The State Constitution vs. The U.S. Constitution

The State of California has been in the news quite a lot lately. Unfortunately, the news has been about the state trampling upon human rights instead of Hollywood’s recent blockbusters.

The California Supreme Court delivered a most confusing decision to validate the same-sex marriages that had already taken place before the vote and yet they allowed the state ban on same-sex marriage to hold. Their absolute refusal to see that the vote for Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage is completely unconstitutional is utterly baffling considering the U.S. was essentially founded up on the premise that the majority never rules so that “all men were created equal”.

California continued its recent trend in violating basic human rights in the County of San Diego. Pastor David Jones pulled together a group of friends at his home in San Diego for a bible study for which a county official interrogated them. According to a 10news.com report, the exchange between county officials and the Jones family went something like this:

“The county asked, ‘Do you have a regular meeting in your home?’ She said, ‘Yes.’ ‘Do you say amen?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Do you pray?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Do you say praise the Lord?’ ‘Yes.’

This bible study was taking place in the privacy of their own home and the county’s action is infringing upon the Jones family’s right to assemble. The county takes it to a whole other level though.

A county land use and environment official, Chandra Wallar, responded in defense to the county’s issuing of citations to the Jones family bible study:

“We honestly don’t care what people do inside their homes. That’s their business. That’s their private right,” Wallar said.

If that is true, why go through that line of questioning in order to determine what they were doing to see if they were violating land use? Why issue an order to the Jones family to stop holding “religious assemblies”?

What they were doing on their own private property was none of the county’s business. What if the couple had a regular dinner party to which lots of food was being regularly cooked and served? Would that be considered inappropriate land use? Does it matter since it was in the privacy of their own home and no other individuals rights were being violated (that we are aware of)?

Does California have a right to designate and define land use within their state? Yes.

Hmm, but what happens when a states actions infringe upon basic human rights. Then what?

These issues raise serious questions about which Constitution has the final say. Is there a fine line between a State Constitution and the US Constitution?

The answer is simple. A State within the Union has a right to self governance. However, each State is still a member of the United States, therefore no state can enact any law which violates a basic human right protected under the U.S. Constitution. Each state must follow the principles set forth within the Bill of Rights. That includes any majority vote to deny a right to marry to same sex couples, and the right to assemble on private property for a bible study.

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One comment

  1. Hi, I want to say save our Librarians’ jobs not just our Libraries. Their expertise is iropmtant. Say No to turning it into a voluntary community; why should our labour be free? Do the Banks use volunteers? Does Parliament function on volunteers? No! So keep our Libraries as they are and make the Council find other ways to save money. Libraries bring communities together in many ways. They stop people feeling isolated; children get to experience Books and Art which they can’t always get at home. People go there to read the papers. Those without open spaces can enjoy The Turrill gardens at the back of the Library. Perhaps we could have a coffee shop to help support it. Please see the bigger picture, our Library helps everyone.Best wishes,Kate

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