I will freely admit that I am not a Constitutional Lawyer. I will also admit that my education included not only history classes, but civics classes. So like everyone else of my generation, I have a basic understanding of our constitution and how our government works.
The unfortunate side of politics today is that there are a slew of people on the Republican side claiming that they only wish to “defend the constitution” and constitutional rights. Some like the Canadian Senator claims he is a constitutional lawyer.
According to these “learned” people, the Supreme Court has “overstepped” its authority in declaring same-sex marriage as legal. They claim that the court has no legitimacy in overturning laws that were passed by Congress, States, or popular propositions. According to these “learned” people, the court does not have the right to determine which laws passed by these means are constitutional or not.
Now, taking into account my admission that I am not a Constitutional Lawyer, I must strongly disagree with these “learned” people. According to the lessons in my civics classes, that is exactly what the Supreme Court is supposed to do.
According to grammar school civics classes of my time, the Congress is to pass laws. The Executive Branch is supposed to enforce those laws. When there is a question about the constitutionality of those laws, it is the responsibility of the Supreme Court to determine if those laws are constitutional or not.
If this were not the case, we would never have had cases in the past that guaranteed the civil rights of minorities. We would never have had rulings that desegregated our education system. In effect, we would be living under a dictatorship.
It works this way. The court does NOT make laws. They determine if laws already passed violates the civil rights of citizens under the Constitution. If it determines that a law does violate the civil rights of citizens the law becomes void. Thus in the case of same-sex marriage, the laws prohibiting them were deemed to be unconstitutional, they were struck down and same-sex marriage became legal in all 50 states.
That is not the same as “making” laws. By default, the court says that same-sex marriage is legal because the laws passed to refuse the right to citizens was deemed to be illegal. That is what the court is supposed to do I don’t agree with the Court on every thing either. Like Citizens United. But, that doesn’t mean they “overstepped” their boundaries. It means I disagree with their ruling, but their ruling is the law of the land and must be adhered to.
Sometimes I think there is a special doctor and pharmacist on Capital Hill just for Republicans. That doctor prescribes and the pharmacist is tasked with handing out “stupid pills” to members of the Republican Party. I also think that the more conservative you are, the more pills you are supposed to take every day. Some of these people must be on a 10 pill per day dosage. Otherwise, how can you account for their utter stupidity when it coms to the Constitution?
I am offering this doctor and pharmacist idea as a viable excuse for them, because the other answer is that they don’t care about the Constitution and the rights it protects for all citizens. In either case, they are not only wrong in their interpretation, they are wrong at the top of their lungs. Can we at least keep the volume down a bit?