According to breaking news, a federal district court has overturned Proposition 8, a ballot proposition that amended the California Constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage. Prop. 8 was meant to overturn the California Supreme Court’s ruling in In re Marriage Cases that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. (Although none of the numerous reports I’ve seen note the name of the case, it is Perry v. Schwarzenegger; PDF.)
Gay rights advocates filed lawsuits to have the constitutional amendment declared unconstitutional. I predicted they would lose. First, they could not prevail on state constitutional grounds since Prop. 8 actually amended the California Constitution. You can’t argue a provision of the constitution is unconstitutional. So the question is whether this provision of the California Constitution violates the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (see my The Libertarian Case Against the Fourteenth Amendment). In my view, it clearly does not; any argument that such a law violates equal protection is ludicrous–there is no way the equal protection clause at the time of the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment (1868) was understood to be so broad as to prohibit state laws that treated same-sex unions differently than traditional, heterosexual ones. As for due process–this was a validly enacted constitutional amendment, following regular legal procedures. So it was not a violation of due process (as for the doctrine of “substantive due process“–well this is a ridiculous, obviously dishonest, invented concept; process is, um, procedural).
And yet the federal court has found a way to get its result, by twisting the law to fit its ruling–like the Supreme Court did in Bush v. Gore, with its absurd application of equal protection.
From CNET via Boing Boing, we find out something which should be shocking to no libertarian: the federal government lied about not keeping images from the body scanners installed in airports.
For the last few years, federal agencies have defended body scanning by insisting that all images will be discarded as soon as they’re viewed. The Transportation Security Administration claimed last summer, for instance, that “scanned images cannot be stored or recorded.”
Now it turns out that some police agencies are storing the controversial images after all. The U.S. Marshals Service admitted this week that it had surreptitiously saved tens of thousands of images recorded with a millimeter wave system at the security checkpoint of a single Florida courthouse.
And to think that some people actually trust the government enough to despise Wikileaks and even support the death penalty for people who reveal state secrets. When you are dealing with a known liar, trusting the word of a complete stranger is probably preferable. And the state has the same relationship to truth that a prostitute does to chastity. Both will tell you whatever you want to hear, but only an idiot would take them at face value.
Manuel F. Ayau (1925-2010)
Today we mourn the passing away of Latin America’s titan of liberty, Manuel “El Muso” Ayau. His life was truly inspiring from being entrepreneurially successful, to having two doctoral degrees (Literature and Law) to founding a school (Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala City) based on the idea of taking the world back for classic liberal ideas in a continent ridden with defeatist, authoritarian socialist ideas.
To those of us lucky enough to meet him, it was surprising how warm and elegant he always was in any conversation, specially in heated debates. This he probably took from his beloved F.A. Hayek. But he was also frontal, direct and precise in logic. This, in contrast, I guess comes from his deep admiration for Ludwig von Mises.
Alas, it were Mises and Hayek the two thinkers that he wanted his young students at UFM to know about. At this truly unique university, students had to get themselves acquainted with Misesian Economics (i.e. sound, coherent economic theory and history) and Hayekian Social Thought (i.e. spontaneous and evolving social orders that escaped any pretense of social planning). I myself studied my master’s program at Muso’s UFM thanks not only to UFM existing in the first place and being considered a Mecca for Austrian Economics in our region, but also thanks to his direct support and endorsement. He was always able to gather the best Austrian minds in the region (at some point this was undoutedly the Argentinian profesors) and some of us have been granted the resulting opportunities still unmatched in several other regions of the world.
Photocopy we shared of the book the autographed for us
Muso was kind enough to send a video message for the members to the Movimiento Libertario in Ecuador andcopies of his books (brilliant, easy to understand books I have to say) whenever one of us was invited to the Austrian Mecca for a Liberty Fund event hosted by UFM.
This is a very sad day in which Latin American libertarians ought to make pause and reflect upon this great man’s legacy of courage, vision and clarity. It is now our task to multiply his deeds to a point that would make him eternally joyful wherever he now is.
This is a syndicated post, which originally appeared at Mimi and Eunice » IP. View original post.