States Rights in Ohio Trampled on by Federal Judge

ohioOhio is about to become yet another state to have their Tenth Amendment state’s rights trampled on by a federal judge. Judge Timothy Black is set to deliver a ruling that will force the state of Ohio to recognize same-sex marriages that were performed in other states. Black says that the ban violates the constitutional rights of others to choose who they want to marry. It is quite comical for a federal judge to talk about the constitutionality of a law, when he himself is guilty of delivering a ruling that stomps all over Ohio’s Tenth Amendment rights.

This judge needs to take a basic course in fundamental Constitutional interpretation, as does the rest of the federal government. The issue here is not whether or not gay marriage should be legalized, but whether or not the government has the power and authority to deny specific states the right of self-government. Is the regulation of marriage one of the enumerated powers delegated to the federal government by the states in the Constitution? The answer to this question lies in the text of the Tenth Amendment, and the meaning is so crystal clear that a five-year-old with basic reading comprehension can understand it. Perhaps requiring members of Congress to have that level of common sense in order to serve in office would help relieve some of this kind of ridiculousness. Here is what the the Tenth Amendment says:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Clearly, the text above indicates that the federal government has no authority to overrule a state’s right to self-government, unless permission is explicitly granted to it by the states in the Constitution. The Founding Fathers in their genius, provided a list of those powers, intending that list to provide a leash to keep the government tethered to the Constitution. Ohio and their state’s right to self-government cannot be trampled on by any federal judge, because the judge has no constitutional authority to overturn state laws. The powers listed in the Constitution are the only areas the federal government has any business being involved in. A quick scan of the list and readers will discover that marriage is nowhere to be found in these enumerated powers.

Again, clearly, this means that the federal government should have no involvement in marriage. Marriage is something that should be left up to the states and the local communities therein, not the federal government. The legality of same-sex marriage is up to the people of Ohio, and they decided to define marriage as being between one man and one woman. This decision by the voters is now the law of the land, and the government has no jurisdiction to come in and strike that law down. Ohio is having its state’s rights trampled on by a federal judge, who technically, according to the Constitution, has no legal authority to make this ruling. Conservatives need to stand up and work hard to push the government out of the state’s business, otherwise the intrusions will not stop with this issue. It has been seen time and again that if people stand up to the government, they will back down, so there is no excuse not to fight for freedom.

Opinion by Michael Cantrell

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7 Responses to "States Rights in Ohio Trampled on by Federal Judge"

  1. inismagrath   April 17, 2014 at 9:27 am

    It is quite sad that Mr. Cantrell’s understanding of American Constitutional jurisprudence seems to begin and end with the 10th Amendment. Apparently overlooked is the 9th Amendment guarantee of rights not specifically enumerated, the 14th Amendment guarantee that states must provide equal protection of the law and due process and, specifically applicable to the Ohio case, Article IV section 1 which states, “Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State.”

    Let’s be clear: the 10th Amendment does not grant the states the power to enact laws which deprive its citizens of civil rights protected by the Federal Constitution. We fought a great and bloody civil war to win that Federal protection of civil rights.

    Finally, Mr. Cantrell appears to think that the Federal courts have “no legal authority to make this ruling.” Mr. Cantrell should research the Supremacy Clause and re-read Article III of the Constitution. There have been ten (count them… 10) Federal court decisions holding that same-sex marriage bans violate the Federal Constitution since last June’s Supreme Court decision in U.S. v. Windsor. These 10 cases include opinions by conservative judges appointed by Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. Does Mr. Cantrell honestly believe that all of these learned judges know less about the Constitution than he does?

    All of this will be settled over the next year or two when the Supreme Court inevitably takes up a case directly presenting the question of same-sex couple’s civil right to marriage. The Windsor case and the Prop 8 case never actually reached that question — although every serious court watcher can plainly see what direction the court is moving — towards marriage equality.

    • Michael Cantrell   April 18, 2014 at 8:05 am

      I appreciate your thoughtful comment and careful critique of my work. I’m not an expert in the Constitution admittedly, but I have done enough research into it to know that 99% of what you posted is both misinterpreting me and the Constitution itself.

      First, if you would so humbly read the comment section, and look through my previous work, you would find that my ultimate opinion on the matter is that the federal government nor the state government should have no say in marriage at all. Heterosexual or homosexual, meaning that no one should be required to obtain a marriage license from a government entity.

      The federal government receives its power from the state, it has no right to invent powers for itself, and being involved in marriage. This would enable consenting adults to enter a voluntary contract with each other, and the only thing the government could do is uphold the contract, nothing more. This preserves everyone’s civil and religious rights. Churches will not be forced to marry same-sex couples nor can the government stick their nose in and force someone to follow a specific moral code, and tell people who they can be in a relationship with.

      Secondly, do you honestly think that all of this is really just about marriage? That is silly. This is really about a group of people wanting to force others to accept their lifestyle and approve of it. The reason they want this declared at the federal level is so that churches and other groups who may oppose or disagree with the homosexual lifestyle will be forced to marry them in their churches, and no longer be allowed to express their disagreement, as it will be labeled as “hate speech.” It is the next logical step. Seeing as how that would end up violating the First Amendment, I think it is better for the Tenth Amendment to be rightfully upheld and allow states to decide, as long as the government is going to be wrongfully involved in marriage.

      I don’t believe that same-sex marriage is a civil rights issue. This is not like being born black, something that cannot be helped. No one is trying to prevent homosexuals from drinking from the same water fountains or getting employment. There are not mobs out looking to lynch mass groups of homosexuals. These are not people fighting for their right to live and earn a living. They are fighting for benefits that the government grants through marriage, which in all honesty, not even heterosexual couples should be receiving. It is silly, bordering on ridiculous for you or anyone else to say this is a civil rights issue.They have the same rights I do. I’m not allowed to marry someone of the same-sex, and neither are they.

      Having a Harvard education doesn’t make someone more qualified to run a country. Look at the current president and how much further in the economic hole he has placed us in. I rest my case on that point.

      Now as for the 14th Amendment, let me ask you a couple of questions. 1.) Should two people be allowed to get married if they are brother and sister? What about first cousins? Even states with approved same-sex marriage laws have these stipulations, and according to your logic, this would be a violation of the Constitution. 2.) What about children who want to marry adults? Should a 10-year-old be denied the right to marry a 30-year-old? Again, by your logic, this is a violation of the child’s civil rights, and that of the adult as well. If they are both of sound mind and are voluntarily wanting the union, who are you to stop it? What about a man who wants to marry his dog? Does he not have the right to do so according to the 14th Amendment?

      If equal rights trumps sexual taboos like homosexuality, it trumps ALL taboo, not just the ones you want to pick and choose. The main problem with regurgitating the tripe one learns in liberal college, is that most of the time, a person hasn’t thought their view all the way out to its logical conclusion. Would you personally lobby for these changes, or does some of that offend you? Hmm..interesting.

      And your inclusion of the Ninth Amendment does less to validate your own point. The Ninth Amendment has historically been viewed as a limit on the expansion of power of the federal government. It was intended to prevent the federal government from intruding on liberties not specifically mentioned in the Constitution, as the Bill of Rights was not to be considered an exhaustive list of personal rights. Since being in a relationship with a person of your choosing is a personal liberty, shouldn’t the fact that both federal and state government involvement in ANY marriage be a violation of the Constitution? So why the hard push for the whole country to recognize gay marriage, instead of a push to remove government from the equation? Rather than forcing people to adopt gay marriage, which would again violate the 9th Amendment, wouldn’t the only solution be for the government to get out of marriage completely?

      • Michael Cantrell   April 18, 2014 at 8:07 am

        I apologize for the typos! I was trying to comment quickly.

  2. nubwaxer   April 14, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    and that’s of course why the confederate states have continued to thrive.

  3. Michael Cantrell   April 14, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    1.) A ban on gay marriage is not depriving someone of life
    2.) A ban on gay marriage is not depriving someone of their liberty….i.e. they are not being imprisoned because of being a homosexual
    3.) I don’t think I have to make this clear, but just in case….there is no property being taken away from them by not being allowed to marry in a state….

    That being said…what exactly is your point? A law banning same-sex marriage does not violate the Constitution.

  4. Neil Cameron   April 14, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    So pleased to hear this.
    Irrespective of how constitutional the methodology implemented to enact it, and no matter how popular it is, no law can infringe the civil rights of citizens without legal justification to do so.
    Popularity and constitutionally sound methodologies do not equate to legal justification. To date no law that removes or restricts the rights of LGBT citizens has been found to be backed by legal justification constructed on a foundation of fact, logic, reason & science.

    Dodgy laws that seek to bridge the separation of church and state have no place in the law books of any civilized nation.

  5. Michael Wakefield   April 14, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    Amendment XIV, Section 1: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.


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