Nuadha's Tale

Ignorance can be tolerated, where reason is left free to combat it. -Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Judicial Activism
I haven't felt like posting here much lately. Thinking about the state of our country has drained me of a lot of energy.

Anyways, I'm posting to share this from the Unitarian Universalist website, a list of court decisions by so-called "activist judges.":

1948 Perez vs. Sharp (aka: Perez vs. Lippold)
California's Supreme Court rules by a 4-3 majority that banning interracial marriage is unconstitutional. At the time less than 10% of the country supports interracial marriage.

1954 Brown vs. the Board of Education
"Separate but equal" is ruled unconstitutional. The country takes a giant step toward racial justice and equality and away from two centuries of apartheid and slavery.

1963 Gideon vs. Wainwright
Americans are finally guaranteed the right to legal counsel when charged with a crime, regardless of wealth or education.

1965 Griswold vs. Connecticut
Planned Parenthood is given legal right to distribute contraception to married couples. This right is extended to single people in 1972.

1966 Miranda vs. Arizona
All citizens charged with crimes must be told their basic rights.

1967 Loving vs. Virginia
Interracial marriage becomes legal in all fifty states. Three-fourths of Americans still disapprove of interracial marriage a year later. Today over 77% of Americans support the right to marry the person one chooses, regardless of race.

1973 Roe vs. Wade
Women are given the right to control their own bodies and to make choices about when and whether to become a parent. This benefits both women's health as well as their employment and educational opportunities.

1999 Baker vs. State of Vermont
The Vermont Supreme Court rules that same-sex couples should have the same legal rights as other married couples in the state and orders the Vermont legislature to decide how best to guarantee this.

2003 Lawrence vs. Texas
Sodomy laws used primarily to discriminate against bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender people are ruled unconstitutional. These laws had often been used to deny other rights.

2003 Goodridge vs. Massachusetts Department of Public Health
On November 18, 2003 the Supreme Court of Massachusetts rules that same-sex couples have the equal right to marry. The ruling will go into effect 50 years to the day after the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling. Some 27% of Americans favor equal marriage in the United States.