More Calls for Nullification of the Supreme Court

Bob Vander Plaats of The Family Leader, a Christian right group in Iowa, is the latest to call for states to ignore Supreme Court rulings that they don’t like. He even absurdly invokes Martin Luther King, who railed against such nullification schemes, to justify it.

On MLK Jr.’s Holiday, we recognize his wisdom that, should SCOTUS render an opinion not in line with natural law, we should not recognize or obey it. As MLK Jr. said in his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,”

“One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that ‘an unjust law is no law at all.’ … How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.”

Clearly, a law or court opinion recognizing so-called “same-sex marriage” as equivalent to procreative marriage violates natural law, the moral law, and the eternal law of God.

We will likewise urge our next President to consider whether or not to enforce such an unnatural and unjust opinion, should it happen. We will be asking candidates, if elected, whether they will be in favor of asking over 30 states to violate their own Constitutions, by requiring them to issue so-called “same-sex marriage” licenses.

While SCOTUS is the Supreme Court, it is not the Supreme Being, or even the Supreme branch of our government. Thomas Jefferson and others said it was the weakest branch, since it has no power of the purse, or of the military. It’s past time to politely reject unjust SCOTUS opinions, and govern this country according to the Declaration of Independence’s legal foundation of “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.”

So. Much. Stupid. He invokes Martin Luther King while defending the idea of state nullification of Supreme Court rulings. And isn’t it fascinating how this “reasoning” only applies to rulings they don’t like. I don’t remember any conservatives calling for nullification of, say, Citizens United or Greece v Galloway. When the Supreme Court rules the way they like, those rulings are sacrosanct; when they don’t like the ruling, they demand that it be ignored.

This is hardly a new position, of course. It’s the same argument used by segregationists in response to Brown v Board of Education. In fact, more than one Southern state tried to do exactly that and refuse to allow black kids to go to “white schools.” How’d that work out for them again? Oh yeah, not very well. It’s the same argument that was used to oppose Loving v Virginia too and on the exact same basis. For that matter, it’s the same argument used by the confederate states when they tried to secede.

And it’s fascinating to me how the things that supposedly violate “natural law” keep changing as society changes. The Christian right in the 1780s argued that not requiring that one be a Christian to hold public office was a violation of “natural law.” The confederacy insisted owning slaves was absolutely a part of God’s eternal and unchanging law. Those who opposed women’s suffrage said that allowing women to vote was a violation of “natural law.” And of course, those states that forbid interracial marriage also argued that it was right to do so because such marriages violated “natural law.” Indeed, the district judge said so explicitly in his ruling.

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  • wreck

    “…govern this country according to the Declaration of Independence’s legal foundation…”

    No No No! It’s the CONSTITUTION, not the DOI that matters. Now sit down, shut up, and let the adults talk. Asshat!

  • Randomfactor

    The Constitution is the operator’s manual for the country. The Declaration of Independence was the sales brochure.

  • John Pieret

    Clearly, a law or court opinion recognizing so-called “same-sex marriage” as equivalent to procreative marriage violates natural law

    Whut? What is this “natural law”? If I have babies without being married, I’m just doing what every other species does “naturally” and it still leads to the survival of the population. If I choose not to or are unable to procreate, that too happens “naturally” in other living things. On the other hand, if I violate the “law” of gravity, I crash and burn.

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  • caseloweraz

    Yes, there’s that “natural law” again. I wonder if any accepted definition of the term exists in Christian literature (not that I’m going to spend my time searching for it.)

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    In fact, more than one Southern state tried to do exactly that and refuse to allow black kids to go to “white schools.” How’d that work out for them again?

    Pretty well, actually. Add Roe v Wade on to that and they went from half of one divided party to most of the other one, taking the Southern Strategy national in the process.

  • raven

    St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.”

    Thomas Aquinas was a hack whose best feature is that he has been dead for centuries.

    There is no such thing as natural law.

    Natural law reduces down to whatever one wants it to be. It’s arbitrary. If god had wanted us to be xians, we would be born xians and xians wouldn’t be 28% of the world’s population, they would be 100%.

    If god had wanted us to drive cars, we would be born with wheels or cars would grow on trees. God wanted half our kids to die before 5 years and us to die around 35 or 40. Then those evil scientists and MD’s invented….modern medicine. God so far hasn’t been able to find a workaround.

    PS There is no such thing as eternal law either. It’s also arbitrary. In Vander Plaats Dark Side world it simply means “Do as I say.” Fortunately, he has as much legal, moral, or military power as I do, (or anyone), so we can just tell him to shove it and go play in the freeway.

  • Al Dente

    “Natural Law” means “I can’t find anything in the Bible to justify my opinion so I’m claiming the nebulous Natural Law as my authority.” The Catholic Encyclopedia defines Natural Law as:

    …the rule of conduct which is prescribed to us by the Creator in the constitution of the nature with which He has endowed us.

  • raven

    You know when they drag Natural Law, Eternal Law, or God’s Law out of their graves, that they’ve got nothing.

    It’s all arbitrary and xians wildly disagree about what any of those are. That is why there are 42,000 sects with more being formed each year.

  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    The Christian right in the 1780s argued that not requiring that one be a Christian to hold public office was a violation of “natural law.”

    And some still do.

    The confederacy insisted owning slaves was absolutely a part of God’s eternal and unchanging law.

    And some still do.

    Those who opposed women’s suffrage said that allowing women to vote was a violation of “natural law.”

    And some still do. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  • Who Cares

    I have to disagree with the claim that the secession used the natural law argument seeing that that is usually trotted out when they can’t directly use the bible to justify their claims. And in this case they had an easy one with the ‘Cursed descendants of Ham’-malarky.

  • eric

    We will be asking candidates, if elected, whether they will be in favor of asking over 30 states to violate their own Constitutions, by requiring them to issue so-called “same-sex marriage” licenses.

    In the Iowa Republican Caucus? January 2016? Oh please, please, please do this. That. Would. Be. Awesome.

  • samgardner

    Somehow, they consistently argue for the rights of governments and corporations to control the people under their power as if that was what “human rights” was all about.

  • abb3w

    I sometimes think that Jefferson’s embracing of “Natural Law” arguments for the revolution was the fundamental Faustian bargain of the nation’s founding.

  • samgardner

    I also wonder how they plan to resist a law allowing people of the same gender to get married… not get married to the same gender themselves?

    Through the court’s ruling, they can force unnatural marriage upon every state and every individual in the nation.

    Huh, maybe that IS what they think the SCOTUS would determine? I admit, I’d be pretty irritated if the court said I had to divorce my wife to get married to a man.

  • Crimson Clupeidae

    So they’re totally ok with non religious people not following religiously based laws then?

  • cptdoom

    …the rule of conduct which is prescribed to us by the Creator in the constitution of the nature with which He has endowed us.

    Funny how they ignore all evidence and observations of nature that do not fit their preconceived notions of that nature their Creator constituted. So they can ignore the hundreds of species that have been observed exhibiting both homosexual and bisexual behavior, and they can ignore the scientific evidence that LGBTI people represent different points on the continuum of gender from standard-issue heterosexuals/cisgender people in order to impose their male/female view of the world on their congregants and the public.

  • xuuths

    Wow, clown fish (“Finding Nemo”) — among a bunch of other species — change genders. So I’m sure they’re supportive of the transsexual community. It appears in Nature, so it’s natural. Or the species where females have pregnancies without needing males — parthenogenesis anyone? It appears in Nature, so it’s natural.

    I could go on, but you get the idea.

  • some bastard on the internet

    xuuth @17

    Or the species where females have pregnancies without needing males — parthenogenesis anyone?

    Praise Saint Mary, mother of aphids!

  • howardhershey

    I say that putting lightning rods on church steeples, vaccinating your kids, printing Bibles, and reading are against natural law. Don’t see other species doing any of that.

    I do see occasional homosexuality in other species..

  • Kermit Sansoo

    Al Dente says : “Natural Law” means “I can’t find anything in the Bible to justify my opinion so I’m claiming the nebulous Natural Law as my authority.

    .

    I’m going to pick a nit here… “Opinion” implies some thinking about a subject, however muddled or poorly informed. I would simply say ““I can’t find anything in the Bible to justify my prejudices etc.”

    .

    So, not “Paul found gay sex yucky, so God thinks it’s awful.” But rather “Ewww.”

    .

    A related conversation…

    “Gay love is unnatural!”

    “Here’s a couple of mated penguins, both male.”

    “So, you want to live like animals!”

    “Sigh.”