Ruth Bader Ginsburg is famously quoted in 2012 criticizing the timing of Roe v. Wade, saying, “It’s not that the judgment was wrong, but it moved too far too fast.”
The Supreme Court’s decision yesterday not to hear same-sex marriage cases from five states was nothing if not a calculated move. But waiting for the “right time” and engaging in judicial activism are not the same thing. But try telling that to opponents of same-sex marriage.
The same could be said when SCOTUS postponed ruling on interracial marriage until it was legal in enough sates as to create an environment of widespread public support. Marriage equality will win in the Supreme Court. It’s just a matter of when.
But shortsightedness does seem to be most of what matters in politics. Here’s how some conservative leaders reacted to yesterday’s news. Unsurprisingly, outrage and indignation appear across the board.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin
“The will of the people has now been overridden by unelected federal justices, accountable to no one. Rather than allowing states to make their own policies that reflect the values and views of their residents, federal judges have inserted themselves into a state issue to pursue their own agendas.”
Charles Cooper, who previously represented supporters of a California’s Prop 8:
“I think it really borders on an abdication of the court’s responsibility for constitutional adjudication.”
Senator Ted Cruz called the decision “tragic and indefensible”:
“This is judicial activism at its worst. 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.”
David Lane, head of the evangelical American Renewal Project:
“Impeachment begins in the House. I can’t figure out why a simple congressman won’t drop a bill of impeachment to remove people who are doing this to our country. We’re going to deal with these problems — unelected and unaccountable judges — who have no right to interfere with the will of a free people.”
Ed Whelan of the Ethics and Public Policy Center wrote:
“The Court’s denial of review in all the pending cases strikes me as grossly irresponsible, as a huge abdication of duty on the part of at least six justices.”
Executive Director Micah Clark of the American Family Association of Indiana
“Obviously, this changes things in Indiana. If we’re going to allow one unelected judge to overturn millions of Americans’ vote, then allowing people to vote on this apparently doesn’t matter.”
John Eastman, chairman of the National Organization for Marriage
“It’s really despicable. You’ve got state constitutional amendments being struck down by lower federal courts … and the Supreme Court just lets it stand?”