imageI read an article at Radio Iowa while eating lunch that made my blood boil.  Former Iowa Supreme Court Justice Michael Streit whined to the liberal legal establishment (I realize that is redundant) that politics have now “distorted” the process.

Mark Geary of KCRG Radio in Cedar Rapids, IA reports:

He said the court’s controversial 2009 ruling on gay marriage followed the law, rather than the “weather-vane” of public opinion. “We read the law. We read the decision and we voted the way we did…,” Streit said last night. “Anyone with legal, intellectual integrity would have voted the same way.”

Streit read the lyrics of the Green Day song “American Idiot” to illustrate his frustration. The lyrics are: “I’m not a part of a redneck agenda / Now everybody do the propaganda / And sing along to the age of paranoia. Don’t wanna be an American idiot / One nation controlled by the media / Information nation of hysteria / It’s going out to idiot America.”

Good riddance Mr. Streit.  He has just confirmed that Iowans made an excellent decision throwing him out of the Iowa Judicial Building on his keister.  The problem isn’t with the Iowa Supreme Court “reading” the law, but reading into the law.  This is a judicial  philosophical debate – strict constructionalism or legal positivism – the justices embraced the latter and Iowans rejected that.  So an appeal to “legal, intellectual integrity” is laughable coming from him since he has none.

As far as the process being distorted by politics, guess what?  It already has been distorted by politics.  There is zero accountability and zero transparency, of course the legal establishment likes the status quo.  They get to keep control.  Mr. Streit’s quoting Green Day is symbolic of the snobbery that exists in the legal establishment and it is good to see that there is one less purveyor of it on the Iowa Supreme Court.  It also demonstrates that he is still clueless as to why he lost his job.

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    It is not the courts’ job to uphold the precise will of the majority of the people. That’s what elections are for. The job of the courts is to uphold the Constitution, regardless of whether the necessary decisions fall in line with the will of the majority. It is up to the judges to determine, without bias from the rest of the population, what constitutes equality under the law, or equal protection. It seems more than obvious to me that to exclude Gays from the institution of marriage is a clear violation of any notion of “equality,” and I have yet to see anyone dispute that on a rational level. Therefore, it is not “activism” on the part of judges to declare that Gay and Straight couples should be treated equally under the law, rather it is an example of judges performing their rightful duty.

    It’s unfortunate that in Iowa three judges were thrown out just for doing that rightful duty.

    1. I understand that. I disagree with their interpretation and I would suspect the framers of the Iowa and U.S. constitution would as well.

      You can create “rights” out of thin air if you embrace legal positivism. I reject it.

      1. Shane, saying that judges are in the habit of “creating rights out of thin air” is a little hyperbolic. If the judges in Iowa based their decision on anything, I would guess it would be the 14th Amendmen, which was not approved until nearly a century after the Constitutiont.

        Of course, we can only speculate about what the “framers” would’ve thought of the 14th Amendment. I suspect you probably agree with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who claims that the “framers” would never have anticipated that Amendment being used to protect Gay people … or women for that matter. But then again, I think there is an awful lot about 21st Century American society that the “framers” would not have imagined in their wildest dreams.

      2. In a message dated 2/5/11 6:03:10 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,

        So lets just interpret the Constitution to mean what we would like it to
        mean… brilliant!

        Yeah, and weren’t the “framers” so prescient that they created the Supreme
        Court, so that JUST THAT COULD HAPPEN?

      3. I am stunned he quoted Green Day! Goes with my theory Liberals are basicly children that haven’t grown up. Mental spoiled teenagers.

      4. Shane,

        In your post you say that he doesn’t have any judicial integrity, but that hardly seems like a fair assessment. You say in this comment you reject his support for legal positivism. Fair enough, but that hardly means he lacks judicial integrity. I happen to reject strict constructionalism, but I’m not accusing its adherents as lacking judicial integrity.

  2. What about the majority of state and federal appellate judges who’ve found traditional marriage to be constitutional? Is Streit saying that those judges lack “legal, intellectual integrity”? Also, the Green Day reference is just weird. It looked like a parody at first. He actually said that in a speech? Did he sing it??;) Why did he quote that part of the song disparaging the media? The media- besides conservative talk radio I suppose- seemed largely on his side. Anyway, these judges’ arrogance was their undoing-both with their judicial opinions and their decision to not campaign.

    1. I’m not aware of any judge who has questioned the constitutionality of traditional marriage. What has been at question is whether a traditional marriage-only model which excludes two people of the same sex from getting married is constitutional.

      Now, you may think I’m just playing word games, but when I see statements such as “traditional marriage has been found unconstitutional,” I know it will be misconstrued.

Comments are closed.

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