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

Ted Olson: Supreme Court Past 'Point of No Return' on Gay Marriage

By    |   Monday, 27 Oct 2014 03:05 PM

With its decision to let stand a number of judicial rulings overturning bans on same-sex marriage, Ted Olson, George W. Bush's former solicitor general, says the Supreme Court has passed the "point of no return" on gay marriage.

"I do not believe that the United States Supreme Court could rule that all of those laws prohibiting marriage are suddenly constitutional after all these individuals have gotten married and their rights have changed," Olson said in an interview with USA Today.

"To have that snatched away, it seems to me, would be inhuman; it would be cruel; and it would be inconsistent with what the Supreme Court has said about these issues in the cases that it has rendered," he added.

Olson gained national attention in 2000 when he faced off with Democratic lawyer David Boies in the Supreme Court case of Bush v. Gore. Nine years later, the two would lead the effort to overturn Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage.

While noting that no one knows for certain, Olson believes the justices "wanted the process to be deliberate and to allow public opinion to catch up" to the movement of federal courts on the issue.

"I could be wrong, but I do believe this is a point of no return," added Olson.

In 2009, only three states permitted gay marriage. Today, it is permitted in 32 states, which Olson says represents an "overwhelmingly rapid change on an issue that used to be exceedingly controversial."

"We never thought it would move this fast," he told USA Today's Susan Page.
In its last major decision on gay marriage, the Supreme Court also took a hands-off approach.

The justices did not rule on the constitutionality of Proposition 8, but instead they issued a 5-4 ruling stating that supporters of the ban did not have standing in court. By dismissing the case on procedural grounds, a lower-court decision striking down the ban was left in place.

That sort of incremental approach was embraced by President Barack Obama, who once opposed gay marriage. In a recent New Yorker interview, Obama said he now believes the Constitution requires all states to allow same-sex marriage.

"Ultimately, I think the Equal Protection Clause does guarantee same-sex marriage in all 50 states," he told the New Yorker's Jeffrey Toobin. "But, as you know, courts have always been strategic."

Olson said the incremental approach is "not good enough because it's not now."

While Olson believes the gay marriage issue is virtually settled, others disagree.

"The Constitution entrusts state legislatures, elected by the People, to define marriage consistent with the values and mores of their citizens. Unelected judges should not be imposing their policy preferences to subvert the considered judgments of democratically elected legislatures," said Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in response to high court's recent inaction on gay marriage, reports The Washington Post.

Cruz says he is considering introducing a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex unions.

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With its decision to let stand a number of judicial rulings overturning bans on same-sex marriage, Ted Olson, George W. Bush's former solicitor general, says the Supreme Court has passed the "point of no return" on gay marriage.
Ted Olson, Supreme Court, gay marriage, Ted Cruz
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2014-05-27
Monday, 27 Oct 2014 03:05 PM
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