The first is that a single member of the federal judiciary is empowered to render null and void the vote of more than 7 million voters in a matter pertaining to their own state of residence.
The other thing is that even as this is being cheered in some quarters as a "victory" for certain individuals, in truth it is a dire setback for all individuals. I speak of the now decades-long erosion of jury nullification: the tradition that common people empaneled on a jury can acquit defendants and even overturn legislation in spite of legal and prosecutorial weight, if sincere conscience should so dictate. And even though jury nullification is generally a matter strictly relegated to affairs at trial, its principle extends throughout the whole of the law of our democratically-elected republic.
Jury nullification is something that I have long appreciated. It is - and should always be - the citizenry's last, best bulwark for peaceable resistance against any and all agents of government overstepping the rightful bounds. The moment that government refuses to honor this, then it begins to be questioned whether government is obligated to acknowledge and respect the rights of the people... or whether the people are obligated to acknowledge the government in kind.
The people of California voted overwhelmingly for Proposition 8, and whether the rest of us agree with it or not we should respect the people of California to manage their own affairs as a state.
And one judge, sitting on the federal bench and regardless of agenda, should never be enabled with the power to negate the legislative will of citizens in good conscience. For that way, lies tyranny.