Tags: Gay Marriage | Supreme Court | Ted Cruz | Ted Cruz | Supreme Court | gay marriage | amendment

Ted Cruz Vows to Pursue Amendment to Let States Define Marriage

Ted Cruz Vows to Pursue Amendment to Let States Define Marriage
(Richard W. Rodriguez/MCT/Landov)

By    |   Tuesday, 07 October 2014 03:19 PM

Just when Republican candidates thought the Supreme Court had given them a break by settling the contentious issue of gay marriage, Sen. Ted Cruz got the pot boiling again.

After the high court decided Monday against hearing cases in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin — in effect lifting the ban on same-sex marriage in those states — the Texas Republican termed the decision "tragic and indefensible," The Texas Tribune reported.

Cruz immediately promised to launch a drive for a constitutional amendment that would allow the states to define marriage, the Tribune said.

The court's decision in effect allows appeals court rulings to stand, and likely will pave the way for approval of gay marriage in North Carolina, South Carolina, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, and West Virginia.

Sighs of relief were nearly audible from Republican candidates for both the November midterms and the 2016 presidential race who did not want to deal with the controversial issue in their campaigns and now could deflect blame onto the Supreme Court.

"We don't have to agree with the decision but as long as we're not against it, we should be OK," an aide to a 2016 presidential contender told Time magazine. "The base, meanwhile, will focus its anger on the Court and not on us."

However, Cruz's statement brought the issue back into sharp focus.

"The Supreme Court’s decision to let rulings by lower court judges stand that redefine marriage is both tragic and indefensible," the senator said in a statement.

"By refusing to rule if the states can define marriage, the Supreme Court is abdicating its duty to uphold the Constitution. This is judicial activism at its worst.

"When Congress returns to session, I will be introducing a constitutional amendment to prevent the federal government or the courts from attacking or striking down state marriage laws."

Cruz was joined by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who co-sponsored a bill with Cruz to stop the federal government from interfering with state decisions regarding marriage.

Lee termed the decision "disappointing" in a statement, adding, "Nothing in the Constitution forbids a state from retaining the traditional definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Whether to change that definition is a decision best left to the people of each state — not to unelected, politically unaccountable judges."

Mediaite noted that several leading contenders for the 2016 GOP presidential nod, such as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, have happily ducked the issue.

Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana was quoted in Time as saying, "The law is certainly in the Court’s court."

It would be tough going to get such an amendment passed, requiring a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate and three-fourths of state legislatures to support it, given that a Gallup Poll in May found that 55 percent of Americans, including 78 percent of younger Americans, support same-sex marriage.

While Faith and Freedom Coalition's Ralph Reed told Time that "for candidates running in 2014 and those who run for president in 2016, there will be no avoiding this issue," Republican political consultant Keith Appell indicated that opposition to gay marriage could morph into opposition to possible upcoming court vacancies and court activism.

"Do we want activist judges who literally make the law up from the bench and impose it on the people, as is happening with these appellate rulings? Or do we want judges that fairly apply the law and leave the lawmaking to Congress, state and local legislatures?" Appell told Time magazine.

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Just when Republican candidates thought the Supreme Court had given them a break by settling the contentious issue of gay marriage, Sen. Ted Cruz got the pot boiling again.
Ted Cruz, Supreme Court, gay marriage, amendment
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2014-19-07
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 03:19 PM
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