Many scholars call for resistance on Obergefell v. Hodges.

November 20, 2015

Letter to the editor, by Marian Fortier Johnson, Manistee. 

At least 60 Legal Scholars are calling for public officials and citizens to resist the decree of the SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States), in Obergefell v. Hodges. By the narrowest of margins, it mandated that every state in the union must redefine marriage to include same-sex relationships. It does not end a national debate, only complicates it.

The legal scholars in their American Principles Project statement assert that the Court’s narrow majority opinion disregarded “reliance on the text, logic, structure, or original understanding of the Constitution”, eschewed as well the doctrines and former cases to which they always refer and want to cite, and “supplied no compelling reasoning to show why it is unjustified for the laws of the states to sustain marriage as it has been understood for millennia as the union of husband and wife.”

The statement goes on to say “the four dissenting justices are right to reject the majority opinion in unsparing terms” because the opinion substituted “a new and ill-defined jurisprudence of identity—one that abused the moral concept of human dignity”.

The debate here touches on fundamental questions about law, justice, nature, and reality. Unfortunately the American political system has deteriorated to a point at which absurdities are embraced, unnatural acts are celebrated, and thus injustice is widespread. Our proud political heritage has been debased; the legitimacy of our government is severely compromised. How can we restore the legitimacy of our republic? I know that to resist further injustice, we must not give our assent to unjust legal fictions.

Just as the Roe v. Wade decision galvanized the pro-life movement, this indefensible ruling will energize thousands of defenders of marriage and freedom. The topic of much discussion in the pro-family movement: What strategy to follow now in this long, uphill battle seeking to revive appreciation for natural law. Principle architects and leading spokesmen from Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas to Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King shared a fundamental belief that “positive law” is morally good or bad (just or unjust) depending on its conformity to the standards of “natural law”; natural law is no mere human creation. Certainly the laws of the several states to keep marriage as between one man and one women are “just laws” in the natural law concept. Can elitist judges get away with striking down just laws?

In the absence of major changes in the political landscape, the prospects for a successful campaign to amend the Constitution or impeach the justices are nil. Focus on changing public attitudes rather than laws? Yes, but: it will try patience. For example, while public opinion has gradually moved toward the pro-life position, abortion-on-demand remains the “law of the land”, and thousands of unborn children are still not safe in their first place.

The opinions and statements made in letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect those of Media Group 31, LLC or its affiliates, Mason County Press, Manistee County Press, Oceana County Press.