Most Americans live under the mistaken belief that we live in a democracy. We don't. We live in a Republic. Our founding fathers feared the tyranny of the majority when they wrote our Constitution.
I bring this up because I've been having an interesting email discussion with a News10 viewer who is upset about Proposition 8. He's a military vet and he likes to throw out the word democracy and under God a lot. He's unhappy like a lot of Californians who voted to ban marriage by same sex couples. They believe that Federal Judge Vaughn Walker is thwarting the will of the people.
People tend to forget that we have three branches of government. Each branch, the executive, judicial, and legislative acts as a check and balance. Whether you agree or disagree with the intent of Proposition 8, the judge in this case had every right to make a ruling on its constitutionality. As I wrote in an earlier blog, I agree with Judge Walker's reasoning. As I also pointed out I probably would have felt differently about this issue 30 years ago.
But ask yourself this, what if the majority of Californians voted to put anyone named John into an internment camp? Just because a majority of people want something doesn't make it constitutional. Thank goodness we have three branches and even with it, the tyranny of the majority can often trample the rights of the minority. Just ask Japanese-Americans living in California who were around during World War II.
Another California proposition which would legalize marijuana is sure to end up before a federal judge if it passes. It's a classic state versus federal power quandary. I wonder how these pro-Prop 8, anti-marijuana folks will feel if a federal judge stops the will of the people then?