti-religion, or other activists simply induce followers to file in districts with liberal agenda-driven judges -- like Utah -- and they're mathematically assured of getting one. Sooner or later.

    That's how liberal activists corruptly procure the result they're seeking.

  • Sal Provo, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 4:04 p.m.

    The Supreme Court always understood any right to marry as the right not to have the government prevent an individual to enter into the existing institution--not a right to get the government to create a new institution to serve private ends

    Shelby is the first federal judge following the DOMA ruling to conclude that the Constitution requires a state to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples. He ignored the majority ruling granting states the right to uphold traditional marriage. May the Supreme Court reinforce this in the appeal.(Sutherland Institute.)

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 2:20 p.m.


    Is there some evidence that the plaintiffs "judge shopped" to get their case before Judge Shelby? Typically, judge assignments in our federal court are made by random computer selection.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 1:30 p.m.

    I love the high pitched cries of 'lone, activist judge' from conservatives today…

    *'Judge's Prop. 8 ruling upheld' - By Lisa Leff - AP - Published by DSNews - 06/14/11

    '...ruling that struck down California's same-sex marriage ban…'

    *'Judge Ware Denies Motion To Vacate Decision Overturning Prop 8' - By Barry Deutsch - Family Scholars - 06/14/11

    *'Gay marriage wins rulings in pair of federal challenges' - By Denise Lavoie - AP - Published by DSNews - 07/08/10

    '...ruled in favor of gay couples' rights in two separate challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA...'

    *’Prop 8 declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL by 9th circuit court’ – by Michael De Groote – Deseret News – 02/07/12

    "Proposition 8 served no purpose, and had no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California," the Ninth Circuit said in its ruling on appeal in the case of Perry v. Brown.'

    sound familiar?

    *'Appeals court DENIES stay on same-sex marriage, ruling pending hearing Monday' - By Emilee Eagar, Deseret News – 12/22/13

    'SALT LAKE CITY — The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver on….

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 12:53 p.m.

    Re: "Was the Constitution written for a changing world or only for the world that existed at the time it was written?"

    It was certainly wriiten for a changing world, hence the provisions permitting amendment.

    What it clearly was NOT written for was to be slickly, corruptly, disingenuously "re-interpreted" any time an ethically-challenged, agenda-driven jurist wants to buy votes from one or another political constituency.

    And that's true, no matter which provision is being debated.

    The female suffrage movement, the temperance and later, the anti-temperance movements, and the "progressive" income tax movement, were all models for honestly procuring political change.

    Agree or disagree, they were honest, and refused to compromise their integrity.

    LGBT activism, on the other hand, consciously and cynically chose to cheat, rather than follow the Constitution.

    It's the difference between upholding the Rule of Law, and cynically using it as cover for one's personal dodge or hustle.

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 12:46 p.m.

    "Wipe away the will of millions of citizens" ? Where do you get your news? If we added the vote totals of the last five elections in Utah we wouldn't total the millions you mention. I think what you mean were the less than 100 thousand who backed the amendment nine years ago. I guess though we should be impressed that you know he can be impeached but less than 10 judges have ever been and of those only 3 ever removed. Good luck on that!

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 12:02 p.m.

    Interesting. So now repubs claim that some amends merely applied at the time they were written and don't apply today? Interesting indeed.

    So maybe the second amendment, you know, the guns one, isn't applicable today? Cool!

    I'll agree that the 14th amendment should be repealed when repubs admit we can repeal the 2nd.

    Do we have a deal, repubs?

  • Jl Sandy, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 11:40 a.m.

    Why is it that we are a republic one day and a democracy another depending on the person's opinion of the day?

  • ugottabkidn Sandy, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 11:35 a.m.

    Another do as I say not as I do letter.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 11:10 a.m.

    As repubs told me when I demanded greater gun control after Sandy Hook:

    we aren't a Democracy, but a Republic.

    We don't base our decisions on "popularity" or "mob rule."

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 11:00 a.m.

    I remember less than a year ago "the majority" wanted background checks and tighter gun control. Many radical right wingers proclaimed that we weren't ruled by "majorities" but by the Constitution.

    Today, we see these exact same right wingers complaining when the Constitution overrules what "the majority" wants.

    Apparently, the Constitution is only "inspired" when defending guns.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 10:32 a.m.

    Republic or mob rule?

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 29, 2013 10:18 a.m.

    @ Procur: The world as it exists now is far different from the world that existed at the time the 14th Amendmdnt was written and ratified and even more different that the world that existed when the Constituton itself was written.

    Do you really believe the Constitution and its Amendments only cover situations that may have been foreseen at the time they were written?

    The authors of the 14th Amendment didn't intend for it to cover interracial marriage? Do you believe Living v. Virginia was decided wrong? What about Brown v. Board of Education?

    Telephones, cell phones, computers, and email are mentioned nowhere in the Constitution and were obviously not foreseen by our Founding Fathers. Do you believe the Bill of Rights applies to them or is it perfectly legal for the government to gather any and all data it wants from them?

    Some argue that the Second Amendment only applies to the types of guns available when it was written because modern weapons could not have been envisioned by the authors. Do you accept that limitation?

    Was the Constitution written for a changing world or only for the world that existed at the time it was written?

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 10:08 a.m.

    Re: "Whatever your views . . . of women voting . . . ."

    I know you didn't intent it, but yours' is actually an argument against Shelby and LGBT activists.

    The 14th Amendment was intended to foster racial equality. As it turned out, rather than being a single event, it only began a process that continued at least through Brown v. Board of Education [school integration] and Loving v. Virginia [interracial marriage].

    Women being enabled to vote was a process begun when Wyoming and Utah extended the vote to women in the late 1800s, and was completed with the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920.

    That's the Constitutional model. It's what LGBT activists SHOULD have done, rather than disingenuously shopping for "judges" that would corruptly hijack the 14th Amendment and apply it to purposes its champions never intended.

    Female suffrage, NOT racial equality is the appropriate model.

    LGBT activists and Shelby simply chose to cynically cheat, rather than follow the Constitution, as did real Americans such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

    That's why we still remember Ms. Anthony and Ms. Stanton. Shelby's name will be forgotten next week.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Dec. 29, 2013 9:57 a.m.

    @ KJB. Every dictator, tyrant and despot in history was a "person in authority". Too much authority in the hands of any person can be very dangerous! Wise up!

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 9:42 a.m.

    When all else fails, conservatives seem to revert to name-calling and innuendos to divert the government from its job.

    When millions of people vote for the opinions of a few private men who claim imaginary knowledge that exceeds the desires of real living human beings in an election largely controlled by those men, it is hard for me to think that Judge Robert Selby is not as honest and worthy as any other man.

    Freedom is Constitutional. Freedom is having the ability, time and permission to do the things that the individual wants to do.

  • dave Park City, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 9:10 a.m.

    This letter is an example of someone that has no comprehension of how the system works. States cannot pass unconstitutional laws... even if "millions" of people vote for them.

  • isrred South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 8:59 a.m.

    Remember that "divinely inspired" Constitution you conservatives are always rambling about? That very Constitution set up this system. An independent judiciary is at the core of the system of government the Founders created.

    This is not the end of federalism, states rights, or the will of the people--all of those things will continue to exist within the bounds of the Constitution as they were always intended to do.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 29, 2013 8:46 a.m.

    Judge Shelby did exactly what judges are supposed to do. He did address the facts presented by both the Plaintiffs and the State. The plaintiffs' points sound like LGBT talking points because they are LGBT talking points and they are backed up and supported be real world data. The State's points were discounted by Judge Shelby because the State presented no supporting data -real world or otherwise.

    Judge Shelby made a summary judgment ruling (a ruling without a trial) because that is what he was asked - including by the State of Utah - to do.

    The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to issue a stay because they don't think the State will win its appeal of Judge Shelby's decision.

    Instead of repeating the unsupportable hyperbole that denies the Constitutional responsibilities of judges, why don't you focus on helping the State come up with a legally valid reason prohibiting same-sex marriage? Because so far, no one has been able to present one.

  • EDM Castle Valley, Utah
    Dec. 29, 2013 8:39 a.m.


    Hate to break it to you, but Shelby isn't alone in his opinion, neither at the official level nor the grass roots.

    You can only thank religion for the perversion that blinds any of us to the most obvious examples of discrimination.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 8:35 a.m.

    Gary, this might help you understand:

    "In explaining the rationale for federal judges to be appointed for life, Hamilton emphasized the critical role of an independent federal judiciary to take the politically unpopular action of checking unconstitutional legislative acts. One duty of those jurists, Hamilton wrote, is "to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all of the reservations of particular rights or privileges [in the Constitution] would amount to nothing."

    Op-ed: Independent federal judiciary is a cornerstone of Constitution

    By Robert J. Adler

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 8:08 a.m.

    Sorry, Gary, you're wrong. A popular vote CANOT override Constitutional protections, regardless the percentage of the vote, and that is exactly what Amendment 3 tried to do. Judge Shelby's decision was strongly, and accurately, baaed on the Constitution. And yes, the 14th Amendment protects the right of people to marry, regardless whether those marriages are opposite-se or same sex marriages. The state of Utah could not raise any Constitutionally sound arguments to support its decision. I've read the decision, and it is good law.

    Have you read it? If you did, did you really understand what it says? Somehow, baed on your letter, I think not.

  • Atlant Nashua, NH
    Dec. 29, 2013 8:03 a.m.


    It aways troubles me when someone doesn't understand how our form of government works and your letter is an example of this. Under our form of government, laws made by the Legislative branch, rules made by the Executive branch, and even referenda passed by a majority of the voters are *ALL* subject to review by the Judicial branch. And the Judicial branch can only approve of the actions taken by the other branches of government (and the actions taken through referenda) if those actions are in conformance with the Federal and State Constitutions.

    Laws, rules, and referenda that attempt to deny groups of persons their Constitutionally-guaranteed rights are, therefore unconstitutional and cannot be approved by the Judiciary. And it doesn't matter if 100% of the Legislature or 100% of the people voted for the law or referendum; if it's unconstitutional, it's unconstitutional and cannot stand.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    Dec. 29, 2013 7:51 a.m.

    Thanks for presenting your opinion Justice Russon. I can't figure out why your opinion isn't considered equal to Justice Shelby's who was appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, including Utah's two Senators with one of them stating he is "pre-eminently qualified" and predicting that he would be "an outstanding judge." Why won't they consider your opinion?

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Dec. 29, 2013 7:31 a.m.

    "when a lone judge becomes a king whose opinion can wipe away the will of millions of citizens, then goodbye to federalism and representative government. "

    Possibly true, except that isn't what has happened. Even our court systems have recourse, a system of checks and balances - through the appeal process. Whether criminal, civil, or constitutional, the courts provide a way to fix their errors.

    People are acting like this was an arbitrary out of the blue act, that some rogue judge without due process, made a proclamation changing the course of world events. This is only true if you haven't been paying attention.

    You also need to remember that the predisposition of the courts are to give the benefit of doubt to granting rights, rather than restricting rights. That holds true in this case as well. Utah is trying to restrict rights from a class of people, something the courts for the last 50 years have resisted.

    If this decision caught you buy surprise.... you haven't been paying attention.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Dec. 29, 2013 7:11 a.m.

    On facebook and other places people like to quote 14t amendment to defend that right. When mentioned it does not exist will twist it and call others stupid.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 5:23 a.m.

    Re: "[Shelby] is an activist with an agenda."

    Hear, hear.

    The first rule of statutory or constitutional construction is that judges should give effect to the intent of those promulgating a law. There exists, not the slightest evidence that anyone involved in promulgating the 14th Amendment had the any indication or intent that it be twisted into a disingenuous justification of some liberal political cause-du-jour, like LGBT "marriage."

    The second is that lower-court judges shouldn't presume to substitute theirs' for the reasoning of higher-court precedent, though personal opinions may differ from those of the higher court.

    Shaping and mutilating the Constitution to advance one's personal political interest is the very height of judicial corruption -- as Shelby, himself, indicated during his nominating process -- and should result in removal from the bench.

    It's just sad when someone of Mr. Shelby's experience and qualifications chooses, for obvious political reasons, to violate his oath of office, abandon both personal and judicial ethics, and repudiate the wisdom and canon that has served Anglo-Saxon law so well for centuries.

    "Progressives," when presented with an opportunity for greatness, invariably choose common, callow, liberal hubris, instead.

  • Bob K porland, OR
    Dec. 29, 2013 4:40 a.m.


    Judge Shelby did not ask for this case or make a ruling just to upset folks.

    People who felt their rights were quashed by Amendment 3 sued in Federal Court. The Judge looked at the evidence and had no choice, if he remembered his oath. Married people get well over 1000 Federal benefit advantages, so it is hard to find a legal reason to deny them marriage. Moral/religious reasons do not apply in court.

    Attacking the judge may be fun, but either he follows the Constitution or he does not.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 1:23 a.m.

    What is the point of having judges review whether laws are constitutional if you believe they should be unable to strike down majority views? There'd be no purpose of any lawsuit ever challenging any law.

    Your issue is not that a judge can rule something unconstitutional that has majority support, your issue is that you disagree with the idea that what was struck down is unconstitutional.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 12:44 a.m.

    Whatever your views are of inter-racial marriage, whatever your views of women voting, whatever your views of public school integration ... the will of millions of prejudiced citizens had to be wiped away by a judge or judges relying on ... Wait for it ... The 14th amendment.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    Dec. 29, 2013 12:15 a.m.

    Translation: Someone in a position of authority disagrees with me. Wah wah wah.