Most Republicans Ignoring Supreme Court Marriage Inaction

Most Republicans Ignoring Supreme Court Marriage Inaction October 9, 2014

As public opinion has shifted strongly in favor of marriage equality, most Republicans would really like it if the Supreme Court would just rule on it so they don’t have to talk about it anymore. The hard right ones like Ted Cruz try to benefit from it but mainstream Republicans just wish it would go away.

Advisors to multiple likely 2016 candidates told TIME after the news broke that they are hopeful that swift action by the Supreme Court will provide them cover. “We don’t have to agree with the decision, but as long as we’re not against it we should be okay,” said one aide to a 2016 contender who declined to be named to speak candidly on the sensitive topic. “The base, meanwhile, will focus its anger on the Court, and not on us.”

The initial comments of politicians also hinted at a desire to turn the page. In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker, a potential 2016 contender locked in a tough re-election fight this fall, told the Associated Press that the fight to prevent same-sex marriage would end. “It’s over in Wisconsin,” he said.

“The federal courts have ruled that this decision by this court of appeals decision is the law of the land and we will be upholding it,” Walker added, echoing the statement of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who called the issue “settled” in his state over the summer, despite his personal opposition to such unions. Christie declined to address the decision when asked about it Monday.

The pressure on them to address it comes primarily from Christian right organizations, for both ideological and pragmatic reasons. Ideologically, they demand purity; pragmatically, the longer it stays alive as a political issue, the more money flows in to them. But the party leaders and most elected officials have said little to nothing about what the Supreme Court did this week.

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  • whheydt

    Christie is a hilarious example. He was asked what he thought of the SCOTUS “decision’. He said he hadn’t had time to read it. One wonders how long it takes him to read “certiorari denied”.

  • colnago80

    It should be obvious that Cruz is setting himself up as the teabaggers candidate in 2016. He could win the Rethuglican nomination with a minority of the votes in each caucus and primary, much like George McGovern did in 1972 when both Humphrey and Muskie were competing and splitting the moderate Democratic vote between them. Of course, we all know what happened to McGovern in November of 1972.

  • dingojack

    Dear Supreme Court –

    a decision must be made about Marriage Equality. I’d recommend after 20 January 2017 (we wouldn’t want to politicise this important issue, would we?)


  • dingojack

    SLC – Or Jimmy Carter in 1976. And we all know what happen to him.


  • Childermass

    This is another reason to continue with a legislative agenda even in states which have been “won” by court action. Don’t shield these guys, force them to have to put on the record “Yeah”, “Nay”, or “Too chickenshit afraid to vote yeah or nay”

  • colnago80 “Of course, we all know what happened to McGovern in November of 1972.”


  • marcus

    Scott Walker=RINO!!11!!!!

  • John Pieret

    they are hopeful that swift action by the Supreme Court will provide them cover

    Rock, meet Hard Place.

  • dhall

    Maybe a few of them have become aware that gays over 18 can vote too………….

  • dingojack

    Perhaps when their ‘massive’ civil disobedience campaign is happening* the 690,000 same-sex couples in America (and their supporters) should turn up to stage a counter-protest.



    * id est: about a dozen or so dazed bigots and ‘real Merikans’**


    I’m a moron, ‘n’ this is my wife

    She’s frosting a cake

    With a paper knife

    All what we got here’s

    American made

    It’s a little bit cheesey,

    But it’s nicely displayed…:

    Flakes. Frank Zappa.

  • eric

    So this provides yet another possible explanation for why SCOTUS didn’t take it up. Consider the hypothesis that the liberals on the court support the DNP. Then maybe the logic went like this:

    Conservative 4: “We can’t grant cert, Kennedy will vote against us. If we wait, maybe Ginsberg will retire.”

    Liberal 4: “We’ve got Kennedy’s vote, but leaving it unsettled keeps all those Republican congresscritters in the hot seat and us out of it.”

  • busterggi

    Except for extreme crazies like Cruz, Bachmann, Savage, there hasn’t been a peep out out of the GOP in month about anything. Its as if the mainstream of the GOPpers are terrified to say anything about anything for fear of sounding sane and alienating the ‘baggers.

  • abb3w

    @1, whheydt

    One wonders how long it takes him to read “certiorari denied”.

    It’s actually

    The petitions for writs of certiorari are denied.

    …and takes surprisingly long to find a particular order in that massive order list.

  • John Pieret

    A couple of exceptions:

    Phil Berger, president pro tem of the N.C. Senate, and Thom Tillis, speaker of the N.C. House of Representatives [the Republican leaders in the North Carolina legislature], are seeking to intervene in two [Federal] lawsuits challenging the 2012 amendment to the N.C. Constitution that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

    I suspect the judge is going to tell them to buzz off. The parties have already agreed that that there was no legal distinction between the Virginia ban and the North Carolina ban, so there is nothing really new that can be offered at this point. The judge is bound by the 4th Circuit decision and there is no reason to delay any further.

  • John Pieret

    And the Federal judge in N.C. has denied the lawmakers more time to make their case. They have only to noon Friday to give him a reason he shouldn’t rule immediately. It sounds like he is ready to kick these assholes to the curb and may be prepared to make his ruling from the bench.