Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said Monday that he plans to introduce a constitutional amendment barring the federal government or the courts from overturning state marriage laws.
Citing the Supreme Court’s “tragic and indefensible” refusal to take up same-sex marriage cases–essentially legalizing same-sex marriage in another 11 states–Cruz announced the proposal in a statement. He said he has already introduced legislation in the Senate to “protect the authority of state legislatures to define marriage,” because “marriage is a question for the states.”
“And that is why, 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,” the potential 2016 GOP presidential contender announced.
Cruz also accused the Supreme Court of enabling “judicial activism at its worst” by letting rulings by lower court judges that “redefine marriage” stand. He said the “Supreme Court is abdicating its duty to uphold the Constitution” and declared that “the fact that the Supreme Court Justices, without providing any explanation whatsoever, have permitted lower courts to strike down so many state marriage laws is astonishing.”
Cruz said that the Constitution “entrusts state legislatures, elected by the People, to define marriage consistent with the values and mores of their citizens,” and “unelected judges should not be imposing their policy preferences to subvert the considered judgments of democratically elected legislatures.”
He also blasted the Supreme Court for twisting the original meaning of the 14th Amendment.
“The Supreme Court is, de facto, applying an extremely broad interpretation to the 14th Amendment without saying a word – an action that is likely to have far-reaching consequences,” he said, adding that it is “beyond dispute that when the 14th Amendment was adopted 146 years ago, as a necessary post-Civil War era reform, it was not imagined to also mandate same-sex marriage, but that is what the Supreme Court is implying today.”
“The Court is making the preposterous assumption that the People of the United States somehow silently redefined marriage in 1868 when they ratified the 14th Amendment,” he continued. “Nothing in the text, logic, structure, or original understanding of the 14th Amendment or any other constitutional provision authorizes judges to redefine marriage for the nation. It is for the elected representatives of the People to make the laws of marriage, acting on the basis of their own constitutional authority, and protecting it, if necessary, from usurpation by the courts.”
Cruz declared that because of the Supreme Court’s refusal to take up the gay marriage cases, 11 states–Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Utah, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming–will likely legalize same-sex marriage. He said this action also “paves the way for laws prohibiting same-sex marriage to be overturned in any state.”
“Traditional marriage is an institution whose integrity and vitality are critical to the health of any society,” Cruz said. “We should remain faithful to our moral heritage and never hesitate to defend it.”