Posted by: SWL | March 25, 2013

Public Opinion Should Not Influence Supreme Court Rulings on Same-Sex Marriage

Tomorrow and Wednesday the US Supreme Court will hear arguments on two cases related to “gay marriage”. On news talk shows over the past weekend, one of the prime arguments from “experts”, spokespersons for gay-lesbian groups, and other guests was that more Americans support same-sex marriage now than in the past.

Over the past decade or so, the number of Americans who call themselves pro-life has increased, now about the same percentage as favors same-sex marriage. But no one is saying that the Supreme Court should overturn Roe vs. Wade because of changing public opinions. More Americans than ever favor some restrictions on access to abortion, such as making the horrific partial-birth abortion technique illegal. But the Court has not cited public opinion in any of their rulings upholding or striking down various state laws on abortion.

Popular opinion on an issue is a poor way to determine the validity of a law, especially when considering Constitutionality. The Supreme Court must consider the historic basis of marriage and its value to society, and the traditional definitions of terms/ideas contained in the Constitution when ruling on these cases. The US Constitution and state constitutions keep our government entities running consistently. If public opinion was the basis of legislation, we would be subject to continually changing laws, which would create chaos in the courts and in society in general.

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