In the maelstrom that is the marriage debate, there is hope that the U.S. Supreme Court may rule in favor of states and citizens that support the definition of marriage as one between a man and a woman. Recently at the Family Research Council, Professor John Eastman of Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law, noted that Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in the Windsor case pointed out that the power behind lawmaking “belongs to the laws of the states and not to the laws of the United States,” thus strengthening the rights of states to decide laws and degrading the power of federalism and federal government. Eastman said, “If he follows with that reasoning…federal courts must respect that decision as well” if states such as Alabama want to define traditional marriage.
Moreover, in the Proposition 8 case, in which California voters approved the definition of marriage between a man and woman by a majority, that decision was upheld by SCOTUS. Eastman said the usually liberal justices, such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor would “give standing to a deck of cards if they think it’ll advance something.” Justices Kennedy, Thomas, Alito and Sotomayor were in the minority, while Kagan and Ginsburg were in the majority with Roberts, Scalia and Breyer. Eastman suggested that Kennedy was not “ready to rule on those merits” of federalism and therefore it is “very significant that not one of them would vote to give standing” to Kennedy’s dissent.
“More than 50 million Americans the past ten years have voted to reaffirm the man-woman definition of marriage, about 32 million have voted in the other direction… so about 60% to 39%, that’s a landslide in American politics,” Eastman noted.
“Only three states,” said Eastman, “by vote of the people, have redefined marriage” and “only eight more, by their legislatures, have done it by legislative enactment.” Eastman added, “All the rest of these states that have same sex marriage legal right now have had it imposed on them by the courts.” When he showed the map of state-approved definitions of traditional marriage, he said, “That’s not the map that you hear about in the New York Times and Washington Post.”