Fears about Herseth prove true

Stephanie Herseth hid Thursday behind the gay marriage straw man created by the GOP .  She voted with the Repugnicans to approve a House resolution that denies federal courts jurisdiction to hear or determine any question pertaining to the interpretation of the Defense of Marriage Act or the federal statute defining marriage.

I don’t care where you stand on gay marriage.  It is appalling that Herseth, a lawyer, would support a measure to deprive federal courts of their right to review congressional action.  Even the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service could find no precedent for Congress passing a law to limit federal courts from ruling on the constitutionality of another law.   Under the Herseth-approved approach, Congress could immunize any action it takes from judicial review.  While the bill is certainly suspect under the seminal case of Marbury v. Madison (which established the Supreme Court’s right to review acts of Congress), they evidently didn’t mention that case in whatever constitutional law class Herseth took or else she was gone those days. 

This bill is further proof gay marriage is nothing but a bogeyman for the right.  Granted, Herseth told us during her campaign that she was with the right-wingers on this issue.  I also understand she is worried about re-election and that she would likely say she has to pick her fights and save them for ones more crucial to a Democratic or liberal agenda.  I find the latter a bogus argument.  Since when is it wrong or ill-advised to vote against an unconstitutional measure?  Tom Daschle is in a tough (and probably more targeted) race and had the guts to look past the bs of the Gay Marriage Amendment to the truly substantive issues of federal involvement in state issues.  The legislation Herseth voted for is an even greater attack on fundamental constitutional principles.  She should be ashamed.

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2 comments to Fears about Herseth prove true

  • I am certain that you will find his explaination unacceptable, but Kos explains Stephanie Herseth’s vote for a (patently unconstitutional) bill that would strip the federal courts of jurisdiction over gay marriage issues:

    “Herseth is pro-choice in a fiercely anti-abortion state. You can only take so many contrarian stands before you become unviable. And being pro-choice and pro-gay marriage is a non starter in states like South Dakota. Or Oklahoma. Or Utah. You get the idea.

    “The reason to support Herseth or Democrats like her have nothing to do with supporting candidates who agree with you on all the issues. There is just one vote that matters — that for Speaker Pelosi or a Democratic Majority Leader in the Senate.

    “We get that Democrat in charge of either house of Congress, and you won’t see anti-gay marriage legislation coming up for a vote. Herseth is one more vote for Speaker Pelosi, and that’s all that matters. How they vote after that is irrelevant.”

    And we shouldn’t forget, she is still pretty liberal for a state that voted for Bush 60-38 in the 2000 election.

  • after hearing his remarks on the senate floor, i don’t think daschle took a particularly courageous stance on the issue, really.