Predictably, Delegate Bob Marshall has issued an apoplectic e-mail about today’s implicit affirmation of the unconstitutionality of gay-marriage bans. You have to read his spluttering with some care to realize he is calling for, in effect, the abolition of the Supreme Court (not surprising, since his party voted to, in effect, abolish the governor; if he and Speaker Howell get their way, the Republican house majority will be the only branch of government left).
Here’s an excerpt:
the Supreme Court has placed the Government of the Commonwealth in the hands of two federal judges whose very names are unknown to “We the people.”
Well, that’s a lie. The two Fourth Circuit court judges who ruled in favor of gay marriage were Henry F. Floyd (who was first nominated to the federal bench by George W. Bush) and Roger Gregory (thanks guys!).
The Supreme Court’s decision disregards the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God[.]”
Well, that’s only an implicit lie, as it implies the Supreme Court rules on divine law. It doesn’t. The Supreme Court rules on constitutional law, which was written by men, not by God (no matter what First Love and Rick Santorum think).
Finally, in an apparent call for Congress to ignore the separation of powers and just take over the whole country (like Marshall and Howell are trying to take over Virginia), he tells this whopper:
The Founders gave Congress vast authority over the cases federal courts are permitted to rule on:
Congress has “unlimited control over the Court’s appellate jurisdiction, as well as total jurisdiction of the lower federal courts. … Congress is in position to restrict the actual exercise of judicial review at times, or even to frustrate it altogether.”
(Edward S. Corwin, Understanding the Constitution)
That’s a doozy because Marshall made that quotation up. Corwin (and co-author Jack W. Peltason)’s book doesn’t include those words anywhere. You can check for yourself because the book is online. Now, the book was originally written in 1949 when, you know, segregation was still allowed, eighteen-year-olds couldn’t vote, and the constitution was a half-dozen or so amendments shorter than it is today. The online version is the Seventeenth Edition. Marshall (who is not a lawyer), may be using an out of date text (just as he is using an out of date brain). But, even if the pre-Brown v. Board of Education edition included his quote, the current version says this about judicial review:
The constitutionality of ‘‘court curbing’’—that is, removing the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court with the goal of preventing it from making decisions to which Congress is opposed—is uncertain, as the Court has never directly addressed the issue.
(Corwin and Peltason’s Understanding the Constitution, 17th ed.; Davis, Sue; Thomson Higher Education, 2008.)
Finally, Marshall points this out:
Failure of Members of Congress or candidates for Congress of either political party to rein in such abuses of power by federal judges by abolishing their ability to hear such cases as is expressly provided for in the Constitution should be disqualified from holding office.
How a candidate can abolish the power of a federal judge is beyond me, but I would love to hear both Barbara Comstock and John Foust respond to Marshall’s view (since, among other things, that would mean seeing Comstock answer a reporter’s question instead of turning her back on the camera). Something tells me that Foust would do a better job with this one.
Marshall concludes with a link to his donation site, which is probably the whole point of his e-mail. But, imagine, if you help him, maybe he will find a way to get rid of that pesky Supreme Court and all its equal rights, integrated schools, and the rest of that lefty jive. We don’t need courts to tell us Nature’s Law and the law of Nature’s God. We can just ask Bob Marshall what it is.
I’m sure he can make something up.