Barney Frank: Idiocy at it's Apex
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) called Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia a “homophobe” Friday for opposing gay rights.
“I do think that this argument that it’s unconstitutional for the federal government to pick and choose which marriages it will recognize is a good one,” Frank said Friday in an interview with a gay news website, 365gay.com.
“At some point it’s going to have to go to the United States Supreme Court,” he continued. “I wouldn’t want it to go to the United States Supreme Court now because that homophobe Antonin Scalia has too many votes on this court.”
Gay marriage, and the debate surrounding this issue is a policy matter, not a legal one. In fact, until he and other homosexuals can cite where marriage is within the Constitution, or even that it is a right, they have no case to bring before a court. Proposition 8 opponents have even taken their grievance to California courts claiming that the amendment (formerly Proposition 8) passed is unconstitutional when in fact it has no constitutional legs.
If Representative Frank would like to extend the institution of marriage to homosexuals, then let him introduce a bill in the House. It would not pass, of course despite the Democrat numbers, for the sheer fact that tradition in this country is that marriage is between a man and a woman. His colleagues would not support such a measure much in the same vein that Representative Rangel's nutty idea of reinstituting the draft was not supported by his party.
The shot was low and uncalled for, and quite frankly I feel it was slanderous. Justice Scalia, to our knowledge, has never said anything about this issue, and even if he did, those are his opinions, and his personal preference does not figure into his judicial philosophy. Justice Scalia is a textualist; an originalist, of sorts, who abides by the Constitution, and the Framer's intents.
One would think that is where this ends, but on the contrary he doubled down on it today in the Boston Globe:
"What a 'homophobe' means is someone who has prejudice about gay people," Frank told WBZ radio, arguing that Scalia's judicial writing "makes it very clear that he's angry, frankly, about the existence of gay people."
In particular, Frank cited Scalia's opinion in the 2003 case Lawrence v. Texas, in which the Supreme Court struck down state laws barring consensual acts of sodomy. In his dissent, Scalia wrote that the 6-3 vote served to ratify an "agenda promoted by some homosexual activists directed at eliminating the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct."
"If you read his opinion, he thinks it's a good idea for two consenting adults who happen to be gay to be locked up because he is so disapproving of gay people," Frank said yesterday.
That shows Representative Frank's utter stupidity on this matter. Nowhere in his dissent in Lawrence v. Texas did he say he wanted to see homosexuals locked up. He did not even allude to that idea. Here is what he wrote about the law itself:
Texas Penal Code Ann. §21.06(a) (2003) undoubtedly imposes constraints on liberty. So do laws prohibiting prostitution, recreational use of heroin, and, for that matter, working more than 60 hours per week in a bakery. But there is no right to “liberty” under the Due Process Clause, though today’s opinion repeatedly makes that claim. Ante, at 6 (“The liberty protected by the Constitution allows homosexual persons the right to make this choice”); ante, at 13 (“ ‘ These matters … are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment’ ”); ante, at 17 (“Their right to liberty under the Due Process Clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct without intervention of the government”). The Fourteenth Amendment expressly allows States to deprive their citizens of “liberty,” so long as “due process of law” is provided ...
And how the high court overstepped it's constitutional boundaries:
Let me be clear that I have nothing against homosexuals, or any other group, promoting their agenda through normal democratic means. Social perceptions of sexual and other morality change over time, and every group has the right to persuade its fellow citizens that its view of such matters is the best. That homosexuals have achieved some success in that enterprise is attested to by the fact that Texas is one of the few remaining States that criminalize private, consensual homosexual acts. But persuading one’s fellow citizens is one thing, and imposing one’s views in absence of democratic majority will is something else. I would no more require a State to criminalize homosexual acts–or, for that matter, display any moral disapprobation of them–than I would forbid it to do so. What Texas has chosen to do is well within the range of traditional democratic action, and its hand should not be stayed through the invention of a brand-new “constitutional right” by a Court that is impatient of democratic change. It is indeed true that “later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to oppress,” ante, at 18; and when that happens, later generations can repeal those laws. But it is the premise of our system that those judgments are to be made by the people, and not imposed by a governing caste that knows best.
In other words, it was not the Supreme Court's right or duty to step in on this particular case. That was something both of us dealt with when the decision was handed down. This case never should have made it to the high court. The proper recourse would have been to urge the state to strike down the sodomy law, not demand the Supreme Court overreach, and trample a state's Tenth Amendment right to make laws for their citizens. By doing what it did, the Supreme Court further eroded a right that is literally hanging by a thread. The Tenth Amendment is one amendment that has been trampled, repeatedly and often, by the federal courts for decades.
We would be willing to place a wager on whether or not Representative Frank has actually read the dissents or the majority opinion of the high court. We sincerely doubt it because this cheap shot hardly shows any intelligence whatsoever of Representative Frank. He received a BA in Government in 1962 from Harvard, and received his JD in 1977 from Harvard Law. He sits on the House Financial committee. It is quite clear that despite his education the man knows nothing of what he speaks. He should do the country a favor and be silent before he makes an ass of himself again.
A tip of the hat to Captain Ed @ Hot Air and DrewM. @ Ace of Spades.