The existence of an Indiana State constitution was mentioned vaguely in my high school Indiana History class. The United States Supreme Court was in the headlines a lot back then, in the 1960s. Of course, the Court is in the headlines (or blogosphere or other appropriate parallel to "headlines") today. In the 1960s, and early 1970s, the headlines usually seemed to indicate a Court that advanced rights. I knew when "Dragnet" aired any given week, Jack Webb would highlight a new criminal ruling of the Court. The Court began to change on January 20, 1969, with Richard Nixon's assumption of the Presidency. Right out of the box Nixon appointed a Justice and the Chief Justice.
During "Constitutional Law" in undergrad, little, if any, mention was made of the Indiana Constitution. Only when I entered law school did that document take on importance. Chief Justice Shepard wrote a law review article that underscored what some of us already had gleaned: a basic rule of constitutional interpretation is that a provision of the United States Constitution generally trumps its State counterpart, unless the State constitutional provision is more expansive of a person's rights. Given the general trend of first the Burger, then Rehnquist Courts, the constitutions of the States seemed like a haven.
There is an effort underway to amend the Indiana Constitution to define "marriage" as between "one man" and "one woman." On Saturday's Show, from11 am to 1 pm, we shall discuss this topic. One person who already has accepted our invitation to appear (via Skype from New York) is Tanya L. Domi. Ms. Domi is Director of Media Relations for City University of New York as well as an adjunct professor at Columbia University. She was a commissioned officer in the United States Army, 1974-1990, until she was mustered out for being lesbian.
I also have extended invitations to Micah Clark of the American Family Association of Indiana and Eric Miller of Advance America. They and their organizations support the efforts to enact the amendment.
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