A Tennessee judge recently refused to grant divorce to a straight couple, citing the U.S. Supreme Court's meddling in Tennessee marriage law.
Jeffrey Atherton is an elected chancellor in Hamilton County, Tennessee's Chancery Court, a court with jurisdiction in civil areas.
The Washington Post reports Atherton gave the Supreme Court quite the blistering in his non-divorce ruling.
The Supreme Court’s decision was “troubling” because it amounted to a “judicial fiat,” Atherton argued. “… What actually appears to be the intent and (more importantly) the effect of the Supreme Court ruling is to preempt state courts from addressing marriage/divorce litigation altogether.”
“Perhaps Tennessee’ s perspective concerning keystones and central institutions must submit to the perspective of those so much higher and wiser than ourselves,” he wrote sarcastically before essentially accusing the Supreme Court of trashing Tennessee’s constitution, if not democracy itself, by legalizing gay marriage.
“To say the least, Tenn. Const. art. XI, § 18,” which defined marriage as between a man and a woman, “having been adopted by the people of the State of Tennessee in 2006 as reflecting the will, desire, public policy and law of this State, and to be applied by its judiciary, seems a bit on the incompatible side with the U.S. Supreme Court’ s ruling,” he opined. “One would think that if the U.S. Supreme Court intended to overturn all or part of a state’ s constitution, it would do so expressly, rather than by implication.”
Things get complicated when branches of government overstep their bounds, or meddle in matters in hap hazzard ways.
Barack Obama promised to usher in a fundamentally changed America.
What we seem to be getting is a federal government, including a Supreme Court, that's willing to sacrifice perceptions of legitimacy for short term political expediency.
Rule of law today isn't what it once was.