Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld as constitutional the Marriage Amendments in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. The Sixth Circuit’s ruling almost ensures that the United States Supreme Court will hear the issue.
Of importance, the Sixth Circuit ruling relied on principles of federalism and judicial restraint. The court noted: “Not one of the plaintiffs’ theories, however, makes the case for constitutionalizing the definition of marriage and for removing the issue from the place it has been since the founding: in the hands of state voters.”
The Sixth Circuit’s ruling recognized that this is an issue for the states to decide through the political process, explicitly rejecting the judicial activism shown in other courts on the issue: “Of all the ways to resolve this question, one option is not available: a poll of the three judges on this panel, or for that matter all federal judges, about whether gay marriage is a good idea. Our judicial commissions did not come with such a sweeping grant of authority, one that would allow just three of us—just two of us in truth—to make such a vital policy call for the thirty-two million citizens who live within the four States of the Sixth Circuit.”
Those of us who stand for the people and their vote can hope that the Supreme Court of the United States will follow the Sixth Circuit’s lead.
–Lt. Governor Dan Forest