Poor Eric Stern, executive director of the National Stonewall Democrats. This partisan seems to have forgotten how democracy works. The Washington Blade reports that Mr. Stern is upset that President Bush plans to resubmit the names of 20 individuals whom he nominated to the federal bench in his first term, but whose nominations were not voted on by the full Senate (as required by Article 2, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution).
Blade reporter Eartha Melzer, got her facts wrong when she said these nominees were “rejected” during the president’s first term. These nominations weren’t rejected. Senate Democrats used obstructionist tactics to prevent these nominations from being voted on.
Now, Mr. Stern whines:
The battle for LGBT rights is moving through the courts right now. . . . The right wing wants to hand pick and install judges that will rule against the right to marry. . . . And while the rest of the country progresses on gay marriage and other issues, these conservative judges will be in place for a very long time.
Here, he reveals his strategy for advancing “LGBT rights”–do it through the courts. Instead of trying to change the hearts and minds of the American people, Mr. Stern and his Democrats want the courts to decide for us.
In seeking to bypass democratic institutions, this Democrat also shows that he doesn’t really understand democracy. If indeed the rest of the country is progressing on gay marriage, as he claims, then in short order, advocates of gay marriage will be able to bring initiatives to state ballots — or introduce bills in state legislatures — to overturn the recent raft of referenda, laws and state constitutional amendments defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
At present, these “conservative judges,” whom Mr. Stern unfairly maligns, will surely rule against, what he calls, “the right to marry,” since no state legislature has yet passed a bill extending the definition of marriage to same-sex couples. (Nor have the citizens of any state voted for a similar extension.) But, since most conservative judges have shown deference to state legislatures, if the country is indeed progressing as Mr. Stern claims, then, to be true to their principles, these judges would defer to the states when the people — or their elected representatives — enact laws defining same-sex unions as marriage.