Monday, January 11, 2016

Gary Cass has a problem with words

Gary L. Cass
Gary L. Cass
I received an email this morning from Dr. Gary L. Cass from the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission who is intent on the nullification of the Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. The email is titled “Nullification Gaining Momentum!”Cass' email subjects always end with an exclamation point.

Cass doesn't really have a PhD — at least not one from an institution with a U.S. Department of Education recognized accreditation. And the legal name of his organization is the Christian Anti-Defamation League. I guess at some point he realized that tacking Christian onto ADL was rather unoriginal and “commission” sounds so official. “Nullification” is another word that Mr. Cass has some problems with. The concept of nullifying laws that you do not like is both illegal and unconstitutional. It has no place in our system. 

If Mr. Cass does not like Obergefell he is free to work with others to effect a constitutional amendment. That is the correct process for changing laws that one does not like. “Momentum” seems to be another problem. As evidence he offers:
It looks like the first State to lead the nation in nullifying a tyrannical, unconstitutional opinion by the US Supreme Court will be Tennessee. A rally is scheduled on the 19th to urge the legislature to nullify the Obergefell opinion nationalizing homosexual marriage. Tennessee already has draft legislative language written and may be the first legislature to act!
“Unconstitutional?” Calling a ruling by the Supreme Court “unconstitutional” is an exercise in absurdism. The Court is the final interpreter of the Constitution. Its rulings are constitutional per se. Mr. Cass doesn't seem to understand the situation. In the event that the Tennessee legislature passed a form of DOMA (HB 1412) it would be DOA. Banning same-sex marriage after the Supreme Court says that such bans are unconstitutional doesn't make much sense.

Any effort in Tennessee to thwart marriage equality would be met by a federal court order. Individuals who then interfere with the Constitutional rights of gay citizens would be personally liable for damages. Needless to say, this gets very expensive and disobeying a federal injunction constitutes contempt of court which carries its own penalties.

Mr. Cass continues:
There are other efforts afoot to check the unconstitutional overreach of the Federal Government. Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas is aiming to spark a national conversation about states' rights by leading the call for a convention to amend the U.S. Constitution.
To date no amendment to the U.S. Constitution has been proposed through a constitutional convention. A convention would require approval by at least 33 state legislatures. An amendment proposed by a convention would require the assent of 38 states. In other words, this is an exercise in futility. It might fire up a politician's base but it's just a waste of time.

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