In the landmark case of Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court found that same-sex marriage is a Constitutional right protected by the 14th Amendment.
Sunday on NBC’s Meet The Press, Marco Rubio pledged, as President, to change that.
Rubio said that he would not attempt to pass a constitutional amendment to return the question of same-sex marriage back to the sates. Rather, after numerous deflections, Rubio said he would simply appoint new Supreme Court justices who would overturn Obergefell.
CHUCK TODD: Are you going to work to overturn the same sex marriage?
MARCO RUBIO: I disagree with it on constitutional grounds. As I have said–
CHUCK TODD: But are you going to work to overturn this?
MARCO RUBIO: I think it’s bad law. And for the following reason. If you want to change the definition of marriage, then you need to go to state legislatures and get them to change it. Because states have always defined marriage. And that’s why some people get married in Las Vegas by an Elvis impersonator. And in Florida, you have to wait a couple days when you get your permit. Every state has different marriage laws. But I do not believe that the court system was the right way to do it because I don’t believe–
CHUCK TODD: But it’s done now. Are you going to work to overturn it?
MARCO RUBIO: You can’t work to overturn it. What you–
CHUCK TODD: Sure. You can do a constitutional amendment.
MARCO RUBIO: As I’ve said, that would be conceding that the current Constitution is somehow wrong and needs to be fixed. I don’t think the current Constitution gives the federal government the power to regulate marriage. That belongs at the state and local level. And that’s why if you want to change the definition of marriage, which is what this argument is about.
It’s not about discrimination. It is about the definition of a very specific, traditional, and age-old institution. If you want to change it, you have a right to petition your state legislature and your elected representatives to do it. What is wrong is that the Supreme Court has found this hidden constitutional right that 200 years of jurisprudence had not discovered and basically overturn the will of voters in Florida where over 60% passed a constitutional amendment that defined marriage in the state constitution as the union of one man and one woman.
CHUCK TODD: So are you accepting the idea of same sex marriage in perpetuity?
MARCO RUBIO: It is the current law. I don’t believe any case law is settled law. Any future Supreme Court can change it. And ultimately, I will appoint Supreme Court justices that will interpret the Constitution as originally constructed.
The next president is likely to appoint multiple Supreme Court justices. By the time he or she is sworn in, one-third of the justices will be in their 80s.
Three of the five justices who voted in favor of marriage equality — Ruth Bader Ginsburg (82), Anthony Kennedy (79) and Stephen Breyer (77) — are among the oldest on the court.
Rubio’s pronouncement is significant because under the principle of stare decisis, justices traditionally respect the judgement of their predecessors even if they disagree. There are very conservative justices who disagree with the Obergefell decision but would vote to uphold it for that reason. Rubio is saying that he will appoint new justices who do not intend to respect the Obergefell decision.