State sovereignty and the Tenth Amendment are getting some attention in the Buckeye State.
Ohio Rep. John Becker recently sent a letter to U.S. Congressman Brad Wenstrup in which he requested that his fellow republican initiate impeachment proceedings against Judge Timothy Black. Judge Black recently ruled (twice) that Ohio must recognize the marriage of same-sex couples despite (a) the lack of federal authority regarding the issue of marriage and (b) an amendment to Ohio’s Constitution which prohibits the state from recognizing or performing same-sex marriages.
(a) Congress has no enumerated power to regulate or define marriage. As such, the issue of marriage is reserved to the states per the Tenth Amendment of the US Constitution. Even the almighty Supreme Court admitted this in their recent opinion on DOMA.
(b) Article 15, Section 11 of the Ohio Constitution reads:
“Only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this state and its political subdivisions. This state and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage.”
No ambiguity there.
Of course Rep. Becker will be called heartless, homophobic and radical for his crazy fidelity to the US and Ohio Constitutions – this is predictable.
Equally predictable is Congressman Wenstrup’s response in which he clarified that he’ll take no legal action until a federal appeal of Black’s rulings makes its way through the court:
“While Judge Black’s ruling violated the Ohio constitution and the will of Ohio voters, the question of whether this decision also violated the U.S. Constitition remains before a higher court. I will watch those appellate proceedings closely to see if Judge Black’s decision is upheld, and I have full confidence in Ohio’s office of the Attorney General during the appeals process.”
In other words, let’s allow the federal government to determine whether the federal government crossed the line.
Yeah…that’s been working out really well over the past 200 years, hasn’t it Congressman?!?