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Followup on previous post

by Michael Nielsen on February 21, 2004

Following up on the previous post, something that has been bugging me is that it was not clear to me how the actions of San Francisco Mayor Newsom differed from those of Justice Roy Moore, who caused a huge ruckus with a public monument to the Ten Commandments.

Were Newsom and Moore acting solely in their role as private citizens, I’d have no trouble: I approve of Newsom’s stance, and disagree with Moore’s. But when both men are committed to upholding the rule of law, its a little more murky.

Conservative Law Professor Eugene Volokh has a thoughtful post on exactly this question, pointing out a number of key differences between the two positions.

From → General

  1. I hope this doesn’t become just another political weblog.

    Here is my simple take on Newsom vs. Moore: Both have the right to challenge the law but Moore defied a court order to keep the monument. No court order has yet been issued to stop the marriages in San Francisco and Newsom has given every indication that he will stop when (or if?) the courts order him to.

  2. Michael Nielsen permalink

    Lance: “I hope this doesn’t become just another political weblog.”

    I don’t keep track of current events enough for there to be much danger of that. Of course, a cynic might say that ignorance doesn’t stop many other political webloggers, so why should it stop me?

    I agree that the lack of a court order is definitely one of the major differences between the two cases. Newsom is apparently basing his case on the claim that that the current law is unconstitutional according to the constitution of California. Volokh says that in such a circumstance Newsom can reasonably argue that to refuse to marry a gay couple would actually be to violate the law of California. Until a Court decides, the two situations are considerably different.

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