Marriage on Trial at the Supreme Court

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Air Date: April 28, 2015

Host : Jim Schneider

Guest: Mat Staver

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Mat Staver is the founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel and chairman of Liberty counsel Action. He has argued two landmark cases before the United State Supreme Court as lead counsel and written numerous briefs before the High Court. Mat has argued in numerous state and federal courts across the country and has over 230 published legal opinions. He has authored hundreds of popular articles, eight 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,’ which is the most comprehensive book ever written on religious liberty and ‘Same-Sex Marriage: Putting Every Household at Risk.’

Mat began by giving a history of how we came to the place where today, the U.S. Supreme Court has placed marriage on trial. It began in 1973 with the Baker vs. Nelson case in Minnesota where some people argued that there’s a U.S. constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

Following the historical time-line to June of 2013 you come across the Supreme Court’s Windsor Decision. That case dealt with the federal definition of marriage for purposes of federal law and benefits. Justice Kennedy wrote the opinion that set off the firestorm against marriage litigation. From that moment until now there have been a number of courts, most of which have struck down the marriage laws and state referendums and a few have upheld them. Mat feels this has resulted in a Supreme Court that is absolutely confused on this issue.

What the Supreme Court ultimately did not do was accept the cases for review that struck down the laws but they did accept the cases for review that are now being heard and decided that upheld the marriage laws.

One of the issues is whether a state that doesn’t have same-sex marriage has to recognize the same-sex marriage from a couple who was married in another state.

Another issue is whether there’s a constitutional right to same-sex marriage from a federal perspective or if states have a right to define marriage themselves.

As the program moves along, Jim has Mat respond to why Justices Kagan and Ginsberg haven’t recused themselves from this case, the possibility of civil disobedience following whatever decision is made by the court, who should be involved in such disobedience, at what level and much more.

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