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June 3rd, 2009

The Executive Order and moving forward

After listening to Bob Vander Plaats, and those espousing an Executive Order, one would think a new governor issuing an Executive Order to, as Deace would say, “enforce the law on the books,” would be the easiest way to regain traditional marriage. Since it hasn’t been covered by anyone other than Deace, I thought I’d take a look at that option and see what merit it has.

First, the context of the original call for an Executive Order was during the height of the marriage issue. It was at this same time where Congressman Steve King was calling for an amendment to be passed as well as a residency reciprocity requirement to contain this mess to Iowa. By the way, Bob Vander Plaats was also for the residency requirement, saying in an April 7 interview,

“It is wrong to allow people whose states do not allow same-sex marriages to rush into Iowa, get a quickie marriage and rush home to undermine the laws and values of another state.”

It was only after Deace and and others called the residency requirement “capitulation” on the issue and asserting such a stand gave the court’s decision “credence” when Vander Plaats pulled back his support for the residency requirement. At that point, Vander Plaats started pushing the Executive Order strategy along with Deace and others. They were also pushing for the re-passage of DOMA  – which is another strategy giving “credence” to the court’s ruling. For if the court’s opinion doesn’t matter and the law is still on the books as some say, why would you need to pass DOMA again?

Those in favor the Executive Order say only the legislature and executive branch have the authority to pass or enforce laws and the courts have no authority to do so. They are correct in this assessment. The next step they go to is a stretch. They also say that the courts can make a decision but since they don’t have guns to enforce their decision, they are powerless. I wonder if Deace’s mom made him eat his broccoli at gunpoint since there was no other way to enforce their will?

Once again, I understand how appealing these arguments are emotionally. The problem is, realistically, there is no way it will work. If Bob Vander Plaats becomes governor and issues the Executive Order to enforce the law on the books, it will go right back to the courts where they will decide the same way they already did. Then what’s next? Does he issue another one? And you must remember that during this time, the left, including the media, will be all over Vander Plaats and the rest of us, undercutting and undermining any support we have for the Executive Order. You also have to keep in mind that people have respect for the courts. There is a reason why judges are retained in almost every circumstance. So politically, I don’t see how this strategy can win.

But the political strategy shouldn’t be trumped by the Constitution. So in their defense, they are on solid ground constitutionally. But, and this is a huge but, this brings us back to Marbury v. Madison in 1803. I’ve written about this multiple times but must do so once again because of the constant repetition by Deace and others. Marbury v. Madison set the precedent that the courts decide if a law is constitutional or not. Without this court case, the legislative or executive branch would determine if their own law is constitutional and that is the definition of tyranny. Even the founders gave “credence” to that decision. Why would anyone believe, 206 years later, the people would reverse this precedent? Also, why would you want to? If we were to ignore the court’s decision, rights would be forever fluid with every election. In a time of liberal control, why would any conservative want our rights to be redefined at the whim of the current majority?

Their last argument for ignoring the court’s decision is based on a red herring. They say, the people should have the final say, not the courts. This leads you to believe McKinley, Paulsen, King, and others are saying the courts should have the final say and that can’t be further from the truth. What they conveniently leave out is that the people have multiple options to exercise their power over the courts. We can pass a constitutional amendment, impeach the judges, strip the court’s jurisdiction and funding, and finally, decrease the Iowa Supreme Court down to three judges in a tent.

Now that all of that is out of the way, can we move on to a winning strategy? Can we finally come together, whether you agree with me or not? We have the vast majority of the state with us on this issue. We can either handle it by working together in a strong coalition or we can continue to be divided and fail our children and grandchildren. We truly do have that choice right now, in front of us. We absolutely must move forward and pass the constitutional amendment for traditional marriage while looking into strategies to prevent things like this from happening again.

Craig Robinson’s segment yesterday on WHO prompted this article. Craig is very good at sticking to what he knows is right but at the same time moving forward on issues. He consistently takes level headed stances and in doing so, is able to advance the issue without irritating those who disagree with him. I’m taking that cue and moving forward – I hope you can all do the same.


About the Author

Constitution Daily
An Iowa based blog with the purpose of giving incentive to those actively engaged in conservative causes. Content will include Iowa and national issues ranging from politics to everyday society, but in every case you will know where Constitution Daily stands. Please feel free to contact me anytime at constitutiondaily@gmail.com.




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