A federal judge on the effects of amendment fever on American polity:
. . . The Massachusetts Supreme Court concocted a state constitutional right to marry persons of the same sex. The court went on to say that opposing views lacked so much as a rational basis. In other words, centuries of common-law tradition, legislative sanction and human experience with marriage as a bond between one man and one woman were deemed by that court unworthy to the point of irrationality.
It would be altogether understandable for Congress and state legislatures to counter this constitutional excess with constitutional responses of their own. Yet it would be the wrong thing to do.
The Framers meant our Constitution to establish a structure of government and to provide individuals certain inalienable rights against the state. They certainly did not envision our Constitution as a place to restrict rights or enact public policies, as the Federal Marriage Amendment does.
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.
Let’s look in the mirror. Conservatives who eloquently challenged the Equal Rights Amendment and Roe v. Wade for federalizing core areas of state law now support an amendment that invites federal courts to frame a federal definition of marriage and the legal incidents thereof. . . .