We're in it — Together

Dan Forest on Friday's Court Decision

Friday, an unelected federal judge violated the foundational principles of this great nation. In 1787, at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia and later by ratification, the states relinquished a limited amount of power to a federal government. The document we call the Constitution set out a detailed and enumerated list of powers to be held by the federal government, and in the Tenth Amendment the states left a reminder that “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

In his 1788 speech to the New York Ratifying Convention, Alexander Hamilton said, “The state governments possess inherent advantages, which will ever give them an influence and ascendancy over the National Government, and will for ever preclude the possibility of federal encroachments. That their liberties, indeed, can be subverted by the federal head, is repugnant to every rule of political calculation.” Friday’s decision by unelected federal judge Max Cogburn showed how far we have strayed from our founding principles. Not only has the federal government asserted ultimate and supreme authority over every decision of the states, it has done so by the judicial fiat of one unelected man.

The 35th section of North Carolina’s Declaration of Rights informs us that “a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles is absolutely necessary to preserve the blessings of liberty.” Today we must remember our fundamental principles and return to them for the sake of our republic.

Sixty-one percent of North Carolina’s voters chose to amend our constitution to ensure the preservation of marriage defined as the union between one man and one woman. This definition predates North Carolina, the United States, and goes back as far as recorded history. What does it say about the state of our nation when a large majority of voters can have their reasoned decision overturned by a single, unelected individual--an individual who waited until a Friday after the close of the normal court day to issue his ruling?

The courts have essentially stated that a man “marrying" another man, or a woman another woman, is rooted in our nation’s traditions and history, inferring that states have no interest in the preservation of marriage as an exclusive union between a man and a woman. This strains credulity.

Our people will either submit themselves fully to a federal oligarchy of unelected judges or stand up and proclaim that federalism is alive and well. I hope that you will join me in standing against judicial tyranny, and fight to restore the balance of power intended in the Constitution of the United States.

-Lt. Governor Dan Forest


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