Friday, May 19, 2006

Feingold: Marriage Ban Markup "An Affront to the Constitution"

Anyone catch our Senate Judiciary Committee at work today? Senator Arlen "I'm totally opposed to the gay marriage ban while I approved it" Specter not only voted for a constitutional amendment legislating discrimination back into the Constitution, but did it from the comfort of the President's Room, where there is not only extremely limited public access, but, according to our friends at the Human Rights Campaign, "does not even have enough chairs for every senator on the committee to sit."

But one Dem wouldn't sleepwalk through this crap. Russ Feingold walked on Specter's bullshit flip flopping, refusing to allow his presence to bring the committee to quorum. and issued the following statement. Because it is so good, I'm going to copy it verbatim and hope he runs for President:

May 18, 2006

“Today’s markup of the constitutional amendment concerning marriage, in a small room off the Senate floor with only a handful of people other than Senators and their staffs present, was an affront to the Constitution. I objected to its consideration in such an inappropriate setting and refused to help make a quorum. I am deeply disappointed that the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee went forward with the markup over my objection. Unfortunately, the Majority Leader has set a politically motivated schedule for floor consideration of this measure that the Chairman felt compelled to follow, even though he says he opposes the amendment.

Constitutional amendments deserve the most careful and deliberate consideration of any matter that comes before the Senate. In addition to hearings and a subcommittee markup, such a measure should be considered by the Judiciary Committee in the light of day, open to the press and the public, with cameras present so that the whole country can see what is done. Open and deliberate debate on such an important matter cannot take place in a setting such as the one chosen by the Chairman of the Committee today.

The Constitution of the United States is an historic guarantee of individual freedom. It has served as a beacon of hope, an example to people around the world who yearn to be free and to live their lives without government interference in their most basic human decisions. I took an oath when I joined this body to support and defend the Constitution. I will continue to fight this mean-spirited, divisive, poorly drafted, and misguided amendment when it comes to the Senate floor.”


Thank you Russ.


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