August 25, 2004


Can a Constitution Be Unconstitutional?: The battle for state marriage amendments leads to a power grab in Michigan. (Ted Olsen, 08/24/2004, Christianity Today: Weblog)

No one denies that Citizens for the Protection of Marriage has enough signatures to put a state constitutional amendment on Michigan's November 2 ballot. The organization needed around 317,700 signatures, but got 480,000 of them.

But yesterday, the four-member Michigan Board of State Canvassers deadlocked, thus blocking the amendment from appearing on the ballot.

"Democratic Canvasser Doyle O'Connor said the board should not place an amendment before voters that would be 'patently unlawful' and certain to be struck down by the courts if approved," the Detroit Free Press reports. "O'Connor sided with opponents of the marriage proposal who claim it would nullify existing benefits for unmarried partners offered by universities, local governments and private corporations, in addition to restricting marriage to heterosexual couples. To do so, he said, would violate other constitutional protections and 'could never be enforced. We know the courts would set it aside.'"

Huh. A constitutional amendment would be unlawful? That's odd. I wonder what other constitutional clauses are unlawful. Ooh! Maybe the whole separation of powers thing is illegal! Maybe Article II Section 2 of the Michigan Constitution is illegal! Here's what it says, after explaining how many signatures a petition to amend the constitution requires:

Any amendment proposed by such petition shall be submitted, not less than 120 days after it was filed, to the electors at the next general election. Such proposed amendment, existing provisions of the constitution which would be altered or abrogated thereby, and the question as it shall appear on the ballot shall be published in full as provided by law.

Huh. Nothing in there about the Board of State Canvassers needing to prophesy about what the courts might say.

Say this for the Left: they're going to make the rest of pry power from their cold, dead hands.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 25, 2004 6:31 PM

>Can a Constitution Be Unconstitutional?

Five-to-four says so among the Supremes.

Posted by: Ken at August 25, 2004 7:41 PM

The normally liberal Detroit Free Press body-slammed the Board of Canvassers in its lead editorial today.

And while I personally think allowing gays the opportunity of civil marriage is a matter of simple fairness, I thought the Canvassers move beyond revolting.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at August 25, 2004 8:36 PM

SCOTUS has declared state constitutional referenda unworthy on a couple of occasions. Restoration of a "Conservative" costitutional order will take radical action, like sending most of the current SCOTUS members to a nursing home, or hanging them if needs be.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at August 25, 2004 10:20 PM

These are people that believe "the America we have lost" began in 1968!

Posted by: J.H. at August 26, 2004 9:28 AM