And Speaking of Amendments …

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I had no idea until today that Virginia has a truly frightening, draconian one on the ballot tomorrow. What is the world coming to?

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16 Responses to “And Speaking of Amendments …”

  1. Michael Lasley Says:

    Any idea if this ammendment will pass? I don’t know enough about the legal stuffs involved, but it is interesting to see a “conservative” judge writing an editorial against it. Says a lot about the ammendment.

  2. Joe Longhorn Says:

    “Frightening”? “Draconian”?

    Step away from the ledge, Sandi. Everything’s going to be OK. I promise.

  3. Sandi Says:

    I don’t know whether it will pass, I haven’t seen any polls. But most such things do because the clueless rubes in the backwoods (sorry to be a cultural elite, but seriously) are so easily conned. It’s really unfortunate, because things like this will further polarize the country by making certain states too inhospitable legally for anyone who’s not white picket fence material to live there.

  4. Sandi Says:

    I think that frightening and draconian are the appropriate words, Joe, yes. Limiting domestic violence laws to married couples? That’s extreme no matter what side of the gay marriage debate one is on.

  5. Sandi Says:

    The only poll that I could find in a quick search online, taken on October 25, indicated 37% certain to vote for, 28% certain to vote against, and 35% undecided. This was by Survey USA (not a polling company I’m familiar with).

  6. juvenal_urbino Says:

    I think the words I would use to describe the amendment might be “cynical” and “mean-spirited.” From what I can tell, based on that one article, there’s absolutely no need for the amendment from the standpoint of preventing gay marriage. Virginia already has laws on the books to prevent that.

    The only purpose in this amendment is to give those who oppose gay marriage another opportunity to say just how much they hate it, and, more importantly, to get an issue on the ballot that will push conservative voters’ buttons and bring them to the polls, where they presumably will also vote for the Republican candidates with whom this amendment shares the ballot. It’s a “get out the vote” effort.

  7. Joe Longhorn Says:

    “Unnecessary” is probably the most appropriate word to describe this amendment.

    Seriously, Sandi. Do you really want to garner support for the opposition to this amendment by calling supporters “clueless rubes?”

  8. Terry Austin Says:

    Clueless rubes almost rhymes with Rubik’s Cube.

  9. juvenal_urbino Says:

    Or “Lula’s boobs.”

  10. Al Sturgeon Says:

    Or Shoeless Goobs.

  11. Michael Lasley Says:

    The potential consequences in no punishment for domestic abusers is a big deal. I really don’t have any idea how prevalent domestic abuse is, so I’m not sure how often this would be an issue.

    I think I asked this a couple of weeks ago when JU posted about something in South Dakota and suing judges, but could the state S.C. overrule this ammendment, if they so desired? I really should do my homework on constitutions and whathaveyou.

  12. juvenal_urbino Says:

    I don’t see how, Mikey. The state constitution is what the state SC would go by, and since this is an amendment to that constitution, the court would have no constitutional grounds for overturning it (provided there were no irregularities in its passage).

    One could bring up the possibility of an unconstitutional constitutional amendment, but I doubt it’d go far.

  13. Joe Longhorn Says:

    Personally, I don’t see how the “domestic abuse” issue is the worst thing about this amendment. I mean, there are plenty of other laws to deter physical abuse. Assault and battery is still against the law, right? I still get arrested if I pound your face in whether we’re in a committed relationship or not.

  14. Michael Lasley Says:

    Good question, Joe. I don’t know. One would think that would be the case. But since domestic abuse occurs on private property…I don’t know. Maybe the laws governing this are different than punching someone in public. (I’m serious about that, even though it sounds silly.)

  15. juvenal_urbino Says:

    That’s a good question. Anybody know? Sandi?

    Regardless of the answer, ballot measures like this one — i.e., measures that have a primarily political purpose and haven’t been well thought out as law — tend to have a lot of unintended consequences. I’d bet money this one will, too.

  16. Sandi Says:

    The article I linked to gave a longer list of potential consequences of the amendment, including invalidating contracts between unmarried couples, wills, and the like. I’m not a criminal lawyer, so I’m not sure of the answer regarding domestic abuse versus assault, but I assume that the domestic abuse law carried with it additional protections, procedures (i.e., restraining orders), methods of proof, etc. that the regular assault law doesn’t.

    When I use the phrase “clueless rubes,” what I mean is that I believe people are being snookered into voting for something that they have no idea about. A lot of people probably don’t know the context (i.e., the already-existing laws against gay marriage) or the potential consequences. And I’m sure that’s just fine with the amendment’s proponents. If people know the truth, they would be less likely to vote for the thing. Some folks will do so anyway, as JU points out. But there are a lot of people with moderate impulses who, if they knew the whole story, would be turned off by how extreme this is.

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