More Constitutional Ramblings..
(22:25:05) Me: You're better educated on Constitutional precedent and intent than I am.
(22:25:23) Me: I'm not totally talking out my ass when I say that the DOMA is totally stupid in historical terms
(22:25:37) Sarah: the first 10 amendments were included to make the anti-central-government types accept the constitution. they LIMIT the power of the government.
(22:26:04) Me: Every other amendment either limits the government, or provides functionality to it of a structural nature
(22:26:34) Sarah: the 14th (?) amendment, the one that forced states to make former slaves citizens, radically changed the nature of government. it basically hurt states rights a lot by saying "a federal law must be upheld by the states"
(22:27:09) Sarah: prohibition was indeed the only amendment that was statute-like, and was repealed. it was put there by heavy-duty lobbying and quickly regretted. it is considered anomalous and very bad law.
(22:27:11) Me: but at the same time, that one expanded freedoms of the citizens
(22:27:14) Sarah: right
(22:27:34) Sarah: it basically set up the federal government as a guarantor of rights that could trump states' limitations of individual citizens' rights
(22:27:41) Sarah: at least, that's how i was taught it.
(22:28:22) Sarah: but it has been used gazillions of times to strike down remnants of states' rights. so it is dangerous, although most of us are very happy that it got rid of established second-class citizens
(22:28:28) Me: And it seems to me that this marriage one would be closer in spirit to Prohibition than any other amendment.
(22:28:31) Sarah: yes
(22:28:42) Me: And would also increase the trampling over state's rights
(22:28:46) Sarah: the closest that should come to law is a resolution
(22:29:16) Sarah: and resolutions are just statements of principle that legislators put their names to
(22:30:40) Sarah: one of the enduring principles of the us political culture (that's been eroding since lincoln's presidency) is the limitation of government power over the people
(22:31:35) Sarah: we've come to accept (most of us) the need for government involvement in public works (role in regulating interstate commerce and the constitutional mandate to promote the general welfare is the foundation for that)
(22:31:47) Sarah: to do that, we (most of us) accept paying taxes
(22:32:06) Sarah: but restrictions on our behavior aside from actual crimes with victims, (I consider) very unAmerican
(22:33:43) Me: i agree... what we're looking at is one of the worst constitutional faux pas in 80 years
(22:34:06) Sarah: it needs to be smacked down with vigour
(22:34:42) Sarah: after which we will cooly wash our hands of that thing and move on, i hope
(22:34:45) Me: And I'm afraid that people'll end up hyperfocusing on the gay-rights side of the whole thing.
(22:35:00) Me: Which, that's an issue, to be sure, but we have to really attack this from a constitutional aspect.
(22:35:03) Sarah: gay rights is fine and dandy, but frankly, everybody's rights are at stake right now
(22:35:10) Me: Is _this_ micromanaging what we want the constitution used for?
(22:35:15) Sarah: nope
Tomorrow, I bust some heads. Now, I sleep.