A judge’s decision on Thursday declaring that a state law allowing same-sex marriage in Massachusetts should take precedence over a federal definition of marriage has exposed the fractures and fault lines among groups working to bolster states’ rights.Read the rest here.
The decision, by Judge Joseph L. Tauro of United States District Court in Boston, supports and echoes a central tenet of the Tea Party, 9/12 and Tenth Amendment movements, all of which argue that the authority of the states should trump Washington in most matters not explicitly assigned by the Constitution to the federal government.
Congress, the judge said, had infringed on a question that was the province of local voters and legislators.
But in using the argument to support gay marriage in Massachusetts, where the case arose, the judge created an awkward new debating point within the less-government movement about where social goals and government policy intersect, or perhaps collide.
Some people involved in the campaigns to limit Washington’s reach cheered what they said was a states’ rights victory.
“The Constitution isn’t about political ideology,” said Michael Boldin, the founder of the Tenth Amendment Center, a group based in Los Angeles. “It’s about liberty, and limiting the government to certain divisive issues — I applaud what I consider a very rare ruling from the judiciary.”
Others, like Steve V. Moon, a software programmer and founder of States-rights.org, a group founded in Utah in 2008, said the judge’s decision was both right and wrong.
For the record, I concur with the narrow rational in the court's decision. It's a state's rights issue. The Feds should mind their own business.