Reason Alert E-News

Reason Alert: Gay Marriage, Executive Power

  • California Court Overturns Gay Marriage Ban
  • Cult of the Presidency
  • Bob Barr, Mike Gravel to Discuss Libertarian Politics at Reason
  • You Can Now Dance in Arizona
  • New at and

California Court Overturns Gay Marriage Ban
Today the California Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. At’s blog, David Weigel looks at the decision’s impact on the presidential campaign: “Politically, I suppose this is bad news for the Democrats, but not nearly as much as in 2004. For one, it’s not coming out of a candidate’s home state. (How lucky was John Kerry to come from Massachusetts in the year of the Goodridge decision?) For another, John McCain voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment: He can’t demagogue this, and he won’t. And finally, the issue’s simply becoming less volcanic as the issue is normalized. The way things are going, Mitt Romney will be leading a pro-gay marriage campaign by 2016 or so.”

Cult of the Presidency
In Reason magazine’s June cover story, Gene Healy writes, “The chief executive of the United States is no longer a mere constitutional officer charged with faithful execution of the laws. He is a soul nourisher, a hope giver, a living American talisman against hurricanes, terrorism, economic downturns, and spiritual malaise. He-or she-is the one who answers the phone at 3 a.m. to keep our children safe from harm. The modern president is America’s shrink, a social worker, our very own national talk show host. He’s also the Supreme Warlord of the Earth…It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The modern vision of the presidency couldn’t be further from the Framers’ view of the chief executive’s role. In an age long before distrust of power was condemned as cynicism, the Founding Fathers designed a presidency of modest authority and limited responsibilities. The Constitution’s architects never conceived of the president as the man in charge of national destiny…Throughout the 20th century more and more Americans looked to the central government to deal with highly visible public problems, from labor disputes to crime waves to natural disasters. And as responsibility flowed to the center, power accrued with it. If that trend continues, responses to matters of great public concern will be increasingly federal, increasingly executive, and increasingly military. In the years to come, many Americans will find that the results of executive action are not to their liking. And if history is any guide, they’ll respond by vilifying the officeholder and looking for another man on horseback to set things right again.”

Bob Barr, Mike Gravel to Discuss Libertarian Politics at Reason
A former Republican Congressman (Bob Barr) and a former Democratic U.S. Senator (Mike Gravel) are among the candidates running to be the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee. Why did Gravel and Barr leave their parties to join the Libertarian Party? Why should independents and libertarians consider voting for them instead of Sen. Barack Obama or Sen. John McCain? What’s the future of libertarian politics? Bob Barr, Mike Gravel, Wayne Allyn Root – a Libertarian Party presidential candidate, and Vern McKinley – a “Ron Paul Republican” running for a U.S. House seat in Virginia, discuss these issues and more at Reason Foundation’s Washington, D.C. office on on Tuesday, May 20th at 4:30 p.m. For more information, or to RSVP, please click here.

You Can Now Dance in Arizona
In January, Drew Carey and shared the story of an Arizona restaurant being threatened with fines of up to $700 a night because its customers had the gall to dance. But the dance police have been defeated. The Arizona Republic reports, “Kick off your boots and get ready to two-step because dancing is now allowed at San Tan Flat. Pinal County Superior Court Judge William O’Neil overturned a decision from the county Board of Supervisors that said the country-Western-themed restaurant was operating an illegal dance hall by allowing patrons to dance to live music on its back patio….The saga of San Tan Flat drew national attention, prompting commentary from actor Drew Carey and conservative Washington Post columnist George Will. The case also received several comparisons to the 1984 Kevin Bacon film Footloose, in which a small town bans rock music and dancing.”
» Watch the Victory Party at San Tan Flat
» Watch Drew Carey: Footloose in Arizona