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Aug 18, 2016

Would a Popular Referendum Hurt Court’s Responsibility to Protect the Law?

Patrick Rogers

Rogers noted that the United States uses referenda at the city, county and state levels to glean the people’s thoughts on important social and governance issues.  But given that the judiciary has a role to play in interpreting the law and advising on the rights of persons who feel infringed upon, as Caleb Orozco did, would a popular referendum wind up infringing on the court’s determination? The B.P.P. Party Leader says no, and explains why the Chief Justice’s ruling is right, but also wrong:

 

Patrick Rogers, Party Leader, B.P.P.

“Certainly not, because the laws are supposed to be made based on the will of the people. Once the laws are made – the legislature goes and makes the laws; the executive executes those laws, and the judiciary is supposed to protect the law – interpret and protect the law. But we’re saying that it shouldn’t start with the Judiciary saying what the law should be; it should be the people saying, ‘this is the law we want to live under – if this is not the law then we will force our elected leaders to change the law so that it is in line with the will of the people, then a judiciary can rule on protecting that.’ What we are facing here, we’re facing a judiciary – as I said, I will never fault any judge for ruling the way the Chief Justice did, because me, Patrick, understand how governance is conducted. Where, yes, the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, however, the moment a country signs on to conventions, those conventions, whenever they come in conflict with the Constitution, further legislations are needed to either one, state clearly that the laws are being brought up to the convention level, or state clearly that these sections of the convention are excluded. If the government of the day do not do that, then everything the convention says, will trump what your Constitution says. So that’s why I’m saying, every judge that hears this matter will understand that the conventions that this country has signed on to has already defined what we – some of us may think is a life choice has already defined as a human’s rights. And so they will be ruling over and over and over again, the same way the Chief Justice did.”

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