A week ago I wrote about how gay marriage was back at the Supreme Court. I did not expect that just a week later, the Supreme Court Justices would have dismissed all marriage cases. In a move like Pontius Pilate, the Supreme Court washed their hands of it saying to the lower courts, “See ye to it.”
No longer in litigation, gay marriage is immediately legalized in Utah, Oklahoma, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Virginia. Given that the federal circuit courts are over several states, the dismissal from the Supreme Court will also affect marriage laws in Colorado, Kansas, and Wyoming from the 10th Circuit, and North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Virginia from the 4th Circuit.
In fact, Colorado’s attorney general has already instructed county clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples.
The voters in 30 states depended upon the Supreme Court to support the state’s right to define marriage for purposes of licensing. There is no such thing as a federal marriage license. Marriage licensing has always been determined by state law. In fact, even as federal judges declare how states must do this and the Supreme Court allows for this infringement, the federal government will still not issue any marriage licenses.
This decision, or rather indecision, of the 9 Supreme Court justices undermines the voter initiative and the legislative process. In most states it took multiple voter signatures and 2/3rds of the state house and state senate to even allow a vote that would amend a constitution. These state marriage amendments were not done lightly or easily. Enough elected officials had to approve an amendment and then it had to be voted on by the majority of the people.
One commentator stated that it is good that now just a few religious people cannot push their beliefs on everyone else. He said that now the Supreme Court has righted that wrong. The contrary is true. Through the voice of the majority of the people, marriage amendments were added to more than 30 state constitutions. A few people did not like that and used litigation to try and change it. Liberal activist judges with their own social agenda sided with these few and over turned the will of everyone else.
Today, like Pontius Pilate nearly 2,000 years ago, the men we have turned to for justice, the men we have turned to uphold the Constitution of our beloved nation, have turned aside, washed their hands, and to the lower courts declared, “See ye to it.”