Date: March 16, 2016
Host: Jim Schneider
Guest: Mat Staver
In a 5-4 decision last June, the Supreme Court ‘discovered’ the Constitutional right for so-called same-sex marriage. One state is standing up in resistance to this decision and instead are abiding by their state constitution that recognizes marriage as being between one man and one woman.
Joining Jim to discuss this issue was Mat Staver. Mat is the founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, an international nonprofit litigation, education and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life and the family. He has authored hundreds of articles, five scholarly law review publications, numerous brochures and booklets and 11 books, most of which focus on constitutional law, including his two most recent books, ‘Eternal Vigilance: Knowing and Protecting Your religious Freedom’ and ‘Same-Sex Marriage: Putting Every Household at Risk’.
Before discussion began regarding the main topic, Jim and Mat discussed Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Merrick Garland. Garland is President Obama’s nominee to replace the late justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Mat began by expressing that no matter who the president nominates, there should be no hearing. While he has the right to nominate someone, he also has to face the other side of the constitutional coin and that is the fact that the Senate (the leadership of the Judiciary Committee) has the right to not have a confirmation hearing on the matter. In fact, Mat noted that to nominate and confirm someone would be the exception rather than the rule during the last, lame -duck year of a presidency as this has been done very few times in our nation’s history.
Mat believes Garland would clearly turn the court to the left and move it away from the moorings of the Constitution. This would make for 5 individuals that he believes would ‘make up the rules as they go’.
The Alabama Supreme Court rejected the U.S. Supreme Court’s creation of a constitutional right to so-called same-sex marriage. It all began when a lower federal judge in Alabama ruled that the state’s marriage laws and the initiative were unconstitutional. A few probate judges began issuing licenses to same-sex couples. That began the litigation and Liberty Counsel filed suit directly with the Alabama Supreme Court bypassing the lower courts. Liberty Counsel asked the court to prevent the probate judge from issuing any more licenses to same-sex couples. In March of 2015 the Alabama Supreme Court issued a 135 page opinion that said two things: (1) Marriage is the union of a man and a woman in Alabama. (2) Probate judges must follow that law and they cannot issue licenses to same-sex couples.
A few months later, on June 26th, 2015, 5 lawyers on the U.S. Supreme Court gave their ruling on marriage. The question then became: What about the Alabama Supreme Court ruling? Is it to be set aside? What happened in March of 2016 is that the Alabama Supreme Court issued its stamp of approval on the previously described 2015 orders. In other words, they finalized it. That opinion still remains and is effective so probate judges in Alabama cannot issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
To communicate with your senators regarding Merrick Garland and whether you feel there should be hearings about his possible placement on the Supreme Court, call 202-224-3121.