Rick Santorum while campaigning in Missouri today said:
Today’s decision by the 9th Circuit is another in a long line of radical activist rulings by this rogue circuit – and it is precisely why I have called for that circuit to be abolished and split up. Marriage is defined and has always been defined as ‘one man and one woman.’ We simply cannot allow 50 different definitions of marriage.
The people of California spoke clearly at the ballot box that they wanted marriage defined in the traditional manner of one man and one woman. And for a court, any court, to usurp the power and will of the people in this manner on an issue this fundamental to the foundation of our society is wrong.
We need to have a Judicial Branch that acts within its Constitutional bounds. We need to have a President that is willing to stand up to the Judiciary. We need to have a President who will fight to protect marriage once and for all with a federal marriage amendment. I am committed to being that President.
Newt Gingrich blasted today’s decision as well:
With today’s decision on marriage by the Ninth Circuit, and the likely appeal to the Supreme Court, more and more Americans are being exposed to the radical overreach of federal judges and their continued assault on the Judeo-Christian foundations of the United States.
I was drawn back into public life by the Ninth Circuit’s 2002 decision that held that the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance were unconstitutional. Today’s decision is one more example that the American people cannot rest until we restore the proper rule of the judicial branch and bring judges and the Courts back under the Constitution.
The Constitution of the United States begins with “We the People”; it does not begin with “We the Judges”. Federal judges need to take heed of that fact.
Federal judges are substituting their own political views for the constitutional right of the people to make judgments about the definition of marriage.
The country has been here before. In 1856, the Supreme Court thought it could settle the issue of slavery once and for all and impose a judicial solution on the country. In 1973, the issue was abortion and once again a Supreme Court thought that it could impose a judicial solution on the country once and for all.
Judicial solutions don’t solve contentious social issues once and for all.
Should the Supreme Court fail to heed the disastrous lessons if its own history and attempt to impose its will on the marriage debate in this country by affirming today’s Ninth Circuit decision, it will bear the burden of igniting a constitutional crisis of the first order.
The political branches of the federal government, as well as the political branches of the several States, will surely not passively accept the dictates of the federal judiciary on this issue. An interventionist approach by the Court on marriage will lead to a crisis of legitimacy for the federal judiciary from which it may take generations to recover.
Mitt Romney also condemned the ruling, but doesn’t offer any suggestion on how to deal with an out-of-control judiciary:
Today, unelected judges cast aside the will of the people of California who voted to protect traditional marriage. This decision does not end this fight, and I expect it to go to the Supreme Court. That prospect underscores the vital importance of this election and the movement to preserve our values. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman and, as president, I will protect traditional marriage and appoint judges who interpret the Constitution as it is written and not according to their own politics and prejudices.
If Mitt Romney couldn’t fight for religious liberty as Governor of Massachusetts, how are we supposed to actually believe he’d fight for traditional marriage as President.
A side note: AllahPundit at Hot Air pointed out that in their decision they went the tamest route in overturning the ban:
The Ninth Circuit could have gone four ways here: (1) They could have found a fundamental right to marry whomever you wish regardless of gender; (2) they could have found that gays are a historically persecuted “suspect class” and therefore laws discriminating against them are invalid unless there’s a very compelling state interest at stake; (3) they could have found more narrowly that Prop 8 serves no rational purpose in advancing any state interest, in which case they wouldn’t have to reach any of the big questions about gays or marriage to find the law unconstitutional; (4) they could have upheld the law.
Number four was never going to happen with a court this liberal, but numbers one and two were possibilities. Instead, they went the third route, which was the tamest possible way to strike Prop 8 down as a violation of the Equal Protection Clause. The key Supreme Court precedent here, and the subject of most of the jousting between the majority and the dissent, is the 1996 case Romer v. Evans, in which Anthony Kennedy wrote for a majority of six in striking down a Colorado law that expressly barred any “special rights” from being granted to gays.
This was probably intentional and was likely written for an audience of one, Justice Anthony Kennedy. So this being overturned by SCOTUS is not a slam dunk even though what the court managed to do was base their decision on a circular argument. William Jacobson notes, “Prop. 8 was directed at the very judicial decision which gave rise to the right which the Court now finds cannot be taken away.”
Here’s the ruling below:
- Ninth Circuit Rules Against Marriage (heritage.org)
- Ninth Circuit Court Panel Rules Proposition 8 Unconstitutional (spectator.org)
- California’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban Ruled Unconstitutional (thegospelcoalition.org)
- Initial Assessment of Ninth Circuit’s Anti-Prop 8 Ruling (nationalreview.com)
- Ninth Circuit rules California’s gay marriage ban is unconstitutional (nypost.com)