Friday, November 11, 2005

Crossing the Line in San Diego

This article summarizes the saga of the war memorial, publicly owned by San Diego, that has a cross as its centerpiece. The latest chapter invlolves a vote by the people of San Diego to turn the land over to the federal government in order to preserve the memorial. The city council refused to turn the land over to the federal government without a referendum from the people. The referendum came back to them at a whopping 75% approval. However, a judge denied them the power to do this.

In the United States of America we do not have a pure democracy. Pure democracy amounts to mob rule. This is why we are a Representative Republic. Some legislative issues are handled by popular vote, but most are handled by elected representatives. All executive issues are handled by elected administrators and judicial issues are handled by judges who are either elected or appointed and occasionally by representative juries who are appointed.

On the one hand, the judge's ruling against the result of the referendum appears to be a check against mob rule. However, this check doesn't belong in the purview of the judicial system. That's what representatives are for. All the court can do in this matter is to determine if the action contradicts a binding law, like the constitution. The federal law allowing the federal government to accept the gift of the memorial that the ballot initiative fell under was never questioned - only the action the people of San Diego via a legal referendun by their representatives was ruled against. In this case, the judge overstepped his bounds. This is judicial activism, and it is unconstitutional. We are a Representative Republic, not an Oligarchy. The judicial branch must be reformed.

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