Attention Governor

Should you call a special session to propose another amendment to the Constitution, you should also consider an amendment that would overturn Carter v. Burson, 230 Ga. 511 (1973), which is the judicial opinion behind which Judge Russell could take cover.

For those of you who are not aware, Article 10, &#167 1, &#182 2 of the Georgia Constitution states

When more than one amendment is submitted at the same time, they shall be so submitted as to enable the electors to vote on each amendment separately, provided that one or more new articles or related changes in one or more articles may be submitted as a single amendment.

The courts have interpreted this to mean

The test of whether … a constitutional amendment violates the multiple subject matter rule is whether all of the parts of … the constitutional amendment are germane to the accomplishment of a single objective.

Goldrush II v. City of Marietta, 267 Ga. 683 (1997), quoting Carter v. Burson, 230 Ga. 511 (1973). The courts, I think wrongly, created this “multiple subject matter rule


  1. buzzbrockway says:

    Are we sure the Georgia Supremes will agree with Judge Russell’s decision? The reason I ask is while listening to Denny Shafer this morning on WGST, I learned that Louisiana had a similar situation in that an amendment was passed which prohibited same-sex marriage, it was struck down by a lower court Judge but finally overruled by the LA Supremes. Here’s an article describing the ruling:

    (New Orleans, LA) In a unanimous vote that came without fight or contention, the Louisiana Supreme Court has reinstated an amendment to the state’s constitution that bans gay marriage.

    This decision reverses one made by a state district’s judge in October that stuck down the amendment on the grounds that it violated a provision of the state constitution requiring that an amendment cover only one subject.

    “Each provision of the amendment is germane to the single object of defence of marriage and constitutes an element of the plan advanced to achieve this object,

  2. Erick says:

    I actually think that is what they will do. It would be more damaging to them to do otherwise because the Governor probably would move to curb Carter in addition to pursuing the constitutional amendment again.

  3. Decaturguy says:

    No, I think that the Governor should just try to pass the Constitutional Amendment the way it is supposed to be passed, instead of setting the dangerous precedent of changing the Constitution (because that is what you are talking about doing) because of a decision that you do not like. It could have serious unintended consequences.

    Why not just pass an amendment defining marriage and be through with it?

    I don’t understand how your interpretation of the “single subject rule” (the constitutional amendment are germane to the accomplishment of a single objective) is any different than the Constitution beling “clear that multiple amendments cannot be lumped in together.” Sounds like the same thing to me.

  4. Decaturguy says:

    Great … that is what we like to see, an Governor threatening what is supposed to be an inpartial judiciary. Who is the “activist” here?

  5. Erick says:

    “What is suppose to be an impartial judiciary.”

    Suppose to be and actually being are two different things 😉

  6. Decaturguy says:

    What are you concerned that the Governor’s hand picked choice for the Supreme Court, Harold Melton, might come out on the “wrong” side?

  7. Bill Simon says:

    Erick Sez: “Judge Russell’s opinion is that the marriage amendment would prohibit both marriage and civil unions, which she considered to be two separate non-germane subjects.”

    Erick, for future reference, the phrase “mutually exclusive” is a lot easier phrase to understand (and grasp) than “two separate non-germane subjects.”

    Not a criticism of you, my good fellow, just a suggestion.

  8. stephaniemills21 says:

    I hope the Supreme Court rules against Judge Russel, but the day after the primary. Just enought time to get the crazies like Debbie into a frenzie so Reed will defeat Cagle. Cause only then will the dems have a shot at the LG office.

    That said, the amendment is a crock.

  9. McCain-Rice\'08 says:

    So DecaturGuy, I guess you dont consider holding a referendum election and having the support of 79% of Georgians who agree that Gay Marrige should be banned in the GA Consttiution is a “fair” way to change the Constitution….

    However, one liberal activist Judge who legislates behind the bench in order to obstrcut the will of the people is perfectly fine with you??…That’s pretty darn liberal thinking, even for a Dekalb Co. Democrat who probably supports McKinney.

  10. McCain-Rice\'08 says: know what I’ve been trying to tell a lot of people..the Democrats want Ralph Reed to win because they know they have a much better chance at winning in November against him

    Democrats want Reed to win almost as bad as Republicans wanted Dean to win the nomination in 2004. The Democrats were smart enough to realize why and prvented a landslide Republican victory, we Republicand need to realize why the Democrats want Reed to win…and what could happen in November..he would not only loose, but he could take the Governor down too. The Democrats know it, now we need to figure it out.

  11. Decaturguy says:

    No, McCain-Rice, if the Amendment had simply banned gay marriage, and was then passed by the voters, you would not have had a judge strike the Amendment down. However, when it went into other subjects, such as denying any and all legal rights to all same sex couples (not the same thing as “marriage”), it did more than just ban gay marriage – therefore, the process of passing the Amendment violated the Georgia Constitution.

    If you seek to do more than just ban gay marriage then a seperate amendment should have been proposed and given to the voters for a choice to be made, rather than leaving it in the hands of a potentially “activist judge” to interpret what “no union between persons of the same sex shall be recognized by this state as entitled to the benefits of marriage” means.

    And you must know nothing about me if you think I’m a supporter of Cynthia McKinney!

  12. Bull Moose says:

    I orginally voted in favor of the amendment but if it is on the ballot again, I will vote against it.

    I do not think that hate and bigotry need to be legislated and codified into our state constitution. I would much rather see our state focus on weeding out corruption and waste from government as opposed to dwelling on this divisive issue.

    Personally, I believe that traditional marriage belongs between a man and a woman, but that there should be room for civil unions. I have a cousin and a friend that are gay and are married to their respective partners. Don’t they deserve to be happy? I cannot support something that would deny personal freedom and happieness…

  13. Decaturguy says:

    You are not the only one Bull Moose. 2006 is not 2004. Will a marriage amendment win again? Of course. But I would look for a large drop in the percentage in favor. If civil unions is a seperate issue, that question would be very, very close.

Comments are closed.