Last month, US District Court Judge Callie VS Granade declared Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. The state was supposed to start issuing licenses to gay couples—known regionally as “Ted and Earl”—this morning, but last night Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy S. Moore ordered probate judges not to do it. “Effective immediately,” he decreed, “no probate judge of the State of Alabama nor any agent or employee of any Alabama probate judge shall issue or recognize a marriage license that is inconsistent” with Alabama’s constitution—which includes a defense of marriage amendment that passed in 2006 with 80% of the vote. Now seems like a good time to point out that Judge Moore’s position is popularly elected.
Those impartial inquirers over at The Daily Beast have “caught” Joni Ernst, Republican candidate for Iowa’s Senate seat, saying that states can nullify federal laws. Really, she didn’t say that. She said that as a federal legislator, she would not pass the kind of laws that states would consider nullifying. She also said it last September, at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition, while standing in front of a drum set. So grain of salt, but here she is:
You know we have talked about this at the state legislature before, nullification. But, bottom line is, as U.S. Senator why should we be passing laws that the states are considering nullifying? Bottom line: our legislators at the federal level should not be passing those laws. We’re right…we’ve gone 200-plus years of federal legislators going against the Tenth Amendment’s states’ rights. We are way overstepping bounds as federal legislators. So, bottom line, no we should not be passing laws as federal legislators—as senators or congressman—that the states would even consider nullifying. Bottom line.
If Ernst wants to pay my exorbitant consulting fee, I can think of a phrase that she uses too much. Also, let’s take a second to talk about nullification, which is a hot topic in American politics for the first time since 1832.
God never closes a door without opening a window. He sublets, so he doesn’t much care about heating bills or whatever, but he paid all the rent up front. You have to take the good with the bad. Whether it’s the spiny exterior of a delicious cactus or the two hours of Gerard Butler you have to sit through before the end of a Gerard Butler movie, nothing worthwhile comes without its price. Today is Friday, a necessary last push before the sweet, sweet weekend, and news is mixed. Won’t you go from toothpaste to orange juice with me?
Good news for the drunk ghost of John C. Calhoun: the state of Florida, previously known as the place that combines the hypersexual narcissism of California with the bugs of Nicaragua, is now also the new hot spot for nullification. You remember nullification, right? The 19th-century political theory that reserved for individual states the right to declare federal laws unconstitutional? Originally used to protest the so-called Tariff of Abominations of 1828 and 1832? Jesus, it’s like none of you is currently enrolled in sophomore history. It’s also like no one in the Florida state legislature is doing that, either, since the senate just proposed an amendment to the state constitution that would exempt Florida residents from the Affordable Health Care Act’s individual coverage mandate. Don’t worry; it passed. Props to Ben “Bang!” Gabriel for the link.
It’s Friday, and that means it’s time to look back on that which is about to become the week that was. Peculiarly, it’s been a week of nostalgia for the man pictured above. You might remember him from such bold leadership initiatives as turning a budget surplus into a multitrillion-dollar debt, deregulating the financial industry, awarding no-bid contracts to corporate cronies in two wars whose duration currently exceeds that of World War II, and arguing passionately in favor of torture. Or you might just remember that he talked like you and wasn’t black. It all depends on your perspective, and for a president who left office with a 38% approval rating, George W. Bush has enjoyed a surprising resurgence lately. It’s almost as if the good people of America articulated their political thoughts entirely in terms of being against things, and/or had no recollection of events beyond the past year. Of course, it’s also possible that the whole thing is made up; you probably also remember the national media that told us the war in Iraq was going to be quick and easy, then told us that no one could have predicted the problems in Iraq, then pilloried the Bush administration for messing up Iraq before alleging that Obama’s presidency is foundering on his inadequate commitment to same. It’s all a rich tapestry, which has fallen from the wall into a pile of rat feces, and we serfs can only peer upward and try to deduce the movements of the heavens using our astrolabes or whatever. It’s throwback time. Won’t you shudder in ignorant terror with me?