Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Republican Non-Reaction To Marriage Equality

As BuzzFeed's Kate Nocera notes, Republicans were virtually silent on the Supreme Court's surprise decision to pass on hearing any same-sex marriage appeals from the states this term, meaning that Circuit Court rulings striking down same-sex marriage bans as unconstitutional in five states are now settled law.

There has been one notable (and loud) exception to that GOP non-response, however:  Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who vowed to stop same-sex marriages across the country.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz likewise criticized the decision on the part of the court and announced that he would introduce a constitutional amendment that would allow the states to define marriage.

I will be introducing a constitutional amendment to prevent the federal government or the courts from attacking or striking down state marriage laws,” Cruz said.

Now, Cruz isn't being totally stupid here.  He knows there's zero chance of getting two-thirds majorities in both the House and Senate necessary for passing an amendment on to the states for ratification. But he's got the field to himself here on pushing that amendment, and that's going to mean intense fundraising from the millions of bigots who infest the GOP.  He knows what he's doing.

He also knows that he's put his 2016 competition in a bad spot.  Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and yes, Jeb Bush are going to have to answer some uncomfortable questions about whether or not they back Cruz on this.

How much this SCOTUS decision will play in 2014, I can't tell you.  Depending on how quickly appeals move in the states affected by the Circuit Court rulings, North Carolina and Colorado could have marriage equality before Election Day, meaning that the ruling could play a part for both Kay Hagan and Mark Udall.  How much that will affect turnout, well I don't know.

We'll see how this plays out.

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