Where was homeland security?

Apparently during the night, New Jersey, despite sharing no common border with us, has somehow managed to annex Virginia. How else to explain the sky-is-falling silliness emanating from the pro-Marshall/Newman crowd?

Here’s a little quiz: Is there a risk that the District of Columbia’s gun statute will be suddenly transported across the Potomac, and start governing the issuance of gun licenses to Virginians?

I don’t think so, either.

So how is it that otherwise intelligent people would forget all about state sovereignty and fall for the idea that a ruling by the Supreme Court of another state, that draws on the legislative history of that state, is a reflection of the public policy and public opinion of that state, and only applies to the residents of that state, could possibly have any bearing on what happens in Virginia?

The answer is that a campaign to convince Virginians to vote for something they don’t really agree with is losing steam, and its leaders think they can use the tired “activist judges!” meme to revive it. The problem is the same one they’ve had from the beginning: That their entire argument is baseless.

Here’s another quiz: How many lies are contained in this single sentence, from the Focus on the Family website?

The justices have made clear their disdain and disrespect for the true decision makers in our democracy – the people – as well as for the institution of marriage.

The only sense in which this might be true is that the “true decision makers” in New Jersey favor full marriage equality for same sex couples. An “activist” court might have bent to the will of the people and found a fundamental right to marriage in the New Jersey constitution, but this court made it quite clear that they couldn’t find one. This is in spite of a strong legislative history of advances toward equality for GLBT people in New Jersey, which is very much the opposite of what we have in Virginia. The court has explicitly stated that amending New Jersey’s marriage law is “a matter left to the democratic process,” and further, that

Plaintiff’s quest does not end here. They must now appeal to their fellow citizens whose voices are heard through their popularly elected representatives.

Is there really a serious argument to be made against this by those who claim the mantle of conservatism?

It requires genuine moral bankruptcy to pervert this ruling to the purpose of campaigning for Ballot Question #1, but some of our fellow travelers have managed to do it.

Courts in New Jersey, or in any other state, have no influence on judges in Viriginia – which, by the way, is the only state in the union in which the legislature is wholly responsible for both nominating and electing judges.

Even more importantly, everything that was wrong with Ballot Question #1 yesterday is still wrong with it today.

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