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Welcome to my home on the web! My name is Erik Larson and I am the author of the action/adventure novel Lone Star Daybreak; a novel set in a speculative future in which Texas leaves the United States to form a separate country. Some short stories that take place in the world of my novel are at the right. I encourage you to read them and get a taste of what's ahead in my story! Aside from that, I have some of my favorite links here and I also comment on events in the world and on subjects that interest me. Thanks for stopping by and have fun!

Friday, September 4, 2015

When three branches of government become, effectively, one

The Internet is afire with the Kentucky court clerk incident, in which a clerk is refusing to abide by a ruling that the Supreme Court made in the case of gay marriage. I think we need to sharpen our view of what is really being done here. The fact is, you are entitled to your religious beliefs, but you are not necessarily entitled to exercise them in your official capacity. That, depending on the severity, would cause me to side with the court versus having the official face the voters or appointers instead. What I see as the "big issue" here is the power of one branch of the government to force another to do or not do something, and that is what has happened post-Marbury vs. Madison with judicial review. Since that time, we have seen what I will simply call "judicial activism" more and more from judges, where they construe rights, powers, and so on not in the document and create them from judicial air. Abortion was one. "Separation of church and state" was another.

Regardless of whether you support gay marriage or not (and I have friends that do) it has to be reckoned that this was "made" by the Supreme Court, not placed in the Constitution by the Founders. This is but the latest instance of the Supreme Court finding rights in the document that aren't there, per se. Thomas Jefferson discussed this danger in 1803:

"You seem to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. They have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps.... Their power [is] the more dangerous as they are in office for life, and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves.."

It may be time for us to very sharply examine judicial review and say that just because a court acts in a certain way it by no means settles the question from the standpoint of the executive or the legislature. This may lead to legal chaos, but perhaps that is what we already have-- or what is needed.

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