Slippery Rick Santorum is convinced that any Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage will not be the end of the fight. If anything, Roe v Wade and Brown v Topeka Board of Education have proven that theory true, and like many bigots, he's laying the groundwork for open "civil disobedience" that he believes will materialize against it.
After the supreme court struck down the controversial Defense of Marriage Act (Doma) in June 2013, same-sex marriage has become legal in 37 states and the District of Columbia. The country’s highest court is due to decide the issue for good in a judgment expected to come down in June.
Nonetheless Santorum, a self-proclaimed “blue collar conservative” who polled strongly with evangelical voters in the 2012 primaries and was appearing on NBC, said: “I think it’s important to understand that the supreme court doesn’t have the final word. It has its word. Its word has validity. But it’s important for Congress and the president, frankly, to push back when the supreme court gets it wrong.”
Santorum was asked if he agreed with the former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, another Christian conservative and declared candidate for the 2016 GOP nomination, that on this issue the supreme court could be overruled by the states.
“I don’t advocate civil disobedience,” he said. “I do advocate the role of an informed citizen to try to overturn when a court makes a mistake and gets an issue wrong.
“I think the supreme court has as an equal branch of government the ability to overrule Congress and the president; they do it all the time,” the former US senator from Pennsylvania added. “But I also feel it’s the role of the Congress and the president to push back. It’s important that they be understood to be equal branches of government.”
And again, while Loving v Virginia shows that miscegenation laws can be overcome, same-sex marriage is likely to be a long, ugly fight over the years. We're already seeing red states attempt to pass laws to stop same-sex marriage being performed or recognized and the goal is to tie up same-sex marriages in the courts for as long as possible. Despite any sort of SCOTUS ruling, it could take decades for all 50 states to allow them.
And Roe v Wade again shows that rulings can be chipped away at the state level until they are de facto overturned, as abortions are all but impossible to get in dozens of states in 2015. There's no downside for the GOP to keep fighting on this as their new "culture war" front for as long as it takes.