One Ohio Republican is celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address by trying to re-fight the civil war.

President Lincoln described the Civil War as a test of the United States could “long endure.”

Representative John Becker has introduced a resolution which contains some notably un-Lincolnesque concepts.

Becker’s resolution asserts that “the federal government has an ever-growing propensity to violate state sovereignty.” There’s more: “The violation of state sovereignty has been a trend since the early nineteenth century and has accelerated exponentially in recent decades . . .”


The Constitution is very clear about this. Federal law trumps state laws, and state constitutions, under the Supremacy Clause. Over the years, people and states that wanted to resist federal protections and laws have floated ideas like “nullification.” They have been universally rejected.

We thought Gettysburg answered the question for good. After all, what violation of state sovereignty that occurred in the “early nineteenth century” could Becker be referring to? [Answer: federal efforts to restrict slavery.]

So what has Becker so fired up today?

He is upset at a decision by a Federal Judge to require Ohio to recognize a same sex marriage performed in another state.

The resolution calls for the impeachment of Judge Black, who issued the decision.

Agree or disagree with the judge’s decision (and we agree), we can think of nothing more dangerous than calling for the impeachment of a federal judge just because of an unpopular opinion.

Federal Judges have life tenure for a reason. We want them to be insulated from making unpopular decisions. Judge’s have a job to protect the rights of minorities and others who lack political power.

Judge Black’s decision was based on the recent same sex marriage decision from the United States Supreme Court. The opinion primarily interpreted the “Full Faith and Credit” clause of the United States Constitution. This was hardly a radical decision; as it was consistent with existing and controlling precedent.

Judge Black was doing his job.

Now Ohio Republicans like Becker need to stop trying to refight the Civil War and start doing their jobs.