Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Webb should replace Allen, no on Marshall-Newman

Jim Webb has had my visible support throughout the Democratic primary race against Harris Miller, and then in the general election against Republican Sen. George Allen. So, for me to announce now that SLANTblog is endorsing Mr. Webb would seem redundant, or worse.
At City Hall Doug Wilder endorsed Jim Webb
Furthermore, I’m not sure a blog “endorses.”

A newspaper, which has an editorial department in addition to its news department, etc., endorses. Key politicians, such as Mayor Doug Wilder, endorse. Most of the time I’d say blogs either support candidates, or they don’t. However, please note that I’m not saying other bloggers who use their space to “endorse” are wrong.

SLANTblog also must urge its readers to vote against the Marshall-Newman amendment. Legally, when J. Harvie Wilkinson III, who served as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell (1972-73) and was appointed to the Fourth Circuit bench by Ronald Reagan (1984), says it’s half-baked, that’s good enough for me:

“...Ordinary legislation -- not constitutional amendments -- should express the community's view that marriage ‘shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman.’ To use the Constitution for prescriptions of policy is to shackle future generations that should have the same right as ours to enact policies of their own. To use the Constitution as a forum for even our most favored views strikes a blow of uncommon harshness upon disfavored groups, in this case gay citizens who would never see this country's founding charter as their own.”

As a lawyer, Allen may know this ploy/amendment is quite likely to be shot down in the first court in which it is challenged -- for being vague/poorly written -- but that doesn’t matter so much to him. Not now, because Allen is looking for all the help it might give him on election day.

Anyway, rather than go on about all that, I’d rather offer some links to editorials and articles on this amendment, such as Wilkinson’s, which present the case against it better than I can. Likewise, SLANTblog is offering a list of links to the best endorsements of Webb by daily newspapers.

Marshall-Newman vote-no editorials/OpEds
Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson’s Post OpEd, “Hands Off Constitutions,”
Richmond Times-Dispatch

Jim Webb newspaper endorsements:
Daily Press: Virginians should vote for change
Roanoke Times: Send an independent thinker like Webb to Washington, D.C.
Virginian-Pilot: James Webb for U.S. Senate
Washington Post: Mr. Webb offers hope
Photo: SLANT

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