SharksWithLasers -- Seth Cooper

A CUTTING-EDGE BLOG FOR THE WORLD OF THE 21st CENTURY, Currently operated by Seth L. Cooper, a 27 year-old attorney in Seattle (sethlcooper at comcast dot net)

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

MARRIAGE AND SELF-GOVERNMENT UNDER ATTACK...AGAIN. A very disappointing ruling was issued by King County Superior Court Judge William Downing, holding Washington State's Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional under the Washington State Constitution's Privileges and Immunities Clause as well as the (Substantive) Due Process Clause. Judge Downing issued a stay on his own decision, pending an ultimate decision by the State Supreme Court. The Evergreen State is now poised to follow in the footsteps of Massachusetts--where a runaway judiciary illegitimately assumed unto itself the power to redefine a bedrock institution of Western Civilization that is itself grounded in the laws of nature.

Indeed, Judge Downing invoked the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's recent decision in a number of places in his summary judgment order (available here). How Appealling first alerted me to Judge Downing's order and the pertinent post links a Seattle Times story. Also worth noting is Hugh Hewitt's interview with Dr. James Dobson, as well as Terry Eastland's recent column on the chances of a Federal Marriage Amendment appearing before the U.S. Senate in the near future. (Again, hat tip to Hewitt.) On a more fundamental level, I think it entirely appropriate to check out Dr. Robert George's First Things back-issue article on Abraham Lincoln and judicial imperialism.

My former boss, Washington State Senator Val Stevens, is one of the third-party defendant intervenors in the suit, defending the state statute along with the State itself. I appreciate her willingness to stand up for marriage and the separation of powers.

I finished my first read of Judge Downing's order a few minutes ago, and needless to say I take great exception to his ruling and several aspects of his reasoning. More to come on this...

(Atlanta, GA)

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