Blogging the Amendment

Offering a Forum to Discuss the Pros and Cons of the Marshall/Newman Amendment

Richmond Times-Dispatch Says NO

It’s no surprise.  In a 900-word full-column editorial, the Richmond Times-Dispatch says the Marshall/Newman Amendment – Ballot Question #1 – is unnecessary, poorly written and dangerous.

“On this amendment, as written, we incline against.”

The Times-Dispatch begins its discussion by crediting the serious concerns held by hundreds of thousands of Virginians who will Vote NO.

“The anti side views the seemingly simple symbolic gesture of a constitutional amendment as correspondingly inflicting a deep and needless wound.”

After lengthy consideration, including consultation with “some of Virginia’s most distinguished legal minds on both sides of the question”, the writer concludes that concern for the potential consequences of  the amendment outweighs any potential benefit.  This conclusion mirrors the concerns of thoughtful Virginians who will vote NO.

“If adopted, would the amendment enable the most mischievous judges to find in the amendment’s second and third sentences whatever meanings they might choose? In seeking to make it more difficult for judges to invalidate Virginia’s laws regarding marriage — laws not under current onslaught — would the amendment actually make it more difficult for the legislature to correct a wacky judiciary’s crazy spins on the amendment’s language?”

The Richmond Times-Dispatch concludes by stating that Jefferson and Madison – Virginia icons of limited government – would likely oppose this fundamentally undemocratic amendment.  The issues addressed in the amendment are ones which should be considered by the General Assembly, and not written in the constitution.

“Legislatures were designed to be the most powerful branch. Because they are closest to the people, they also are the most reflective of citizen opinion, and the most responsive to it.”

Voters – and editorial writers – who read the amendment understand that the language of this amendment is unnecessary, dangerous and an affront to Virginia’s tradition of limited government.  Take the advice of the Richmond Times-Dispatch.  Vote NO on NOvember 7.

The full text of the editorial is here.


October 29, 2006 - Posted by | unintended consequences

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