When a justice reaches the level of State Supreme Court, it is expected they know their business. Apparently, in Alabama, this is not required. The Alabama State Supreme Court ordered a halt on March 3 to same-sex marriage in spite of a federal judge declaring the law banning it to be unconstitutional according to the U.S. Constitution.
By itself, this is wrong. Federal rulings trump state rulings, plain and simple. The law in Alabama has been declared unconstitutional not just by a federal judge, but the U.S. Supreme Court refused to stop it from happening. Worse, however, is what they said in issuing this opinion. They said the judges issuing the marriage licenses had a duty “not to issue any marriage license contrary to his law. Nothing in the United States Constitution alters or overrides this duty.”
Um. Yes, it does. Again, federal trumps state. The U.S. Constitution is the basis for the overturn of the law banning same-sex marriage. Perhaps the Alabama justices would like to issue a ruling banning free speech and see just how well that goes over. I would offer the possibility of them issuing a ruling against the second amendment of the U.S. Constitution and see how well that is received, but this is the south and that amendment, the right to bear arms, is held pretty sacred south of the Mason-Dixon line.
Which presents the hypocrisy of the situation. It’s great to support the national Constitution when arms restrictions are being offered, but it’s okay to challenge things when someone’s due process and equal treatment is in jeopardy. The whole anti-slavery and later desegregation / civil rights issues didn’t go over so well in Alabama, either, but, well, they lost out on those fights, too.
I do not expect this ruling to hold up under any kind of scrutiny. I am hopeful someone will take their challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court, who will say, “We ruled on this already for you guys, let gays marry in your state.” This bullshit of trying to stand apart from federal law is what led to the Civil War, and that ended very poorly for the south.
I will finish by saying if I had plans to visit Alabama, I would cancel them. I have some friends there, but I will not be going there anytime soon. Someday I hope to take Sweetness on a tour of the U.S., but as of right now, Alabama is off the list of places I will show her.