Myth: Gay marriage in California created by activist liberal judges

gay marriage california getty justin sullivanLast May, when California judges overturned a state law banning gay marriage, countless right wingers blamed the move on judges “ruling from the bench.” But what the anti-gay marriage crowd failed to point was that the judge who wrote the ruling, along with many who agreed, were Republican appointees.

Josh Richman at the Political Blotter writes that the term “activist judge” is “what a lawsuit’s losers call judges who ruled against them.”

The details:

For the record, the California Supreme Court’s opinion was written by Chief Justice Ronald George, an appointee of Republican Gov. Pete Wilson; he was joined by justices Joyce Kennard (appointed by Republican Gov. George Deukmejian), Kathryn Werdegar (Wilson, again) and Carlos Moreno (Democratic Gov. Gray Davis). And in the Massachusetts case, the trial judge was a Reagan appointee while one of the appellate judges was a George H.W. Bush appointee, one a Clinton appointee and one a George W. Bush appointee; their ruling was unanimous, and the U.S. Supreme Court this month refused to review it.

Activists one and all? Hardly. They’re jurists interpreting and state and federal laws and constitutions, as their job descriptions entail.

photo credit: Getty/Justin Sullivan


3 responses to “Myth: Gay marriage in California created by activist liberal judges

  1. One of the things that really pisses me off is the fallacy of “Activist Judges.” Anyone who uses that phrase must have missed (or more likely flunked) 4th grade civics… remember when we learned about “the separation of power” and “checks and balances?” The truth about laws in the United States are that none of them are really laws until they have been tested for Constitutional muster. The legislature could write a bill that said being 19 years old is a criminal offense punishable by death. If the Governor or the President were stupid enough to sign that bill into law, no one would be executed until a case had been brought before some judge, somewhere… all the way up to the State or US Supreme Court in order to vet it for Constitutionality…

    Judges and the Courts are integral to US Society.

    It used to be illegal for “the Races” to intermarry… Remember Brown v the Topeka Board of Education… Separate is Inherently Unequal… That wasn’t merely about schooling… Activist Judges at work…

  2. Amazing that you can call these neo-con Republican conservatives. They are not and never were, so their appointees are the same lukewarm liberals their Governor’s were.

  3. ANY opinion issued from the bench that overturns the will of the people is WRONG. No matter what side of the aisle you reside on. Those who attack the term “activist judge” would have thier own term for these black robed creeps had the ruling gone the other way. Stop being a kool aid drinker and become a critical thinker.

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