U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Tuesday released the following statement regarding oral arguments in the Supreme Court concerning whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires states to license marriages between two people of the same sex and to recognize same-sex marriages licensed and performed in another state: “In recent years, federal judges have defied the power of the people to define marriage through their elected representatives as a covenant between one man and one woman. At the behest of those seeking to use unelected judges to strike down democratically enacted marriage laws, courts across the country have seized for themselves the authority to redefine marriage. Today the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in cases raising the question of whether such judicial intrusion is constitutionally proper. It is not.
“For millennia, the union of a man and a woman has been the fundamental building block of society, and the Judeo-Christian value of traditional marriage is a cornerstone upon which the strength of our Nation rests. Before 2004, no U.S. state recognized same-sex marriages. And to preserve the traditional understanding of marriage, thirty states have amended their state constitutions to define marriage as between one man and one woman, and in total over forty states have passed laws or amendments to protect traditional marriage.
“This effort to redefine marriage by judicial fiat poses a serious threat to the religious liberty for those who embrace traditional marriage. We are seeing businesses shut down and individuals threatened with costly lawsuits simply because they do not agree with same-sex marriage. There was a time when the defense of religious liberty was an issue of bipartisan agreement. Yet now the progressive left is seeking to force their view of marriage upon all Americans, regardless of their religious convictions.
“Resorting to federal courts to further that effort is unconstitutional. Under our Constitution, courts do not make law. This is why I am proud to have filed an amicus brief in support of the right of states to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. It is my sincere hope that the Justices of the highest court of our land will rule on the side of the U.S. Constitution and let the people, through their elected State representatives, continue to define marriage as it has been understood since the beginning of time.
“In case that does not happen, I have also introduced legislation and a constitutional amendment in the Senate last week to prevent federal courts from further interfering with any state’s Constitutionally-protected authority to define marriage.”
Last week, Sen. Cruz introduced the Restoration of Marriage Amendment and the Protect Marriage from the Courts Act of 2015.
The Restoration of Marriage Amendment would amend the Constitution to guarantee the right of the people to define marriage in their laws as the union of one man and one woman and to prevent the courts from misconstruing the Constitution to tear down those democratically adopted state marriage laws.
The Protect Marriage from the Courts Act of 2015 would bar federal courts from having jurisdiction to strike down state marriage laws. Congress has express power under Article III of the Constitution to limit the jurisdiction of the lower federal courts and to make exceptions to the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. This legislation would eliminate the jurisdiction of federal courts to determine the constitutionality of state laws defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
Published: April 30, 2015 - Volume 14 - Issue 03