Tuesday, June 02, 2015

The GOP’s Anti-Constitution Crusade

I often note that the Christofascists are a clear and present danger to constitutional government in America.  They demand special rights for themselves and believe that they are exempt for compliance with any law that offends their toxic "deeply held religious beliefs."  Frighteningly, the current occupants of the GOP presidential candidate clown car include several lunatics who would trash the U.S. Constitution and make America a de facto Christofascist theocracy.  The rights of others means nothing to these dangerous people who are not only hate-filled, but entirely self-centered.  A piece in Salon looks at their agenda to ignore the law and court rulings particularly in the context of same sex marriage.  Here are highlights:

We’re not even a week into Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign and already the former Pennsylvania senator has aligned with Mike Huckabee and Dr. Ben Carson on their intellectually violent interpretation of the Supreme Court’s judicial review powers as they relate to same-sex marriage. Appearing on Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” Santorum responded to a questions about the forthcoming same-sex marriage decision in Obergefell v Hodges by suggesting that, as president, he’d exercise his alleged power to “push back” against the Supreme Court.

[Y]ou might recall how, previously, Mike Huckabee said that president can basically ignore Court rulings he or she disagrees with: “The notion that the Supreme Court comes up with a ruling and that automatically subjects the two other branches to following it defies everything there is to equal branches of government,” he said last week. Ben Carson, meanwhile, blasted “judicial law,” without really explaining how there’s no such thing, especially with regards to the current same-sex marriage issue in which the courts are merely overturning unconstitutional bans on marriage equality.

[T]here’s simply no legitimate precedent for the chief executive to simply ignoring a Supreme Court ruling he happens to have disliked. There’s certainly no previous examples of presidential candidates characterizing judicial review as “judicial law,” whatever that means.

Going forward, it’s obvious that the anti-LGBT Republican strategy will be to make it really, really difficult for same-sex couples to get married. First there was a flood of “religious freedom restoration acts” (RFRAs), allowing businesses to flagrantly discriminate against same-sex couples based on murky religious dogma. In addition to the RFRAs, Republican state legislators in Arkansas, along with Gov. Asa Hutchinson, R-Ark., passed a law making it illegal for local governments to pass anti-discrimination laws. Now, we’re hearing about the ludicrous notion of ignoring judges and courts at the federal or state level.

This brand of backdoor oppression isn’t new. Rewinding 130 years or so to the post-Reconstruction era, we see other examples of how it successfully operated. With slavery banned and African-Americans (the men, at least) granted full citizenship rights and the right to vote through the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments, there was no real avenue for conservative white supremacists to reverse the tide, so instead the age of “black codes” and Jim Crow began.

There’s no indication that law enforcement ramifications will be attached to various anti-LGBT laws — but Santorum, by the way, has previously spoken out in support of re-criminalizing sodomy. If it’s within the realm of possibility to pass laws requiring women seeking abortion services to undergo transvaginal ultrasounds, anything is possible with this crowd.

Additionally, and not insignificantly, we’ve watched in shocked horror as Republicans across too many red states pass archaic, Jim Crow style Voter ID laws — each of which make it really, really difficult for low income or elderly voters to exercise their voting rights. . . . . All of this in order to thwart the 0.00002 percent chance of voter fraud.

Whether it’s anti-choice legislation, anti-LGBT laws or literally Jim Crow-style Voter ID laws, Republicans at every level of government will stop at nothing to hold back the advancement of equality and civil rights. Civil rights and LGBT activists would do well to hunker down in preparation for similar strategies to be employed against marriage equality. Using any means necessary, the GOP is all too willing to sign onto the wrong side of history for a few extra votes from citizens who, in a perfect world, ought to be ignored and marginalized.

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