Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Sad Week in Minnesota

The recent Minnesota Supreme Court rulings on our upcoming voter- and marriage-rights amendments make me angry and annoyed, of course. But what I feel most strongly about the decisions is sadness.

I'm sad that the voter amendment were originally passed through the Legislature with Republican-only votes, when changes as important as who votes should be done on a bipartisan basis. I'm sad that GLBT people have to live in a state that may enshrine discrimination in its constitution.

And I'm even sadder that our supposedly impartial court split 4 - 2, with the four in the majority all appointed by conservative Republican Tim Pawlenty, while the two dissenters were not. Alan Page, generally seen as aligned with the Democrats, was elected to an open seat by the people, and Paul H. Anderson was appointed by moderate Republican Arne Carlson. (The decision and dissents can be read here.)

As today's Star Tribune editorial argued, our amendment process is broken. The entire amendment should be on the ballot, not just a "summary" that may or may not represent what the amendment says. Titles should probably be done away with altogether.

And the Legislature (and the people) should be required to marshal 60 percent of the vote, not just 50.00001 percent, to pass it.

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