Bob Vander Plaats of The Family Leader, a Christian right group in Iowa, is the latest to call for states to ignore Supreme Court rulings that they don’t like. He even absurdly invokes Martin Luther King, who railed against such nullification schemes, to justify it.
On MLK Jr.’s Holiday, we recognize his wisdom that, should SCOTUS render an opinion not in line with natural law, we should not recognize or obey it. As MLK Jr. said in his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,”
“One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that ‘an unjust law is no law at all.’ … How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.”
Clearly, a law or court opinion recognizing so-called “same-sex marriage” as equivalent to procreative marriage violates natural law, the moral law, and the eternal law of God.
We will likewise urge our next President to consider whether or not to enforce such an unnatural and unjust opinion, should it happen. We will be asking candidates, if elected, whether they will be in favor of asking over 30 states to violate their own Constitutions, by requiring them to issue so-called “same-sex marriage” licenses.
While SCOTUS is the Supreme Court, it is not the Supreme Being, or even the Supreme branch of our government. Thomas Jefferson and others said it was the weakest branch, since it has no power of the purse, or of the military. It’s past time to politely reject unjust SCOTUS opinions, and govern this country according to the Declaration of Independence’s legal foundation of “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.”
This is hardly a new position, of course. It’s the same argument used by segregationists in response to Brown v Board of Education. In fact, more than one Southern state tried to do exactly that and refuse to allow black kids to go to “white schools.” How’d that work out for them again? Oh yeah, not very well. It’s the same argument that was used to oppose Loving v Virginia too and on the exact same basis. For that matter, it’s the same argument used by the confederate states when they tried to secede.
And it’s fascinating to me how the things that supposedly violate “natural law” keep changing as society changes. The Christian right in the 1780s argued that not requiring that one be a Christian to hold public office was a violation of “natural law.” The confederacy insisted owning slaves was absolutely a part of God’s eternal and unchanging law. Those who opposed women’s suffrage said that allowing women to vote was a violation of “natural law.” And of course, those states that forbid interracial marriage also argued that it was right to do so because such marriages violated “natural law.” Indeed, the district judge said so explicitly in his ruling.