Judge Raymond M. Cadei of the Sacramento Superior Court killed “Kill All Gays” petition when he ruled that California AG Kamala Harris did not have to give the infamous Sodomite Suppression Act an official title and summary. This ruling effectively ends the chances of the initiative making it to the California ballot. I bet this fact makes the Act’s author, Huntington Beach lawyer Matt McLaughlin, cry.
Here’s a tissue, Matty-boy. Suck it up!
Ms. Harris took the issue to the court, as she didn’t want to be “in the position of giving [it] any legitimacy.” Judge Cadei wrote that the Act “is patently unconstitutional on its face,” and that requiring Ms. Harris to advance it “would be inappropriate, waste public resources, generate unnecessary divisions among the public, and tend to mislead the electorate.”
McLaughlin didn’t make an appearance to defend his beloved initiative. One presumes he was too busy playing “Grand Theft Auto” or indulging in some other form of escapism wherein it’s legal to arbitrarily murder someone in cold blood. At least he has that much, since the Act, which if passed would’ve given him the right to shoot gay people in the head, was defeated.
The decision was not met with unanimous approval, even though the Act had virtually no support. The folks at Consumer Watchdog worry that it is an overreaction that could possibly harm the initiative process. Says Carmen Balber, Consumer Watchdog’s executive director, “There is obviously no gray area” in the illegality of murder, but “I do worry that it [AG’s taking issues they don’t like to court] opens the door for another attorney general to decide another issue they don’t like is unconstitutional, be it campaign contributions and the First Amendment or what happened in Proposition 8 [which made same-sex marriage illegal. It’s a disturbing slippery slope.”
Balber’s wish is that Ms. Harris had advanced the initiative and then allowed the court system to invalidate it after a private citizen challenged it. She said, “The attorney general is supposed to do her job and someone else can sue to stop it.”
Sure, yah, you betcha, Ms. Balber. It’s always better to allow clearly unconstitutional, illegal initiatives to make it to the ballot (costly) and then force a private citizen to sue over it (costly) than it is to just nip it in the bud. If we trust the courts to rule correctly after I hire a lawyer and sue to prevent the law, why can’t we trust the system to rule correctly when the state’s chief lawyer does the same? Is it because she’s putting her personal feelings about killing innocent people before doing her job of rubber stamping paperwork? Isn’t keeping innocent people safe the purpose of her job? If not, clearly I’m in need of some remedial tutoring in law.
Fortunately, cooler heads supported Ms. Harris’ actions, folks such as Kim Alexander, President of the California Voter Foundation. Ms. Alexander said, “Asking voters to vote on something that is not legal in the first place is a waste of everybody’s time. Voters are very protective of the initiative process and don’t, I think it’s fair to say, want to see it abused. This episode [the Sodomite Suppression Act initiative], to everyone, was a clear case of abuse.”
Another supporter, Carol Dahmen, a Sacramento media consultant said, “If you’re going to submit a petition like this, I think the AG is right to throw it back to the courts. This one was so outrageous in its scope, it demanded that the AG take the actions that she did.”
I completely agree. Ms. Dahmen also led a sadly unsuccessful attempt to have McLaughlin disbarred. How a lawyer advocating for the right to murder at will gets to keep his license is beyond me. Frankly, it’ll have to wait for another day as I fear tackling it today could lead to an aneurysm.
Finally, Ms. Harris’ opinion of the ruling, “This proposed act is the product of bigotry, seeks to promote violence, is patently unconstitutional and has no place in a civil society. I applaud the court’s decision to block its title and summary. My office will continue to fight for the rights of all Californians to live free from hatred and intolerance.”
Score one for sanity in this ever-increasingly crazy world in which we live. Personally, if Matty-boy is so afraid to live in a society of us scary homosexuals, I suggest he revise his initiative to be The Idiot Suppression Act. Under the Act, he would be well within his legal rights to do us all a favor and shoot himself in the head.