Ernest Dumas this week provides Sen. Jason Rapert (and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette) with a needed tutorial on what the founding fathers, particularly Alexander Hamilton, wrote about the need for an independent judiciary to protect minority rights.
Dumas writes that Rapert’s judicial intimidation tactics are aimed at spooking the Arkansas Supreme Court, which has a mixed record on enforcing the U.S. Constitution when it fears a popular backlash. He notes you’ll find no such lack of backbone in Circuit Judge Chris Piazza, who issued the marriage equality ruling that has the newspaper and Rapert in such a swivet.
What do Alexander Hamilton, state Senator Jason Rapert of Bigelow and the opinion editors at the Arkansas Democrat Gazette have in common? Not much.
For two weeks, the statewide newspaper had given Pulaski Circuit Judge Chris Piazza as thorough a verbal whipping as you can lay on a judge for doing what the law requires him to do, decide lawsuits, after he held that state laws prohibiting legal recognition of same-sex partnerships violated their constitutional protections.
Then Sunday the paper gave nearly two full pages of its opinion section to Rapert for an amazing screed against Piazza, the homosexual “lobby” and assorted critics of the senator. The giant piece—it ran to nearly 3,000 words and was decorated with patriotic art and headline (“We the People”)—began with Abraham Lincoln, closed with George Washington and along the way liberally invoked Thomas Jefferson, “the founding fathers” and Ronald Reagan. None of them ever had a word to say that bore on whether same-sex couples deserved to have legal protections or whether judges could or ought to rule that they did.
Notably missing was the one sainted historical figure who was relevant to the whole controversy. That is Hamilton, the greatest constitutionalist.