by Lanny Carruthers
Part 6 of 6: Marriage, Gay Marriage, Marijuana, Wife Beater T-shirts, and Confederate Monuments…where we are today!
Marriage is not listed anywhere in the Constitution as a delegated power to the federal government. If it is not specifically a power delegated to the federal government, then the federal government has no authority to restrict or affirm any aspect of marriage unless a constitutional amendment delegating such power. At this time no proposed amendment has passed delegating such authority. Only through judicial activism was it usurped by the United States Supreme Court. At this point, states should enact any law(s) regarding marriage and expressly prohibit interference by the federal government.
Before some start screeching and hollering “Obergefell”, another abomination and judicial overreach by the U.S. Supreme Court, there may be other solutions. Marriage was not specifically mentioned as a right in the Constitution. The right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” does apply as a right(s). So long as a state makes some legal accommodation such as “civil union” or “gay union” that acknowledges all the same rights as traditional marriage, no one’s rights are infringed. At this point, it becomes an argument over terminology and not rights. Also, states could enter reciprocal agreements with other states regarding marriage laws and/or civil union laws they will honor and which they will not. On a side note, if the Obergefell decision is to be the accepted law of the land, then all state laws regarding guns are hereby null and void. Driving and driver licenses should hereby be considered a right and not a privilege.
Recently the Berkley City Council approved an ordinance banning the city from contracting with companies involved in the construction of the border wall. Subsequently, the council expanded the policy prohibiting investment with companies taking part in “designing, building or financing” the wall. California Assemblyman Phil Ting wrote, “This is a wall of shame and we don’t want any part of it…Californians build bridges, not walls.”
It has been written that Californians wish to secede from the United States. After the election of President Trump, the group, Yes California, is collecting signatures needed to place a secessionist question on the 2018 ballot. Its goal is to have California become its own country, separate and apart from the United States. I am very tempted to click on their website (www.yescalifornia.org) to find out where to mail a check to help them out. Provided they still accept incoming mail from Alabama.
As I was wrapping up this series Attorney General Jeff Session issued a directive to U.S. Attorneys to enforce the law as written in regard to marijuana. Everyone from liberal Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) on the left to Sen. Rand Paul (R) on the right have criticized Sessions’ directive. The fact is the law was the law before Sessions became Attorney General. The duties of Attorney General do not include the authority to legislate and/or make law, only to enforce the law as written.
The House and Senate must pass a bill that eliminates the Controlled Substances Act – and no other subjects or amendments included. This will allow each state to determine if and how to regulate such substances. If state legislatures wish to duck the issue and abstain, they can punt the issue to a state referendum and let the people decide. According to the lion’s uproar directed at Sessions, it seems that there would be record voter turnout for these referendums. At this point, the opioid crisis becomes a state issue and up to the states to handle. Some may call me an a-hole for this and inhumane, but it doesn’t matter how many people overdose in West Virginia to Californians. States’ can decide what their societal norm is going to be and how many people a year they are prepared to house in prisons.
If the “Marijuana Joints’ Lives Matter Group” wants to hold an annual smoke-out convention, they can go to Colorado and light’em up! Pharmaceutical companies then can deal with state legislatures. It will cost extra lobbying dollars, but Medicare agencies and insurance companies can hold the line on what they are willing to pay for drugs.
In today’s society, wife beater shirts and Confederate flags/items are either loved or hated depending on your societal viewpoint. Justin Bieber and Snoop Dogg fans swoon when they see the two wearing wife beaters at concerts or in music videos. Wife beater shirts have long been identified with husbands who physically beat and hurt their wife and mistakenly identified with boyfriends who physically beat and hurt their girlfriend. Some view the same shirt as tank tops and prefers to wear them as beach attire during the summer. Confederate flags/items have recently been identified as representing slavery, racism, and hurtful to people’s feelings. Some view the same flags/items as representing heritage and ancestors. The same flag is (properly) identified as the Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia and mistakenly identified as the flag representing the Confederacy. Google each and you’ll see the difference.
How is one allowed to be sold on shelves of Wal-Mart, Dollar General and other fine retailers while the other one has been banned and removed? I guess it’ll take the release of photos of Harvey Weinstein wearing a wife beater to give wife beater t-shirts a bad name to get them banned and hated.
As absurd as the above analogy sounds, it points out the absurdity of deeming one societal viewpoint superior to the other. Who determines what is offensive to some and what is not offensive to some? I personally deem living in a society like New York, people openly urinating on the street(s) and talk rapidly, and suffering many feet of snowfall each winter absurd.
Some may deem living in a society like Alabama, people who lead a laid-back lifestyle and talk slower, and suffers many days of debilitating 100+ degree heat and humidity each summer absurd. Who’s right and who’s wrong?
The farther in time we advance the farther and farther we seem to have distanced ourselves from the Constitution and the intent of the Founding Fathers. It seems from the outburst of roaring about various issues to be high time that the delegated powers of the federal government found in the Constitution be enforced. The time has come that overreaching of Congress needs to be restrained and return undelegated powers back to the states for consideration according to their form of society and norms. The current uproar by both liberals and conservatives desiring states’ rights regarding the issue of marijuana seems to be uniting both sides. Imagine that!
Otherwise, will different forms of society in the U.S. survive cultural cleansing? Where and how fast can we start the process of restoring states’ rights?
I started writing this article on December 30, 2017 (according to the file properties on MS Word), with Part 1 published on January 8, 2018. Ironically, the New York Times came out with a similar article titled, “In Clash Between California and Trump, It’s One America Versus Another” published on January 7, 2018, that I didn’t see for a couple days later. Sounds like The New York Times, a California assemblyman, and this Alabamian have a common view. Will different forms of society doom the U.S.? Which One America Versus Another will survive?