Last night I wrote about the initiatives that I was keeping tabs on......All the initiatives dealing with abortion failed. The one that surprised me the most was the parental notification one in California----the final count was close, very close indeed. I expected a resounding no to this one, but it appears that the voters are moving closer to requiring the 48 hour notice. The Colorado initiative that would have defined a person as beginning at fertilization was soundly defeated. The South Dakota ban on abortions except in the case of rape and incest was very close but failed. Neither of these surprise me too much because empirical evidence shows that most Americans believe in the right to choose within the first 3 months. If the right to life organizers want to launch serious attacks, they should focus on the 2nd semester ban and then work downward.
California Proposition 8 was surprising to me. I guess I assume that California is composed of fairly liberal individuals and my assumption was wrong. Which begs the question: Was this a slap at the California Supreme Court or a referendum on the meaning of marriage? AND, what remedy in the law do same-sex couples have in order to change the wording put in by the people? Can the legislature override this? Does the Supreme Court have to abide by this? (The answer of course is yes). And finally, what happens to the some 16,000 marriages that have been preformed since June 17, 2008? All matters the court is going to have to deal with in the coming months and years ahead.
Finally with this issue, Prop 8 effected the equal protection section of the law of California to NOT apply to same sex couples. Equal protection has always referred to a person, but in the SC or California extending this to couples, they opened a thorny issue that could actually errode civil rights for those who would want to protect the classification of sexual orientation. Perhaps the court did more harm then good with their May ruling.
Also, Florida voters approved an amendment that would define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
On the whole, results last night were interesting as to what will effect the legal community.