His speech itself was fine. Congressman Paul brought up 1 Samuel 8 in his comments in relation to the U.S. Constitution Article 1 Section 8 that deals with the enumerated powers of Congress that limits its powers. As a former pastor I found that interesting that he compared Israel’s desire for a king with the encroaching power of the Federal government saying that we as a culture have made the Government our king.
Not sure I’d go there with that passage. He did bring up his earlier statement condemning President Obama’s decision to abandon his defense of DOMA. He said that marriage is a state’s right issue, “I see that as an act that was prohibiting the move to nationalize it and force Iowa to accept the rules of Massachusetts or whatever.” He also defended Iowa voters’ right to oust the judges. Beyond that it was a standard Ron Paul speech. He spend a lot of time on the fed, individual rights, protecting liberty and reminding the audience where their rights come from.
During the press conference he was asked if he supported the Iowa Supreme Court’s ability to legalize gay marriage. He appeared confused by the question. He said he supported it constitutionally, “every state has that right.” One of his aides tried to provide him some guidance and Paul then said, “he was asking about the ruling, not the justices.” He then went on to say, “I support the state of Iowa voting to get rid of the justices and write laws dealing with marriage, not the federal government.” He said that marriage is “a personal, spiritual matter and individuals should make that determination.”
Except that unfortunately for him, government is involved and we have a crisis on our hands, and while he defends Iowans right to oust the justices he also just defended the very reason the justices were ousted in the first place. I’m shocked that a constitutionalist like Congressman Paul would be fine with judicial review by the Iowa Supreme Court being viewed as equal with codified law. Our legislature didn’t codify gay marriage, the Iowa Supreme Court decreed it.
Update: Congressman Paul’s camp offers a clarification… in a nutshell, he is not in favor of judges legislating from the bench. Go here to read his political director, Jesse Benton’s whole statement.
You can watch his speech below.
You can watch the press conference below.